J06 Can caffeine improve early morning physical performance in team athletes?


  • Dani Hajdukiewicz Liverpool John Moores University
  • Liv Blow Liverpool John Moores University
  • Eddie Calcagni Liverpool John Moores University
  • Kyle Durkin Liverpool John Moores University
  • George Porritt Liverpool John Moores University
  • Hayden Snowe Liverpool John Moores University
  • Michael Chadwick Liverpool John Moores University
  • Jack Fernley Liverpool John Moores University
  • Ellie Brownrigg Liverpool John Moores University
  • Harvey Middleton Liverpool John Moores University
  • Ben Edwards Liverpool John Moores University




Team-athletes often perform sub-optimally in early morning qualifiers and competitions (Drust et al., 2005, Chron Int, 22, 21-24).  This study investigated whether caffeine could improve morning physical performance. Ten team-sport male athletes underwent four sessions [age (mean ± SD) 21 ± 1 years, stature 180 ± 5 cm, body mass 79 ± 9 kg]. These included two familiarisation sessions, one control (no pill) session and a caffeine pill (3 mg/kg body mass) session. Participants woke at 06:30h for all conditions (consuming the caffeine at 06:30 h) before arriving in the laboratory at 07:00 h. Temperature, lactate and glucose were recorded prior to mood states (POMS) and hand-grip strength. Thereafter, a warm -up (10 km/h for 5-mins on a treadmill), 10-mins of dynamic stretching and three build up 20m sprints of 50, 70, and 90% effort were undertaken. Temperature, lactate, and glucose were then measured. The repeated sprint performance (RSP) test was undertaken in 10 × 20 m RS on an indoor runway with 30 s recovery. Following each sprint; time was recorded via cameras and reflectors (Witty, UK); heart rate (HR) was recorded via a heart rate monitor on the upper arm connected to the POLAR app; thermal comfort and RPE were taken from participant verbal feedback. After the RSP, temperature, lactate and glucose were taken a final time. It was found that caffeine did not have an effect on sprint time (F1, 9 = 1.33, P = 0.278, ES = 0.129). However, sprint time for caffeine (3.16 m/s, s = 0.2) was quicker than that of no pill (3.18 m/s, s = 0.2). There was no difference (95% CI of the mean difference= −1.527 to 0.267) between caffeine and no pill on RPE. Handgrip strength for caffeine (45.65 kg, s = 9) was higher than that of no pill (44.48 kg, s = 10) and glucose levels for caffeine were higher and lactate levels lower than that of no pill, although not significantly. There was an effect of caffeine on ‘happy’ POMS score (P = 0.006). These results showed that caffeine did improve early morning physical performance for team-athletes, although not significantly. The effectiveness of caffeine as an ergogenic aid to improve early morning physical performance was challenged but needs to be investigated further, with a larger sample, to establish levels of significance.