Caffeine has a small effect on 5-km running performance of well-trained and recreational runners

J Sci Med Sport. 2008 Apr;11(2):231-3. doi: 10.1016/j.jsams.2006.12.118. Epub 2007 Jun 1.


The purpose of this study was to investigate if caffeine ingestion improves 5-km time-trial performance in well-trained and recreational runners. Using a double-blind placebo-controlled design, 15 well-trained and 15 recreational runners completed two randomized 5-km time-trials, after ingestion of either 5mgkg(-1) of caffeine or a placebo. Caffeine ingestion significantly improved 5-km running performance in both the well-trained and recreational runners. In comparison to the placebo trial, the caffeine trial resulted in 1.1% (90% CI 0.4-1.6) and 1.0% (0.2-2%) faster times for the well-trained and recreational runners. Reliability testing of the recreational runners indicated a test-retest error of measurement of 1.4%. We conclude that caffeine ingestion is likely to produce small but significant gains in 5-km running performance for both well-trained and recreational runners.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Athletic Performance
  • Caffeine / pharmacology*
  • Central Nervous System Stimulants / pharmacology*
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Exercise
  • Exercise Tolerance / drug effects*
  • Humans
  • Placebos
  • Running*


  • Central Nervous System Stimulants
  • Placebos
  • Caffeine