The effects of different doses of caffeine in endurance cycling time trial performance

B Desbrow et al, 2011
Journal of Sports Sciences, published online ahead of print
December 8, 2011

Abstract

This study investigated the effects of two different doses of caffeine on endurance cycle time trial performance in male athletes. Using a randomised, placebo-controlled, double-blind crossover study design, sixteen well-trained and familiarised male cyclists (Mean+s: Age = 32.6 + 8.3 years; Body mass = 78.5 + 6.0 kg; Height = 180.9+5.5 cm V O2peak = 60.4 + 4.1 ml . kg1 min.-1) completed three experimental trials, following training and dietary standardisation. Participants ingested either a placebo, or 3 or 6 mg /kg body mass of caffeine 90 min prior to completing a set amount of work equivalent to 75% of peak sustainable power output for 60 min. Exercise performance was significantly (P<0.05) improved with both caffeine treatments as compared to placebo (4.2% with 3 mg /kg body mass and 2.9% with 6 mg / kg body mass). The difference between the two caffeine doses was not statistically significant (P=0.24). Caffeine ingestion at either dose resulted in significantly higher heart rate values than the placebo conditions (P<0.05), but no statistically significant treatment effects in ratings of perceived exertion (RPE) were observed (P=0.39). A caffeine dose of 3 mg/kg body mass appears to improve cycling performance in well-trained and familiarised athletes. Doubling the dose to 6 mg / kg body mass does not confer any additional improvements in performance.

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