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27.05.2019


Relatively low and relatively high dose of caffeine equally effective for strength athletes

A dose of caffeine taken before you start strength training can ensure that you can get a few extra reps from your sets. A relatively low dose that is equivalent to two large strong cups of coffee works just as well as twice that dose. Brazilian movement scientists come to this conclusion in a human study, which will soon be published in the European Journal of Sport Science.

Study
The researchers had 14 trained men on 3 different occasions complete a workout that consisted of a bicep curl, a bench press and a shoulder press. The men warmed up in the same way each time, used the same weight [70 percent of the 1RM], observed the same rest period between sets and performed their reps in the same way. The men trained to failure.

On one occasion the men took a placebo one hour before their training, on two other occasions a supplement with caffeine. One time the supplement contained 3 milligrams of caffeine per kilogram of body weight, another time the supplement contained 6 milligrams of caffeine per kilogram of body weight.

The subjects used caffeine in their daily lives, but not in large quantities. They consumed around 80 milligrams of caffeine daily. That's a cup of coffee a day.

Results
If the subjects had used caffeine, they made more reps. The lower dose had just as much effect as the higher one.


Relatively low and relatively high dose of caffeine equally effective for strength athletes



The subjects could always indicate whether they had received caffeine or a placebo. However, they could not feel the difference between the lower and higher doses.

Conclusion
"In conclusion, caffeine doses or 3 or 6 mg/kg increase the number of rehearsals performed in three resistance upper body exercises, independent of the subject's perception of substance ingestion," the researchers summarize.

"As this is an acute study, we cannot verify the effects of continuous use of caffeine on long-term training."

Source:
Eur J Sport Sci. 2019 Apr 6:1-7. doi: 10.1080/17461391.2019.1596166. [Epub ahead of print].

More:
Coffee better stimulant than caffeine pill for strength athletes 30.04.2016
Better strength training and less muscle pain after three cups of coffee 28.10.2013
Small amount of caffeine gives strength athlete better grip on weights 24.02.2011
If caffeine makes you feel like crying, it also makes you stronger 28.09.2010

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