R Laatar et al, 2021, Caffeine consumption improves motor and cognitive performances during dual tasking in middle-aged women, Behav Brain Research, published online.

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ABSTRACT

The aim of the present study was to explore the effect of caffeine consumption (CC) on cognitive motor interference while walking and maintaining balance in middle-aged women. Twenty middle-aged women (52 ± 2.0 years; height 158 ± 2.0 cm; body mass 77 ± 14.9 kg; body mass index ±3.4 kg/m2, mean ± SD) participated in this study. Participants completed measures of a single task (ST) cognitive, a ST motor and a dual task (DT) cognitive-motor tests before and after either caffeine (100 mg) or placebo ingestion. Results showed that before CC, both motor (P < 0.0005) and cognitive (P < 0.05) performances decreased in the DT condition compared to the ST one. After CC, no significant difference in the motor performances between ST and DT conditions was observed. In fact, both standing and walking DT performances were improved as indicated by a significant (P < 0.05) decrease in the dual task cost (DTC) of motor performances. In conclusion, middle-aged women showed difficulties to manage DT situations in which a cognitive and a motor task must be performed concurrently. Caffeine is an effective ergogenic aid to improve both cognitive and motor performances during DT conditions and could be an alternative to nullify the deteriorating effect of DT when maintaining balance and walking in middle-aged women. These enhancements could offer great potential for everyday functioning.

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