Caffeine ingestion during exercise to exhaustion in elite distance runners. Revision

J Sports Med Phys Fitness. 1991 Sep;31(3):425-32.


Caffeine is currently being used as an ergogenic aid by many athletes. The aim of this research was to determine whether a large dose of caffeine (10 taken immediately prior to the start of endurance exercise would have the desired effect of increasing endurance performance. Six males, who were not habitual caffeine users and who had performed at least two marathons, served as subjects in this experiment. They ran on a treadmill at a speed which had been calculated would elicit 75% of their VO2max for 45 minutes, after which time the speed was increased by two miles per hour till exhaustion. During the caffeine trial the athletes ran further than either the control or placebo conditions (p less than 0.05). Blood lactate values did not change across condition except for the final collection period which was significantly higher in the caffeine trial (p less than 0.05). As expected there was a significant time effect in all conditions (p less than 0.0001). Blood triglycerides after the start of the test were always higher in the caffeine condition but this was only significant at the 45 minute and end of exercise collection periods (p less than 0.05). The results suggest that endurance athletes can use caffeine just prior to exercise rather than one to three hours prior to exercise.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Controlled Clinical Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Blood Glucose / analysis
  • Caffeine / administration & dosage*
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Exercise Test
  • Humans
  • Lactates / blood
  • Male
  • Physical Endurance / physiology*
  • Running*
  • Triglycerides / blood


  • Blood Glucose
  • Lactates
  • Triglycerides
  • Caffeine