There is little information about the effects of caffeine intake on female team-sport performance. The aim of this study was to investigate the effectiveness of a caffeine-containing energy drink to improve physical performance in female soccer players during a simulated game. A double-blind, placebo controlled and randomized experimental design was used in this investigation. In two different sessions, 18 women soccer players ingested 3 mg of caffeine/kg in the form of an energy drink or an identical drink with no caffeine content (placebo). After 60 min, they performed a countermovement jump (CMJ) and a 7 × 30 m sprint test followed by a simulated soccer match (2 × 40 min). Individual running distance and speed were measured using GPS devices. In comparison to the placebo drink, the ingestion of the caffeinated energy drink increased the CMJ height (26.6 ± 4.0 vs 27.4 ± 3.8 cm; P < 0.05) and the average peak running speed during the sprint test (24.2 ± 1.6 vs 24.5 ± 1.7 km/h; P < 0.05). During the simulated match, the energy drink increased the total running distance (6,631 ± 1,618 vs 7,087 ± 1,501 m; P < 0.05), the number of sprints bouts (16 ± 9 vs 21 ± 13; P < 0.05) and the running distance covered at >18 km/h (161 ± 99 vs 216 ± 103 m; P < 0.05). The ingestion of the energy drink did not affect the prevalence of negative side effects after the game. An energy drink with a dose equivalent to 3 mg of caffeine/kg might be an effective ergogenic aid to improve physical performance in female soccer players.
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The authors wish to thank the subjects for their invaluable contribution to the study. We also want to thank to Blanca Crespo for helping us to recruit volunteers for this study. The study was supported by a grant from Camilo Jose Cela University.
Conflict of interest
The authors declare that they have no conflict of interest.
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Lara, B., Gonzalez-Millán, C., Salinero, J.J. et al. Caffeine-containing energy drink improves physical performance in female soccer players. Amino Acids 46, 1385–1392 (2014). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00726-014-1709-z