Caffeine, performance, and metabolism during repeated Wingate exercise tests

J Appl Physiol (1985). 1998 Oct;85(4):1502-8. doi: 10.1152/jappl.1998.85.4.1502.


Investigations examining the ergogenic and metabolic influence of caffeine during short-term high-intensity exercise are few in number and have produced inconsistent results. This study examined the effects of caffeine on repeated bouts of high-intensity exercise in recreationally active men. Subjects (n = 9) completed four 30-s Wingate (WG) sprints with 4 min of rest between each exercise bout on two separate occasions. One hour before exercise, either placebo (P1; dextrose) or caffeine (Caf; 6 mg/kg) capsules were ingested. Caf ingestion did not have any effect on power output (peak or average) in the first two WG tests and had a negative effect in the latter two exercise bouts. Plasma epinephrine concentration was significantly increased 60 min after Caf ingestion compared with P1; however, this treatment effect disappeared once exercise began. Caf ingestion had no significant effect on blood lactate, O2 consumption, or aerobic contribution at any time during the protocol. After the second Wingate test, plasma NH3 concentration increased significantly from the previous WG test and was significantly higher in the Caf trial compared with P1. These data demonstrate no ergogenic effect of caffeine on power output during repeated bouts of short-term, intense exercise. Furthermore, there was no indication of increased anaerobic metabolism after Caf ingestion with the exception of an increase in NH3 concentration.

Publication types

  • Clinical Trial
  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Ammonia / blood
  • Bicycling / physiology
  • Blood Glucose / metabolism
  • Caffeine / pharmacology*
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Epinephrine / blood
  • Exercise Test*
  • Glycerol / blood
  • Humans
  • Lactates / blood
  • Male
  • Norepinephrine / blood
  • Oxygen Consumption / drug effects
  • Physical Endurance / drug effects
  • Physical Endurance / physiology
  • Physical Exertion / drug effects*
  • Physical Exertion / physiology
  • Potassium / blood


  • Blood Glucose
  • Lactates
  • Caffeine
  • Ammonia
  • Glycerol
  • Potassium
  • Norepinephrine
  • Epinephrine