Caffeine is a widely used nutritional supplement which has been shown to enhance both physical and cognitive performance in younger adults. However, few studies have assessed the effect of caffeine ingestion on performance, particularly functional performance in older adults. The present study aims to assess the effect of acute caffeine ingestion on functional performance, manual dexterity and readiness to invest effort in older adults.
19 apparently healthy, volunteers (10 females and 9 males aged 61–79; 66±2 years) performed tests of functional fitness and manual dexterity post ingestion of caffeine (3mg*kg-1) or placebo in a randomised order. Pre and 60 minutes post ingestion, participants also completed measures of readiness to invest physical (RTIPE) and mental (RTIME) effort.
A series of repeated measures ANOVAS indicated enhanced performance in the following functional fitness tests; arm curls (P =.04), 8 foot up and go (P =.007), six minute walk (P =.016). Manual dexterity was also improved in the presence of caffeine (P =.001). RTIME increased (P =.015) pre to post ingestion in the caffeine condition but not in the placebo condition. There were no significant main effects or interactions for RTIPE or gender in any analysis (all P>gt;.05).
The results of this study suggest that acute caffeine ingestion positively enhances functional performance, manual dexterity and readiness to invest effort in apparently healthy older adults.
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Duncan, M.J., Clarke, N.D., Tallis, J. et al. The effect of caffeine ingestion on functional performance in older adults. J Nutr Health Aging 18, 883–887 (2014). https://doi.org/10.1007/s12603-014-0474-8