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Acute Effects of Caffeine Supplementation on Movement Velocity in Resistance Exercise: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis

Abstract

Background

Several studies investigated the effects of caffeine supplementation on movement velocity in resistance exercise. However, these studies presented inconsistent findings.

Objective

This paper aimed to: (a) review the studies that explored the effects of caffeine supplementation on movement velocity in resistance exercise; and (b) pool their results using a meta-analysis.

Methods

A search for studies was performed through seven databases. Random-effects meta-analyses of standardized mean differences (SMD) were performed to analyze the data. Sub-group meta-analyses explored the effects of caffeine on different velocity variables (i.e., mean and peak velocity), different loads (i.e., low, moderate, and high loads), and upper- and lower-body exercises.

Results

Twelve studies met the inclusion criteria. In the main meta-analysis, in which we pooled all available studies, the SMD favored the caffeine condition (SMD = 0.62; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.39–0.84; p < 0.001). Sub-group analyses indicated that caffeine significantly enhances mean (SMD = 0.80; 95% CI: 0.48–1.12; p < 0.001) and peak velocity (SMD = 0.41; 95% CI: 0.08–0.75; p = 0.014), movement velocity with low loads (SMD = 0.78; 95% CI: 0.41–1.14; p < 0.001), moderate loads (SMD = 0.58; 95% CI: 0.25–0.91; p = 0.001), and high loads (SMD = 0.70; 95% CI: 0.33–1.07; p < 0.001), as well as in lower-body (SMD = 0.82; 95% CI: 0.42–1.23; p < 0.001) and upper-body exercises (SMD = 0.59; 95% CI: 0.37–0.82; p < 0.001).

Conclusion

Acute caffeine supplementation is highly ergogenic for movement velocity in resistance exercise. Sub-group analyses indicated that caffeine ingestion is ergogenic: (a) for both mean and peak velocity; (b) for movement velocity when exercising with low, moderate and high loads, and (c) for movement velocity in both lower- and upper-body exercises. Previous meta-analyses that explored the effects of caffeine on various aspects of resistance exercise performance (i.e., muscular strength and endurance) reported trivial to moderate ergogenic effects (effect size range: 0.16–0.38). In the present meta-analysis, the pooled effect size ranged from 0.41 to 0.82. From a resistance exercise performance standpoint, this suggests that caffeine has the most pronounced performance-enhancing effects on movement velocity.

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Correspondence to Jozo Grgic.

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Conflict of Interest

Javier Raya-González, Tara Rendo-Urteaga, Raúl Domínguez, Daniel Castillo, Alejandro Rodríguez-Fernández and Jozo Grgic declare that they have no conflicts of interest relevant to the content of this review.

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Raya-González, J., Rendo-Urteaga, T., Domínguez, R. et al. Acute Effects of Caffeine Supplementation on Movement Velocity in Resistance Exercise: A Systematic Review and Meta-analysis. Sports Med 50, 717–729 (2020). https://doi.org/10.1007/s40279-019-01211-9

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  • DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/s40279-019-01211-9