Effects of Caffeine on Repeated Sprint Performance in Male Swimmers

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Dr. Maureen Dunn, Hope College

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The aim of this study was to examine the effects of various doses of caffeine on repeated sprint performance in collegiate male swimmers (n= 10). Each participant completed six 100-yard sprints on 3 separate test dates. On each occasion, athletes ingested either 3 or 6 mg/kg caffeine or placebo one hour prior to exercise in a counterbalanced, double-blind manner. Sprint time, lactate level, and rate of perceived exertion (RPE) were assessed on each test date. Mean sprint time for all 6 sprints decreased from the first testing day compared to the third testing day (p> 0.01). There was no effect of caffeine on mean sprint time or RPE, although there was a trend for decreased RPE in the 6 mg/kg caffeine trial compared to placebo and 3 mg/kg caffeine (P=0.09). Lactate production following sprinting was significantly increased during caffeine trials compared to placebo (p< 0.01). There was no difference between caffeine doses on lactate production. Results indicate that the use of caffeine as an ergogenic aid is neither detrimental nor enhancing to performance.

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