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Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2002 Feb;34(2):344-9.

Effect of ingesting caffeine and ephedrine on 10-km run performance.

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



The ingestion of either caffeine (C) or ephedrine (E) has been shown to improve performance during high-intensity aerobic activity lasting 10-20 min, with an additive effect being found when the combination (C + E) was ingested. It was the purpose of this study to determine if the addition of E to C would improve performance in activity lasting longer than 20 min.


One and one half hours after ingesting a placebo (P), C (4 mg/kg), E (0.8 mg/kg), or C + E, 12 subjects performed a 10-km run while wearing a helmet and backpack weighing 11 kg. The trials were performed in a climatic suite at 12-13 degrees C, on a treadmill where the speed was regulated by the subject. VO(2), VCO(2), V(E), heart rate (HR), and rating of perceived exertion (RPE) were measured during the run at 15 and 30 min, and again when the individual reached 9 km. Blood was sampled at 15 and 30 min and again at the end of the run and assayed for lactate, glucose, and catecholamines.


Run times (mean +/- SD), in minutes, were for C (46.0 +/- 2.8), E (45.5 +/- 2.9), C + E (45.7 +/- 3.3), and P (46.8 +/- 3.2). The run times for the E trials (E and C + E) were significantly reduced compared with the non-E trials (C and P). Pace was increased for the E trials compared with the non-E trials over the last 5 km of the run. VO(2) was not affected by drug ingestion. HR was elevated for the ephedrine trials (E and C + E). RPE remained similar for all trails. Caffeine increased the epinephrine and norepinephrine response associated with exercise and also increased blood lactate, glucose, and glycerol levels. Ephedrine reduced the epinephrine response but increased dopamine and FFA levels.


The previously seen additive nature of E and C was not evident in this study, with the primary ergogenic effect being attributed to E.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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