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Eur J Sport Sci. 2014;14(4):353-61. doi: 10.1080/17461391.2013.813972. Epub 2013 Jul 10.

Effects of a carbohydrate and caffeine gel on intermittent sprint performance in recreationally trained males.

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a Centre of Sport Science and Human Performance, School of Science , University of Greenwich , Kent , UK.


We investigated the effects of ingesting carbohydrate gels with and without caffeine on a ~90-minute, four blocks intermittent sprint test (IST), in 12 recreationally trained male athletes. Using a cross-over design, one 70 ml dose of gel containing either 25 g of carbohydrate with (CHOCAF) or without (CHO) 100 mg of caffeine, or a non-caloric placebo (PL) was ingested on three occasions: one hour before, immediately prior to and during the IST. Blood glucose, rating of perceived exertion (RPE) and fatigue index (FI) were analysed. Glucose showed significantly higher values for both CHOCAF and CHO at the first (p=0.005 and p=0.000, respectively), second (p=0.009 and 0.008, respectively) and third (p=0.003 and 0.001, respectively) blocks when compared with PL, while only CHOCAF was significantly different to PL (p=0.002) at the fourth block. CHOCAF showed an improved FI (mean 5.0, s =1.7) compared with CHO (mean 7.6, s =2.6; p=0.006) and PL (mean 7.4, s =2.4; p=0.005), a significantly lower RPE (mean 14.2, s =2) compared with PL (mean 15.3, s =2; p=0.003) and a trend in respect of CHO (mean 14.9, s =2.3; p=0.056) after the third block. In conclusion, ingesting CHOCAF one hour before, prior to and during an IST is effective at transiently reducing fatigue and RPE whilst maintaining higher glucose levels at the final stages of the exercise.


Supplementation; fatigue index; glucose; perceived exertion

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