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Res Sports Med. 2018 Dec 5:1-19. doi: 10.1080/15438627.2018.1552146. [Epub ahead of print]

Effects of acute ingestion of caffeine on team sports performance: a systematic review and meta-analysis.

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a Exercise Physiology Laboratory , Camilo José Cela University , Madrid , Spain.


The aim of this investigation was to perform a systematic review and meta-analysis to determine the efficacy of the acute ingestion of caffeine (from 3 to 6 mg/kg) to increase performance on variables related to team sports. A systematic review was performed in scientific databases from January to April 2018. All studies included had cross-over experimental designs comparing caffeine to an identical placebo condition. A meta-analysis was performed using the random effects model and pooled standardized mean differences (Glass's Δ). Thirty-four studies published between 2001 and 2018 were included in the analysis. The meta-analysis revealed that caffeine increased single (Δ;95% confidence intervals = 0.19;0.14-0.25; p < 0.01) and repeated jump height (0.29;0.16-0.42; p < 0.01), single (0.16;0.02-0.30; p = 0.03) and repeated sprint velocity (0.14;0.03-0.25; p = 0.02), and reduced the time to complete agility tests (0.41;0.04-0.77; p = 0.03). During team sport matches, caffeine increased total running distance (0.41;0.20-0.62; p < 0.01), distance covered at sprint velocity (0.36;0.12-0.59; p < 0.01) and the number of sprints (0.44;0.18-0.69; p < 0.01). The acute ingestion of a moderate dose of caffeine had a small but significant positive effect on several aspects related to physical performance in team sports.


Exercise; energy drink; physical conditioning; rugby; soccer

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