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Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2001 Aug;33(8):1399-403.

Effect of caffeine and ephedrine ingestion on anaerobic exercise performance.

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Defence and Civil Institute of Environmental Medicine, Toronto, Ontario M3M 3B9, Canada.



Ingestion of a combination of caffeine (C) and ephedrine (E) prolongs time to exhaustion during high-intensity aerobic exercise. CNS stimulation by C and E was proposed as part of the mechanism for the improvement. It was thought that this arousal might also be of benefit during anaerobic exercise. The purpose of this study was to investigate the effect of C, E, and C+E ingestion on performance of anaerobic exercise.


Two groups were used to evaluate the effect of C and E on anaerobic performance. Group 1 (WIN) consisted of 16 healthy untrained male subjects who performed a 30-s Wingate test. Group 2 (MAOD) consisted of 8 healthy untrained male subjects who performed a supramaximal (125%VO(2peak)) cycle exercise trial to exhaustion to determine maximum accumulated oxygen deficit. The trials commenced 1.5 h after ingesting either C (5 mg x kg(-1)), E (1 mg x kg(-1)), a combination of C+E, or a placebo (P). All trials were randomized and double blind. Blood samples were assayed for lactate and glucose post drug ingestion just before exercise, and again 3, 5, and 10 min post exercise. Catecholamines were measured in the preexercise and 10-min postexercise blood samples.


Ephedrine increased power output during the early phase of the Wingate test, whereas C increased time to exhaustion and O(2) deficit during the MAOD test. C, E, and C+E increased blood lactate, glucose, and catecholamine levels.


The improvement in anaerobic exercise performance is likely a result of both stimulation of the CNS by E and skeletal muscle by C.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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