Caffeine improves performance indicators in female volleyball athletes

The randomised, double-blind, crossover study, published in the journalย Nutrientsโ€‹, assessed the effect of supplementing with 5 mg/kg body weight caffeine over one week of training.

The authors from Spain found that the impact of caffeine intake improved the well-being, physical performance and perception of fatigue in the women’s volleyball team athletes.ย 

Female-focused research neededย โ€‹

Caffeine is often used in athletic performanceย as an ergogenic aid,โ€‹ย with its popularity on the rise due to its effect onย aerobicโ€‹ย andย anaerobic activitiesโ€‹, increasingย strength and power capacityโ€‹ย byย enhancing intracellular calcium and Na+-K+ ATPase pump activityโ€‹ย andย delaying the onset of fatigueโ€‹ย through activation of the central nervous system, whichย blocks the adenosine receptorsโ€‹.

It hasย been well establishedโ€‹ย that a range of supplementation with a dose of three to nine mg/kg body weight enhances athletic performance.ย And caffeine intake one hour before a training session has been shown to beย an optimal strategy to enhance performanceโ€‹ย due to its fastย absorption and plasma availabilityโ€‹.ย 

The authors noted that whileย previous volleyball studiesโ€‹ย have reported the effect of caffeine on jumping improvement, components such as agility and change of directionย remain unclearโ€‹ย and that more evidence is needed to determine the effect of caffeine on agility, especially in womenโ€™s volleyball.

โ€œCaffeine has been proven to deliver positive outcomes inย reducing perceived exertionโ€‹ย andย diminishing muscular soreness or damageโ€‹, although to aย lesser degree than in menโ€‹,” they wrote.ย โ€œAnd, a main undesirable aspect to consider regarding caffeine supplementation in athletes is that it couldย negatively affect sleep qualityโ€‹, especially in women athletes becauseย the effect of caffeine persists longer in women than in menโ€‹.ย 

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