Published on Enhanced Fitness and Performance (http://enhancedfp.com)

ACSM Current Comments On The Use Of Caffeine For Sport Performance

By DMorgan
Created 09/10/2013 - 1:33pm
Caffeine ingestion (3-9 mg/kg bw) prior to ex
ercise increases performance during prolonged
endurance exercise and short-term intense exercise lasting approx. 5 minutes in the
laboratory. These results are ge
nerally reported in well-trained elite or recreational athletes,
but field studies are required to test caffeine’
s ergogenic potency in the athletic world.
Caffeine does not appear to enhance performa
nce during sprinting lasting less than 90
seconds, although research in this area is lacking. The mechanisms for improved endurance
have not been clearly established. Muscle gl
ycogen sparing occurs early during endurance
exercise following caffeine ingestion but it is
unclear whether this is due to increased fat
mobilization and use by the musc
le. The positive effect of caffeine during exercise lasting
approx. 5 minutes is not related to the spari
ng of muscle glycogen. The ergogenic effects of
caffeine are present with urinary caffeine levels
that are well below the IOC allowable limit
(12 ug/ml). This raises ethical issues regarding caffeine use in athletics. Should the practice
be condoned, as it is legal, or should it be disc
ouraged, as it promotes the “doping mentality”
and may lead to more serious abuse? One solution would be to add caffeine to the list of
banned substances, thereby requiring athletes
to abstain from caffeine ingestion 48-72
hours prior to competition and discouraging
its use as a doping agent to increase
performance in the average population.
Written for the American College of Sports Medicine by
Lawrence L. Spriet, Ph.D., FACSM (Chai
r) and Terry E. Graham, Ph.D., FACSM.

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