Effects of carbohydrate combined with caffeine on repeated sprint cycling and agility performance in female athletes

Chia-Lun Lee, Ching-Feng Cheng, Todd A. Astorino, Chia-Jung Lee, Hsin-Wei Huang, Wen-Dien Chang

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31 Citations (Scopus)


BackgroundCaffeine (CAF) has been shown to improve performance during early phase of repeated sprint exercise; however some studies show that CAF also increases the magnitude of physical stress represented by augmented blood lactate, glucose, and cortisol concentrations during latter phase of repeated sprint exercise. No studies have investigated the efficacy of combined carbohydrate (CHO) and CAF consumption during repeated sprint exercise (RSE) in female athletes. Thus, the purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of CAF with CHO supplementation on RSE and agility.
MethodsEleven female athletes completed four experimental trials performed 7 d apart in a double-blind, randomized, and counter-balanced crossover design. Treatments included CAF+PLA (placebo), CAF+CHO, PLA+CHO, andPLA + PLA. Participants ingested capsules containing 6 mg · kg−1 of CAF or PLA 60-min prior to RSE, and 0.8 g · kg−1of CHO solution or PLA immediately before the RSE, which consisted of ten sets of 5 × 4-s sprints on the cycle ergometer with 20-s active recovery. The agility T-test (AT-test) was performed before and after the RSE. Blood samples were acquired to assess glucose, lactate, testosterone, and cortisol.
ResultsDuring Set 6 of RSE, peak power and mean power were significantly higher in PLA + CHO than those in CAF+ PLA and PLA + PLA, respectively (p < .05). Total work was significantly increased by 4.8% and 5.9% with PLA + CHO than those of CAF + CHO and CAF + PLA during Set 3. PLA + CHO also increased total work more than CAF + PLA and PLA + PLA did during Set 6 (p < .05). No significant differences in AT-test performance either before or after the RSE were occurred among treatments (p > .05). Blood lactate and glucose concentrations were significantly higher under CAF + CHO, CAF + PLA, and PLA + CHO versus PLA + PLA (p < .05), but no differences in testosterone or cortisol levels were found (p > .05).
ConclusionsFindings indicate that CAF + PLA or CAF + CHO ingestion did not improve repeated sprint performance with short rest intervals or agility. However, CHO ingested immediately prior to exercise provided a small but significant benefit on RSE performance in female athletes.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-12
Number of pages12
JournalJournal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 May 2014
Externally publishedYes


  • Anaerobic capacity
  • Ergogenic aids
  • Fatigue
  • Hormone
  • Metabolic substrate
  • Nutrition


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