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J Appl Physiol (1985). 2003 Apr;94(4):1557-62. Epub 2002 Dec 13.

Effect of a divided caffeine dose on endurance cycling performance, postexercise urinary caffeine concentration, and plasma paraxanthine.

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School of Exercise and Sport Science, University of Sydney, Lidcombe 1825, New South Wales, Australia.


This study compared the effects of a single and divided dose of caffeine on endurance performance and on postexercise urinary caffeine and plasma paraxanthine concentrations. Nine male cyclists and triathletes cycled for 90 min at 68% of maximal oxygen uptake, followed by a self-paced time trial (work equivalent to 80% of maximal oxygen uptake workload over 30 min) with three randomized, balanced, and double-blind interventions: 1) placebo 60 min before and 45 min into exercise (PP); 2) single caffeine dose (6 mg/kg) 60 min before exercise and placebo 45 min into exercise (CP); and 3) divided caffeine dose (3 mg/kg) 60 min before and 45 min into exercise (CC). Time trial performance was unchanged with caffeine ingestion (P = 0.08), but it tended to be faster in the caffeine trials (CP: 24.2 min and CC: 23.4 min) compared with placebo (PP: 28.3 min). Postexercise urinary caffeine concentration was significantly lower in CC (3.8 micro g/ml) compared with CP (6.8 micro g/ml). Plasma paraxanthine increased in a dose-dependent fashion and did not peak during exercise. In conclusion, dividing a caffeine dose provides no ergogenic effect over a bolus dose but reduces postexercise urinary concentration.

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