Effect of caffeine ingestion on competitive rifle shooting performance

PLoS One. 2019 Oct 31;14(10):e0224596. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0224596. eCollection 2019.


Purpose: The purpose of the present study was to test if caffeine ingestion affects rifle shooting accuracy in trained shooters.

Methods: Twenty trained shooters performed 4 shooting tests in a randomized, double-blinded, placebo controlled crossover design; 2 identical tests after placebo ingestion and 2 after ingestion of 300 mg caffeine. The tests consisted of 30 shots in prone position and 30 in standing position on a 10 ring electronic target, on a distance of 50 metres, without any time limit, at rest.

Results: Caffeine supplementation entailed a mean decrease in shooting performance by 11.8 points (95% CI: 6.7 to 17.0, effect size: 0.9). This was primarily a result of an 11.3 (95% CI: 7.2 to 15.4, effect size: 0.9) point decrease during shooting in standing position and not in prone position (0.6 point decrease, 95% CI: -2.1 to 3.2, effect size: 0.1).

Conclusions: We conclude that prior ingestion of 300 mg caffeine impairs rifle shooting accuracy in trained shooters when performed in standing but not in prone position.

MeSH terms

  • Athletes
  • Caffeine / metabolism
  • Caffeine / pharmacology*
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Female
  • Firearms
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Norway
  • Psychomotor Performance / drug effects*
  • Random Allocation
  • Young Adult


  • Caffeine

Grants and funding

The authors received no specific funding for this work.