Acute Effects of Caffeine on Strength Performance in Trained and Untrained Individuals
Objective: The primary aim of this study was to compare the acute effects of a caffeine based supplement on the strength performance of trained and untrained individuals with a secondary investigation into the effects of a placebo. Method: Seven resistance trained (>6 months) and seven untrained (<6 months) males (mean ± SD: age: 21 ± 3 y, mass: 75.2 ± 11.3 kg, height: 176 ± 6 cm) consumed either caffeine (CAF) (5 mg.kg.bw-1 ), placebo (PLA) or nothing (CON) 60 minutes prior to 1 RM squat measurements in a double-blinded, repeated measures design. A two way repeated measures ANOVA was applied to test for the main effects of condition (CAF, PLA, CON) and group (Trained, Untrained), and the interaction effect (condition x group). Results: A significant interaction effect (F(2,11)=4.38, p=0.024) for 1 RM was observed. In the untrained group there was significant difference between CON and PLA (p<0.001). On average 1 RM in the untrained group was 12% lower in the CON trial (92.1 kg) compared to the PLA (102.9 kg; 95% CI=-5.3 to -16.1 kg), and 9% lower compared to CAF (p=0.005; 95% CI=-2.7 to 14.5 kg). There was no significant difference in 1 RM in the untrained group between PLA and CAF (p=0.87, 95% CI -3.2 to 7.5 kg). Additionally, there were no significant differences for the trained group between conditions. There was also a significant main effect for condition for 1 RM (F(2,11)=12.81, p<0.001) . Overall the CON trial was 6% lower (p=0.001, 95% CI=-3.0 to -10.6 kg) than the PLA trial (117.9 kg; 95% CI 97.6 to 124.6 kg), and 5% lower (p=0.12, 95% CI=-1.2 to -9.5 kg) than the CAF trial (116.4 kg; 95% CI 105.0 to 127.8 kg). There was no significant difference between PLA and CAF (p=0.951). Finally, there was a significant main effect for group (F(1,12)=8.79, p=0.12). On average 1 RM was 25% higher in the trained group (131.7 kg; 95% CI=114.5 to 148.9 kg) compared to the untrained group (98.6 kg; 95% CI=81.4 to 115.8 kg). Conclusion: These findings suggest that both a caffeine supplementation and placebo improve 1 RM in untrained individuals but do not improve performance in resistance trained athletes. No significant differences between caffeine and placebo, suggests placebo induced mechanisms also need to be considered.