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Can caffeine supplementation reverse the effect of time of day on repeated-sprint exercise performance?

Lopes-Silva, João Paulo, Santos, Jonatas Ferreira da Silva, Franchini, Emerson
Applied physiology, nutrition and metabolism 2019 v.44 no.2 pp. 187-193
athletic performance, caffeine, cross-over studies, diurnal variation, ergogenic aids, heart rate, lactic acid, men, oxygen, physiological response, placebos, sports nutrition
The aim of this study was to evaluate if caffeine can reduce the negative influence of diurnal variations on repeated-sprint performance, in addition to investigating if caffeine in the afternoon would potentiate performance compared with the morning. Thirteen physically active men took part in this randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled and crossover study. All participants underwent a repeated-sprint ability test (10 × 6 s cycle sprints, with 30 s of rest) at 60 min after ingestion of either 5 mg·kg⁻¹ or placebo under 4 different conditions: morning with caffeine ingestion, morning with placebo ingestion, afternoon with caffeine ingestion, and afternoon with placebo ingestion. Total work, peak power (PP) and anaerobic power reserve (APR) were assessed. Oxygen uptake, heart rate, lactate concentration, and rating of perceived exertion were also measured during the repeated-sprint test. Total work (+8%, d = 0.2, small), PP (+6%, d = 0.2), and APR (+9%, d = 0.2) were significantly higher in the afternoon when compared with morning. However, physiological responses were not different between caffeine and placebo conditions. Repeated-sprint (10 × 6 s cycle sprint) performance was influenced by time of day, with lower performance in the morning compared with the afternoon. However, caffeine supplementation did not prevent the reduction in performance in the morning or improve performance in the afternoon.