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The Acute Effects of a Caffeine-Containing Supplement on Bench Press Strength and Time to Running Exhaustion

Beck, Travis W; Housh, Terry J; Malek, Moh H; Mielke, Michelle; Hendrix, Russell

Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research: September 2008 - Volume 22 - Issue 5 - pp 1654-1658
doi: 10.1519/JSC.0b013e318181ff2c
Original Research

Beck, TW, Housh, TJ, Malek, MH, Mielke, M, and Hendrix, R. The acute effects of a caffeine-containing supplement on bench press strength and time to running exhaustion. J Strength Cond Res 22(5): 1654-1658, 2008-The purpose of the present study was to examine the acute effects of a caffeine-containing supplement (SUPP) on one-repetition maximum (1-RM) bench press strength and time to running exhaustion (TRE) at a velocity that corresponded to 85% of the peak oxygen uptake (V̇O2peak). The study used a double-blinded, placebo-controlled, crossover design. Thirty-one men (mean ± SD age = 23.0 ± 2.6 years) were randomly assigned to take either the SUPP or placebo (PLAC) first. The SUPP contained 201 mg of caffeine, and the PLAC was microcrystalline cellulose. All subjects were tested for 1-RM bench press strength and TRE at 45 minutes after taking either the SUPP or PLAC. After 1 week of rest, the subjects returned to the laboratory and ingested the opposite substance (SUPP or PLAC) from what was taken during the previous visit. The 1-RM bench press and TRE tests were then performed in the same manner as before. The results indicated that the SUPP had no effect on 1-RM bench press strength or TRE at 85% V̇O2peak. It is possible that the acute effects of caffeine are affected by differences in training status and/or the relative intensity of the exercise task. Future studies should examine these issues, in addition to testing the acute effects of various caffeine doses on performance during maximal strength, power, and aerobic activities. These findings do not, however, support the use of caffeine as an ergogenic aid in untrained to moderately trained individuals.

Department of Nutrition and Health Sciences, Human Performance Laboratory, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Lincoln, Nebraska

Address correspondence to Travis W. Beck, tbeck@unlserve.unl.edu.

© 2008 National Strength and Conditioning Association