Effect of a moderate caffeine dose on endurance cycle performance and thermoregulation during prolonged exercise in the heat
journal contributionposted on 23.05.2017, 12:11 by Ross Beaumont, Lewis James
© 2017 Sports Medicine Australia.Objectives: This study investigated the influence of a moderate caffeine dose on endurance cycle performance and thermoregulation during prolonged exercise in high ambient temperature. Design: Double-blind cross-over study. Methods: Eight healthy, recreationally active males (mean±SD; age: 22±1 years; body mass: 71.1±8.5kg; VO2peak: 55.9±5.8mLkg-1 min-1; W max: 318±37W) completed one VO2peak test, one familiarisation trial and two experimental trials. After an overnight fast, participants ingested a placebo or a 6mgkg-1 caffeine dose 60min before exercise. The exercise protocol consisted of 60min of cycle exercise at 55% W max, followed by a 30min performance task (total kJ produced) in 30°C and 50% RH. Results: Performance was enhanced (Cohen's d effect size = 0.22) in the caffeine trial (363.8. ±. 47.6. kJ) compared with placebo (353.0. ±. 49.0. kJ; p = 0.004). Caffeine did not influence core (p = 0.188) or skin temperature (p = 0.577) during exercise. Circulating prolactin (p = 0.572), cortisol (p = 0.842) and the estimated rates of fat (p = 0.722) and carbohydrate oxidation (p = 0.454) were also similar between trial conditions. Caffeine attenuated perceived exertion during the initial 60. min of exercise (p = 0.033), with no difference in thermal stress across trials (p = 0.911). Conclusions: Supplementation with 6mgkg-1 caffeine improved endurance cycle performance in a warm environment, without differentially influencing thermoregulation during prolonged exercise at a fixed work-rate versus placebo. Therefore, moderate caffeine doses which typically enhance performance in temperate environmental conditions also appear to benefit endurance performance in the heat.
- Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences