Purpose: To examine the acute effects of 3 doses of caffeine on upper- and lower-body ballistic exercise performance and to explore if habitual caffeine intake affects the acute effects of caffeine ingestion on ballistic exercise performance.
Methods: Twenty recreationally active male participants completed medicine-ball-throw and vertical-jump tests under 4 experimental conditions (placebo and 2, 4, and 6 mg·kg-1 of caffeine).
Results: One-way repeated-measures analysis of variance (ANOVA) with subsequent post hoc analyses indicated that performance in the medicine-ball-throw test improved, compared with placebo, only with a 6 mg·kg-1 dose of caffeine (P = .032). Effect size, calculated as the mean difference between the 2 measurements divided by the pooled SD, amounted to 0.29 (+3.7%). For the vertical-jump test, all 3 caffeine doses were effective (compared with placebo) for acute increases in performance (P values .022-.044, effect sizes 0.35-0.42, percentage changes +3.7% to +4.1%). A 2-way repeated-measures ANOVA indicated that there was no significant group × condition interaction effect, suggesting comparable responses between low (≤100 mg·d-1) and moderate to high (>100 mg·d-1) caffeine users to the experimental conditions.
Conclusion: Caffeine doses of 2, 4, and 6 mg·kg-1 seem to be effective for acute enhancements in lower-body ballistic exercise performance in recreationally trained male individuals. For the upper-body ballistic exercise performance, only a caffeine dose of 6 mg·kg-1 seems to be effective. The acute effects of caffeine ingestion do not seem to be affected by habitual caffeine intake; however, this requires further exploration.
Keywords: ballistic exercise; ergogenic aids; medicine-ball throw; vertical jump.