Friday, October 1, 2010

Caffeine & Exercise Performance: Is it all Placebo?

Lot's of recreational athletes (me included) swear by it: caffeine before workout! Now, a study by Micheal (Michael. 2010) is suggesting that we could as well pop candy, as long as we believed it had caffeine in it:

As it is obvious from figure 1, the difference between subjects who were only told they received caffeine (5mg/kg), but did not (CP) and the group of participants who received placebo (CP), but thought they had taken caffeine, is negligible and statistically not significant. What's even more interesting is that the group who received placebo, but thought they had received caffeine (PC), also performed within the same margin as the CC group.

Due to the fact, that the 12 males (mean ± SD = 23.5 ± 3.5 years, 75.3 ± 12.2 kg, 177 ± 0.7 cm; years participating in competitive sport = 8.3 ± 2.5 years) who participated in the study were athletes and only habitual coffee drinkers, the results of the study suggest that 5mg/kg caffeine ingestion before exercise does not make sense. I will stick to it, anyway - who knows what the next study will bring ;-)