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Caffeine and short-term exercise performance

Caffeine ingestion (3-9 mg/kg bw) prior to exercise increases performance during prolonged endurance exercise and short-term intense exercise lasting approx. 5 minutes in the laboratory.

These results are generally reported in well-trained elite or recreational athletes, but field studies are required to test caffeine’s ergogenic potency in the athletic world.

Caffeine does not appear to enhance performance during sprinting lasting less than 90 seconds, although research in this area is lacking.

The mechanisms for improved endurance have not been clearly established.

Muscle glycogen sparing occurs early during endurance exercise following caffeine ingestion but it is unclear whether this is due to increased fat mobilization and use by the muscle.

The positive effect of caffeine during exercise lasting approx. 5 minutes is not related to the sparing of muscle glycogen.

The ergogenic effects of caffeine are present with urinary caffeine levels that are well below the IOC allowable limit (12 ug/ml).

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