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Int J Sports Med. 2015 Jun;36(6):433-9. doi: 10.1055/s-0034-1398580. Epub 2015 Feb 20.

The Effect of Caffeine Ingestion during Evening Exercise on Subsequent Sleep Quality in Females.

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School of Sport and Exercise, Massey University, Auckland, New Zealand.
School of Sport and Exercise, Massey University, Palmerston North, New Zealand.
Institute of Food, Nutrition and Human Health, Massey University, Auckland, New Zealand.


In a randomised, double-blind, placebo-controlled crossover design, 10 females taking monophasic oral contraceptives completed 90 min intermittent treadmill-running 45 min after ingestion of 6 mg∙kg(-1) body mass anhydrous caffeine or artificial sweetener (placebo). Water (3 mL∙kg(-1)) was provided every 15 min during exercise. Venous blood samples were taken before, during and after exercise, as well as after sleep (~15 h post-ingestion), and levels of caffeine, paraxanthine, theobromine and theophylline were measured using high-performance liquid chromatography. Sleep quality was assessed using the Leeds Sleep Evaluation Questionnaire. Plasma caffeine concentration peaked 100 min after ingestion. Caffeine clearance was 0.95±0.14 mL·min(-1)·kg(-1) while the elimination half-life of caffeine was 17.63±8.06 h. Paraxanthine and theophylline levels were significantly elevated at 15 h with no significant change in theobromine. Sleep latency and subsequent quality of sleep was impaired following caffeine supplementation (P<0.05); there were no differences between trials for how participants were feeling upon awakening. This is the first controlled study to examine caffeine supplementation on sleep quality in female athletes taking a low-dose monophasic oral contraceptive steroid following an intermittent-exercise running protocol. The data shows that female athletes using monophasic oral contraceptive steroids will have impaired sleep quality following evening caffeine ingestion.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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