Int J Sports Med 1986; 07(5): 276-280
DOI: 10.1055/s-2008-1025774
© Georg Thieme Verlag Stuttgart · New York

Influence of Caffeine on Exercise Performance in Habitual Caffeine Users

S. M. Fisher, R. G. McMurray, M. Berry, M. H. Mar, W. A. Forsythe
  • Human Performance Laboratory, Physical Education Department, and Department of Nutrition, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, North Carolina, USA 27514
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Publication History

Publication Date:
14 March 2008 (online)


The effect of caffeine on the exercise responses of six women habituated to caffeine (> 600 mg/day) was examined during 1-h running at 75% V̇O2 max on a motorized treadmill. Each subject completed a placebo (PL) and a caffeine ingestion (CC) trial while maintaining normal caffeine intake. The subject then abstained from caffeine for 4 days and again ran after receiving caffeine (CW). Caffeine dosage for all trials was 5 mg/kg body weight. Ingestion of caffeine after withdrawal (CW) resulted in the greatest physiologic effects. Exercise oxygen uptake was significantly elevated by 0.17 l/min over the PL and CC trials (P < 0.05). The CW trials resulted in an overall R value of 0.79±0.04 compared with 0.85±0.08 for the PL and 0.83±0.04 for the CC trials. Caffeine had its greatest effect on the resting free fatty acid levels after withdrawal: 1104±425 µEq/l compared with 543±288 for the PL and 839±526 for the CC. Postexercise lactates were similar for all trials. Post-exercise plasma norepinephrine and dopamine were the highest after the CW trials. The results suggest that habitually high caffeine users acquire a tolerance to caffeine which reduces its effects during prolonged exercise. Furthermore, to magnify the effect of caffeine, habitual users should withdraw from caffeine use for about 4 days.