Kelli Lahman

Document Type

Honors Thesis


Research has shown that caffeine is responsible for the increase of various biological processes. It has been reported to raise the number of free fatty acids available to produce energy, along with increased respiratory muscle durability which prolongs oxidation in order to save glycogen stores for later use in the workout. Because of this evidence there may be a strong correlation between ingesting caffeinated supplements and performance during exercise. Caffeine has also been show to increase the duration of a workout by delaying feelings of fatigue. Furthermore, caffeine supplementation has been shown to improve performance in activities such as cross-country, swimming, or other timely competitions if ingested before a contest. Therefore, caffeine ingestion was studied in order to understand if this supplementation made a difference in a submaximal work or. exercise bout. This experiment was conducted in the Exercise Science Research Laboratories in the Mavericks Activities Center (163). A cycle ergometer and a True One 2400 metabolic cart were used for the exercise bout and to analyze the amount of oxygen consumed and carbon dioxide expired in order to calculate oxygen consumption (VO2). Seventy percent of the previously measured maximal exercise capacity was set as the workload in watts (W) for the two submaximal rides that were used to evaluate the effects of caffeine on exercise performance. Distance covered during each 30-minute submaximal test was then observed and recorded. Other variables observed and recorded during the submaximal exercise test included rate of perceived exertion (RPE), blood pressure (mmHg), heart rate (bpm), and oxygen consumed (mL/kg/min) in the two submaximal tests. It was found that caffeine did not have an effect on the work performance during exercise as measured by distance traveled during each submaximal test. The average distance covered by the participants who consumed caffeine was about 13.86 ± 1.7 kilometers (km), whereas the Tylenol (placebo) group only covered a slightly less distance of 12.56 ± 2.1 km. A two-tailed t-test was performed, and it was found that the effects of the caffeine supplement on exercise performance were not significant (p > 0.05).

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