Advertisement

Effects of caffeine on session ratings of perceived exertion

Abstract

This study examined effects of caffeine on session ratings of perceived exertion (RPE) following 30 min constant-load cycling. Individuals (n = 15) of varying aerobic fitness completed a \( \dot{V}{\text{O}}_{2} \) max trial and two 30 min cycling bouts (double-blind, counterbalanced) following ingestion of 6 mL/kg of caffeine or matched placebo. RPE overall, legs and breathing were estimated every 5 min and session RPE was estimated 30 min post-exercise using the OMNI pictorial scale. Session RPE for caffeine and placebo trails were compared using paired t test. Between-trial comparisons of HR, RPE overall, RPE legs and RPE breathing were analyzed using an independent 2 (trial) × 6 (time point) repeated measures analysis of variance (ANOVA) for each dependent variable. Caffeine resulted in a significantly lower session RPE (p < 0.05) for caffeine (6.1 ± 2.2) versus placebo (6.8 ± 2.1). Acute perceptual responses were significantly lower for caffeine for RPE overall (15, 20, 25, and 30 min), RPE breathing (15, 20, 25, and 30 min) and RPE legs (20 and 30 min). Survey responses post-exercise revealed greater feelings of nervousness, tremors, restlessness and stomach distress following caffeine versus placebo. Blunted acute RPE and survey responses suggest participants responded to caffeine ingestion. Caffeine decreased acute RPE during exercise which could partially account for lower session RPE responses. However, decreased session RPE could also reveal a latent analgesic affect of caffeine extending into recovery. Extending the understanding of session RPE could benefit coaches in avoiding overtraining when adjusting training programs.

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.

Access options

Buy single article

Instant unlimited access to the full article PDF.

US$ 39.95

Price includes VAT for USA

Subscribe to journal

Immediate online access to all issues from 2019. Subscription will auto renew annually.

US$ 199

This is the net price. Taxes to be calculated in checkout.

Fig. 1
Fig. 2
Fig. 3
Fig. 4
Fig. 5
Fig. 6

References

  1. American College of Sports Medicine (2010) Guidelines for exercise testing and prescription. Williams and Wilkins, Philadelphia

  2. Birnbaum L, Herbst J (2004) Physiologic effects of caffeine on cross-country runners. J Strength Cond Res 18:463–465

  3. Borg G (1962) Physical performance and perceived exertion. Studio Psychol Paedagog 11:1–64

  4. Borg G (1970) Perceived exertion as an indicator of somatic stress. Scand J Rehabil Med 2:92–98

  5. Davis JK, Green JM (2009) Caffeine and anaerobic performance ergogenic value and mechanisms of action. Sports Med 39:813–832

  6. Delbeke FT, Debackere M (1984) Caffeine: use and abuse in sports. Int J Sports Med 5:179–182

  7. Denadai BS, Denadai ML (1998) Effects of caffeine on time to exhaustion in exercise performed below and above the anaerobic threshold. Braz J Med Biol Res 31:581–585

  8. Doherty M, Smith PM (2005) Effects of caffeine ingestion on rating of perceived exertion during and after exercise: a meta-analysis. Scand J Med Sci Sports 15:69–78

  9. Doherty M, Smith PM, Hughes MG, Davison R (2004) Caffeine lowers perceptual response and increases power output during high-intensity cycling. J Sports Sci 22:637–643

  10. Fisher SM (1986) Influence of caffeine on exercise performancein habitual caffeine users. Int J Sports Med 5:276–280

  11. Foster C, Hector L, Welsh R, Schrager M, Green MA, Snyder AC (1995) Effects of specific versus cross training on running performance. Eur J Appl Physiol 70:367–372

  12. Foster C, Florhaug JA, Franklin J, Gottschall L, Hrovatin LA, Parker S, Doleshal P, Dodge C (2001) A new approach to monitoring exercise training. J Strength Cond Res 15:109–115

  13. Goldstein ER, Ziegenfuss T, Kalman D, Kreider R, Campbell B, Willborn C, Taylor L, Willoughby D, Stout J, Graves BS, Wildman R, Ivy JL, Spano M, Smith AE, Antonio J (2010) International society of sports nutrition position stand: caffeine and performance. J Int Soc Sports Nutr 7:5

  14. Graham TE (2001) Caffeine and exercise metabolism, endurance and performance. Sports Med 31:785–807

  15. Green JM, Yang Z, Laurent CM, Davis JK, Kerr K, Pritchett RC, Bishop PA (2007a) Session RPE following interval and constant-resistance cycling in hot and cool environments. Med Sci Sport Exerc 39:2051–2057

  16. Green JM, Wickwire PJ, McLester JR, Gendle S, Hudson G, Pritchett RC, Laurent CM (2007b) Effects of caffeine on repetitions to failure and ratings of perceived exertion during resistance training. J Sports Physiol Perform 2:250–259

  17. Green JM, McIntosh JR, Hornsby J, Timme L, Gover L, Mayes JL (2009) Effect of exercise duration on session RPE at 70 % VO2 max. Eur J Appl Physiol 107:501–507

  18. Green JM, Laurent M, Bacon NT, ONeal EK, Davis JK, Bishop PA (2010) Cross-modal session rating of perceived exertion response at low and moderate intensities. J Strength Cond Res 25:1598–1604

  19. Hudson GM, Green JM, Bishop PA, Richardson MT (2008) Effects of caffeine and aspirin on light resistance training performance, perceived exertion and pain perception. J Strength Cond Res 22:1950–1957

  20. Jackman M, Wendling P, Friars D, Graham TE (1996) Metabolic, catecholamine, and endurance responses to caffeine during intense exercise. J Appl Physiol 81:1658–1663

  21. Kilpatrick MW, Robertson RJ, Powers JM, Mears JL, Ferrer NF (2009) Comparisons of RPE before, during, and after self-regulate aerobic exercise. Med Sci Sports Exerc 41:681–686

  22. Marcora S (2009) Perception of effort during exercise is independent of afferent feedback from skeletal muscles, heart, and lungs. J Appl Physiol 106:2060–2062

  23. McCall AL, Millington WR, Wurtman RJ (1982) Blood-brain barrier transport of caffeine: dose-related restriction of adenine transport. Life Sci 31:2709–2715

  24. McNaughton L (1987) Two levels of caffeine ingestion on blood lactate and free fatty acid responses during incremental exercise. Res Q Exerc Sport 58:255–259

  25. O’Rourke MP, O’Brien BJ, Knez WL, Paton CD (2007) Caffeine has a small effect on 5-km running performance of well-trained and recreational runners. J Sci Med Sport 11:231–233

  26. Okada M, Kiryu K, Kawata Y, Mizuno K, Wada K, Tasaki H, Kanedo S (1997) Determination of the effects of caffeine and carbamazepine on striatal dopamine release by in vivo microdialysis. Eur J Pharmacol 324:181–188

  27. Pollock ML, Schmidt DH, Jackson AS (1980) Measurement of cardiorespiratory fitness and body composition in the clinical setting. Clin Ther 6:12–27

  28. Porkka-Heiskanen T (1999) Adenosine in sleep and wakefulness. Ann Med 31:125–129

  29. Robertson RJ, Goss FL, Dube J, Rutkowski J, Dupain M, Brennan C, Andreacci J (2004) Validation of the adult OMNI scale of perceived exertion for cycle ergometer exercise. Med Sci Sports Exerc 36:102–108

  30. Warren DL, Park ND, Maresca RD, Mckibans KI, Millard-Stafford ML (2010) Effect of caffeine ingestion on muscular strength and endurance: a meta-analysis. Med Sci Sports Exerc 42:1375–1387

Download references

Author information

Correspondence to L. G. Killen.

Additional information

Communicated by Guido Ferretti.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Killen, L.G., Green, J.M., O’Neal, E.K. et al. Effects of caffeine on session ratings of perceived exertion. Eur J Appl Physiol 113, 721–727 (2013) doi:10.1007/s00421-012-2480-z

Download citation

Keywords

  • Ergogenic aid
  • Performance
  • Perception