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Effect of Coffee and Caffeine Ingestion on Resistance Exercise Performance

Richardson, Darren L.; Clarke, Neil D.

Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research: October 2016 - Volume 30 - Issue 10 - p 2892–2900
doi: 10.1519/JSC.0000000000001382
Original Research

Richardson, DL and Clarke, ND. Effect of coffee and caffeine ingestion on resistance exercise performance. J Strength Cond Res 30(10): 2892–2900, 2016—The aim of the present study was to determine the effect of ingesting caffeine dose-matched anhydrous caffeine, coffee, or decaffeinated coffee plus anhydrous caffeine during resistance exercise on performance. Nine resistance-trained men (mean ± SD: age, 24 ± 2 years; weight, 84 ± 8 kg; height, 180 ± 8 cm) completed a squat and bench press exercise protocol at 60% 1 repetition maximum until failure on 5 occasions consuming 0.15 g·kg−1 caffeinated coffee (COF), 0.15 g·kg−1 decaffeinated coffee (DEC), 0.15 g·kg−1 decaffeinated coffee plus 5 mg·kg−1 anhydrous caffeine (D + C), 5 mg·kg−1 anhydrous caffeine (CAF), or a placebo (PLA). Felt arousal and rating of perceived exertion (RPE) were used to assess perceptual variables and heart rate (HR) to assess physiological responses between trials. There were significant differences in total weight lifted for the squat between conditions (p < 0.01;

= 0.54) with a greater amount lifted during D + C compared with DEC (p < 0.01), CAF (p ≤ 0.05), and PLA (p ≤ 0.05) conditions. Total weight lifted during the COF condition was significantly greater than that lifted under PLA (p < 0.01), although not significantly greater than the amount of weight lifted during the DEC condition (p = 0.082). No significant differences were observed in total weight lifted in the bench press protocol between conditions (p = 0.186;

= 0.17). Significant differences in HR (p < 0.01;

= 0.39) but not RPE (squat: p = 0.690;

= 0.07; bench press: p = 0.165;

= 0.18) and felt arousal (p = 0.056;

= 0.24) were observed between conditions. Coffee and decaffeinated coffee plus caffeine have the ability to improve performance during a resistance exercise protocol, although possibly not over multiple bouts.

Department of Applied Sciences and Health, Faculty Health and Life Sciences, Coventry University, Coventry, United Kingdom

Address correspondence to Neil D. Clarke,

Copyright © 2016 by the National Strength & Conditioning Association.