Caffeine prevents changes in muscle caused by high-intensity interval training

Biomed Pharmacother. 2017 May;89:116-123. doi: 10.1016/j.biopha.2017.01.138. Epub 2017 Mar 24.


The use of ergogenic substances such as caffeine has become a strategy to enhance sports performance. In the present study we evaluated the effects of high-intensity interval training (HIIT) associated with caffeine intake on acetylcholinesterase (AChE) and Ca2+ATPase activity and glycogen levels in the muscles of rats were evaluated. The animals were divided in groups: control, caffeine 4 or 8mg/kg, HIIT, HIIT plus caffeine 4 or caffeine 8mg/kg. Our results showed a decrease in glycogen levels in muscle in all trained groups after acute session exercise, while that an increase in glycogen levels was observed in all groups in relation to control in chronic exercise protocol. HIIT increases the thickness of the left ventricle and the Ca2+-ATPase activity and decrease the AChE activity in gastrocnemius muscle. Caffeine treatment prevents changes in enzymes activities as well as left ventricular hypertrophy adaptation induced by HIIT. Our findings suggest that caffeine modulates crucial pathways for muscle contraction in HIIT.

Keywords: Acetylcholinesterase; Caffeine; Calcium ATPase; Gastrocnemius muscle; Glycogen; Physical exercise.

MeSH terms

  • Acetylcholinesterase / metabolism
  • Adaptation, Physiological
  • Animals
  • Caffeine / pharmacology*
  • Calcium-Transporting ATPases / metabolism
  • Glycogen / metabolism
  • High-Intensity Interval Training*
  • Hypertrophy, Left Ventricular / prevention & control
  • Male
  • Muscle, Skeletal / drug effects*
  • Muscle, Skeletal / enzymology
  • Muscle, Skeletal / physiology*
  • Phosphodiesterase Inhibitors / pharmacology*
  • Physical Conditioning, Animal / physiology*
  • Rats
  • Rats, Wistar
  • Swimming / physiology


  • Phosphodiesterase Inhibitors
  • Caffeine
  • Glycogen
  • Acetylcholinesterase
  • Calcium-Transporting ATPases