The Effect of Caffeine on Shot Accuracy and Power in Male Collegiate Lacrosse Players

Faculty Mentor(s)

Dr. Maureen Dunn

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Caffeine is a stimulant that is becoming more commonly used in sports and athletic events in an effort to increase performance and decrease effects of fatigue. The purpose of this study was to examine the effect of caffeine on sports performance, measured in shot accuracy and maximum shot power, of collegiate lacrosse players. The design of this study evaluated if caffeine ingestion (4 mg/kg) would significantly affect lacrosse shot power and accuracy compared to a placebo. This was a double-blind study. Following one familiarization trial, participants were randomly assigned to ingest either the caffeine or placebo in a double-blind counter-balanced manner on one of two testing days. Shot speed was measured using a radar gun while shot accuracy was assessed using a net cover with holes in each corner. The participants shot from a distance of 10 yards. Total shots made compared to shots attempted was measured. The data gathered yielded no significant differences between groups, although there was a trend towards an increase in maximum shot speed after caffeine use (Placebo: 81.0 ± 7.1mph, Caffeine: 83.2 ± 7.0mph, p=.115). There was no difference found for shot accuracy with and without caffeine (Placebo: 13.8 ± 4.1, Caffeine: 14.1 ± 4.5, p=.809). While there was little evidence to support caffeine increasing lacrosse sport performance from this study, further research using a larger sample size and more trials might yield more significant results.

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