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The Effects of Low-Dose Caffeine on Perceived Pain During a Grip to Exhaustion Task

Bellar, David1; Kamimori, Gary H2; Glickman, Ellen L3

The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research: May 2011 - Volume 25 - Issue 5 - p 1225-1228
doi: 10.1519/JSC.0b013e3181d9901f
Original Research

Bellar, D, Kamimori, GH, and Glickman, EL. The effects of low-dose caffeine on perceived pain during a grip to exhaustion task. J Strength Cond Res 25(5): 1225-1228, 2011-This double-blind, placebo-controlled, within-subject experiment examined the effects of low-dose caffeine on pain reported during an exhaustive grip task. The grip task consisted of holding a metal block attached to standard Olympic weight plates with the arm at the side until the participants could no longer maintain their grip. Apparently healthy recreationally trained college-aged adults (men, n = 5; women, n = 5) were given either a piece of Stay Alert™ gum that delivered 85% of the effective dose of 100 mg of caffeine in 5 minutes or an identical placebo gum that contained no caffeine. Subsequently, pain perception and ratings of perceived exertion were recorded during an exhaustive grip task every 15 seconds and the overall time to exhaustion. No significant difference was found in time to exhaustion between treatments. A significant main effect of treatment for reported pain (p < 0.001, Φ = 0.377) was observed. Thus, in a population of recreationally trained college-aged adults, low-dose caffeine may attenuate the individual's perception of pain during a grip to exhaustion task.

1Department of Kinesiology, University of Louisiana-Lafayette, Lafeyette, Louisiana; 2Department of Behavioral Biology, Walter Reed Army Institute of Research, Rockville, Maryland; and 3School of Health Sciences, Kent State University, Kent, Ohio

Address correspondence to David Bellar,

© 2011 National Strength and Conditioning Association