Int J Sports Med 2012; 33(07): 507-513
DOI: 10.1055/s-0032-1301904
Physiology & Biochemistry
© Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart · New York

Effect of Caffeine on LT, VT and HRVT

G. K. Karapetian
1  Department of Biology, Henry Ford Community College, Dearborn, United States
H. J. Engels
2  Division of Kinesiology, Health and Sport Studies, Wayne State University, Detroit, United States
K. A. Gretebeck
3  School of Nursing, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, United States
R. J. Gretebeck
2  Division of Kinesiology, Health and Sport Studies, Wayne State University, Detroit, United States
› Author Affiliations
Further Information

Publication History

accepted after revision 12 January 2012

Publication Date:
12 April 2012 (eFirst)


Caffeine has many diverse physiological effects including central nervous system stimulation. Ventilatory threshold and a recently described heart rate variability threshold both have a relationship with autonomic control that could be altered by caffeine consumption. The purpose of this investigation was to determine the influence of caffeine on lactate, ventilatory, and heart rate variability thresholds during progressive exercise. Using a randomized placebo controlled, double-blind study design, 10 adults performed 2 graded maximal cycle ergometry tests with and without caffeine (5 mg·kg − 1). Respiratory gas exchange, blood lactate concentrations, and heart rate variability data were obtained at baseline and throughout exercise.


At rest, caffeine (p<0.05) increased blood lactate, oxygen consumption, carbon dioxide production, and minute ventilation. For indices of heart rate variability at rest, caffeine increased (p<0.05) the coefficient of variation, while standard deviation, and mean successive difference displayed non-significant increases. During progressive exercise, minute ventilation volumes were higher in caffeine trials but no other parameters were significantly different compared to placebo tests.


These data demonstrate the robustness of the lactate, ventilatory and heart rate variability thresholds when challenged by a physiological dose of caffeine.