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Open AccessArticle

Improvements in Cycling but Not Handcycling 10 km Time Trial Performance in Habitual Caffeine Users

School of Sport, Exercise and Health Sciences, Peter Harrison Centre for Disability Sport, Loughborough University, Epinal Way, Loughborough LE113TU, UK
Swiss Paraplegic Centre, Institute of Sport Medicine, Guido A. Zäch-Strasse, Nottwil 6207, Switzerland
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Nutrients 2016, 8(7), 393;
Received: 9 May 2016 / Revised: 9 June 2016 / Accepted: 20 June 2016 / Published: 25 June 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutrition, Health and Athletic Performance)
Caffeine supplementation during whole-/lower-body exercise is well-researched, yet evidence of its effect during upper-body exercise is equivocal. The current study explored the effects of caffeine on cycling/handcycling 10 km time trial (TT) performance in habitual caffeine users. Eleven recreationally trained males (mean (SD) age 24 (4) years, body mass 85.1 (14.6) kg, cycling/handcycling peak oxygen uptake ( V · peak) 42.9 (7.3)/27.6 (5.1) mL∙kg∙min−1, 160 (168) mg/day caffeine consumption) completed two maximal incremental tests and two familiarization sessions. During four subsequent visits, participants cycled/handcycled for 30 min at 65% mode-specific V · peak (preload) followed by a 10 km TT following the ingestion of 4 mg∙kg−1 caffeine (CAF) or placebo (PLA). Caffeine significantly improved cycling (2.0 (2.0)%; 16:35 vs. 16:56 min; p = 0.033) but not handcycling (1.8 (3.0)%; 24:10 vs. 24:36 min; p = 0.153) TT performance compared to PLA. The improvement during cycling can be attributed to the increased power output during the first and last 2 km during CAF. Higher blood lactate concentration (Bla) was reported during CAF compared to PLA (p < 0.007) and was evident 5 min post-TT during cycling (11.2 ± 2.6 and 8.8 ± 3.2 mmol/L; p = 0.001) and handcycling (10.6 ± 2.5 and 9.2 ± 2.9 mmol/L; p = 0.006). Lower overall ratings of perceived exertion (RPE) were seen following CAF during the preload (p < 0.05) but not post-TT. Lower peripheral RPE were reported at 20 min during cycling and at 30 min during handcycling, and lower central RPE was seen at 30 min during cycling (p < 0.05). Caffeine improved cycling but not handcycling TT performance. The lack of improvement during handcycling may be due to the smaller active muscle mass, elevated (Bla) and/or participants’ training status. View Full-Text
Keywords: exercise; ergogenic; upper-body; sport; supplement exercise; ergogenic; upper-body; sport; supplement
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MDPI and ACS Style

Graham-Paulson, T.; Perret, C.; Goosey-Tolfrey, V. Improvements in Cycling but Not Handcycling 10 km Time Trial Performance in Habitual Caffeine Users. Nutrients 2016, 8, 393.

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