B Redondo et al, 2021. Effects of caffeine ingestion on dynamic visual acuity: a placebo-controlled, double-blind, balanced-crossover study in low caffeine consumers, Psychopharmacology, published online.

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Acute caffeine ingestion has been associated with improvements in cognitive performance and visual functioning. The main objective of this study was to determine the effects of caffeine intake on dynamic visual acuity (DVA).

Twenty-one low caffeine consumers (22.5 ± 1.6 years) took part in this placebo-controlled, double-blind, and balanced crossover study. In two different days and following a random order, participants ingested either caffeine (4 mg/kg) or placebo, and DVA was measured after 60 min of ingesting the corresponding capsule. A recently developed and validated software (moV& test, V&mp Vision Suite, Waterloo, Canada) was used to assess DVA.

We found a greater accuracy for both the horizontal and random motion paths of DVA after caffeine ingestion (p < 0.001 and p = 0.002, respectively). In regard to the speed of the response, our data revealed that caffeine intake was associated with a faster reaction time for horizontally (p = 0.012) but not for randomly (p = 0.846) moving targets. Also, participants reported higher levels of perceived activation after consuming caffeine in comparison to placebo (p < 0.001).

Our data suggest that caffeine intake (i.e., a capsule containing 4 mg/kg) has an ergogenic effect on DVA, which may be of special relevance in real-word contexts that require to accurately and rapidly detect moving targets (e.g., sports, driving, or piloting).

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