Elhaj, HM, Imam, O, Page, BW, Vitale, JM, and Malek, MH. Perceived consumption of a high-dose caffeine drink delays neuromuscular fatigue. J Strength Cond Res 36(5): 1185–1190, 2022—The placebo effect is a concept in which a desired outcome arises, mainly from the belief that the treatment (i.e., supplement or drug) was beneficial although no active ingredient was given. The results of studies related to the placebo effect primarily examine functional performance. What remains unanswered, however, is whether these changes in performance are associated with neuromuscular alterations in the exercised muscles. The purpose of the study, therefore, was to determine the influence of the placebo effect on the physical working capacity fatigue threshold (PWCFT) for a continuous exercise paradigm. To achieve this aim, subjects were told that they were participating in a study to determine the dosage response (low or high) of caffeine on neuromuscular fatigue when in fact no caffeine was given during the experiment. We hypothesized that the perceived consumption of the high-dose caffeine drink would result in a higher PWCFT than the perceived consumption of the low-dose caffeine drink and placebo. Secondarily, we hypothesized that the perceived consumption of the high-dose caffeine drink would result in a higher power output than the perceived consumption of the placebo. Nine healthy college-aged men (mean ± SEM: age, 25.7 ± 1.3 years; body mass, 84.4 ± 3.1 kg; and height: 1.82 ± 0.02 m) volunteered to be in the study. For each of the visits, subjects were given an 8 oz. bottle of water with dissolved crystal light. After the drink was consumed, subjects rested in the laboratory for 1 hour before performing the incremental single-leg knee-extensor ergometry. Immediately after the termination of the incremental single-leg knee-extensor ergometry, the subject was asked which caffeine dose (placebo, low, or high) they believed they consumed for that visit. There were no significant mean differences for maximal power output for the 3 perceived conditions (placebo: 62 ± 3, low-dose caffeine: 62 ± 4, and high-dose caffeine: 65 ± 3 W). When the subjects perceived consuming the high-dose caffeine drink, there were significant mean differences (all p-values < 0.01), for PWCFT, between the other conditions (mean ± SEM: placebo: 23 ± 3 W, low-dose caffeine: 26 ± 2 W, and high-dose caffeine: 42 ± 3 W). This corresponded to a significant mean difference (all p-values < 0.01) when the PWCFT was presented as a percentage of the maximal power output (mean ± SEM: placebo: 37 ± 5%, low-dose caffeine: 42 ± 3%, and high-dose caffeine: 64 ± 3%). The application of our results may indicate that the subject's expectancy, to caffeine consumption, plays a critical role in delaying the onset of neuromuscular fatigue despite not receiving any caffeine in their drinks.