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Dispelling the myth that habitual caffeine consumption influences the performance response to acute caffeine supplementation

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Gonçalves Ld, Painelli Vd, Yamaguchi G, de Oliveira LF, Saunders B, da Silva RP, Maciel E, Artioli GG, Roschel H, Gualano B. Dispelling the myth that habitual caffeine consumption influences the performance response to acute caffeine supplementation. J Appl Physiol (1985). 2017 May:jap.00260.2017. PubMed #28495846.
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PainSci summary of Gonçalves 2017?This page is one of thousands in the PainScience.com bibliography. It is not a general article: it is focused on a single scientific paper, and it may provide only just enough context for the summary to make sense. Links to other papers and more general information are provided at the bottom of the page, as often as possible. ★★★★☆?4-star ratings are for bigger/better studies and reviews published in more prestigious journals, with only quibbles. Ratings are a highly subjective opinion, and subject to revision at any time. If you think this paper has been incorrectly rated, please let me know.

This trial demonstrated that caffeine supplementation boosts athletic performance even if you are used to its effects. Forty endurance cyclists were divided into groups of low, moderate, and highly daily caffeine intake. They all did three cycling tests after drinking caffeine, a placebo, or nothing at all. Performance on caffeine was clearly best across the board for all participants, regardless of typical caffeine intake.

~ Paul Ingraham

original abstractAbstracts here may not perfectly match originals, for a variety of technical and practical reasons. Some abstacts are truncated for my purposes here, if they are particularly long-winded and unhelpful. I occasionally add clarifying notes. And I make some minor corrections.

OBJECTIVE: To investigate the influence of habitual caffeine intake on exercise performance to acute caffeine supplementation.

METHODS: A double-blind, crossover, counterbalanced study was performed. Forty endurance-trained cyclists were allocated into tertiles according to their daily caffeine intake: low (58 ± 29 mg(.)d(-1)), moderate (143 ± 25 mg(.)d(-1)), and high consumers (351 ± 139 mg(.)d(-1)). Participants completed three trials in which they performed simulated cycling time-trials in the fastest time possible following ingestion of: caffeine (CAF: 6 mg(.)kg(-1) BM), placebo (PLA), and no supplement (CON).

RESULTS: Mixed-model analysis revealed time-trial performance was significantly improved in CAF compared to PLA and CON (29.92±2.18 min vs 30.81±2.67 and 31.14±2.71 min; P = <0.0002). ANCOVA revealed no influence of habitual caffeine intake as a covariate on exercise performance (P=0.47). Time-trial performance was not significantly different between tertiles (P=0.75). No correlation was observed between habitual caffeine intake and absolute changes (CAF - CON) in time-trial performance with caffeine (P=0.524). Individual analysis showed that eight, seven and five individuals improved above the variation of the test in CAF in the low, moderate and high tertiles. A Fisher's Exact Test did not show any significant differences in the number of individuals who improved in CAF between the tertiles (P>0.05). Blood lactate and ratings of perceived exertion were not different between trials and tertiles (P>0.05).

CONCLUSION: Performance effects of acute caffeine supplementation during a ~30 min cycling TT performance were not influenced by the level of habitual caffeine consumption.

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