Friday, December 19, 2008

Research Update: December: Ergogenics-Caffeine and Asprin

Here is a video of a bunch of crazy Minnesota kiteboarders from the last trip to South Padre Texas at the end of Nov and early Dec. If you look closely around 2:22 you will see yours truly and Jodie enjoy a great post session beer (Shiner Bock, the local brew is great). The live action kicks in around 4 minute mark.

Special thanks to Randy for the video! Nothing better than a great day on the beach, some kiteboarding in great winds, sunlight and lots of great friends. Excellent times!

More research!
I am behind on getting some cool studies out to all of you. If you have any questions at all, feel free to post them in the comments and I will try to get to them as soon as I can. I know many smart people read this blog, so I am interested in your thoughts or even just basic questions so that all of us can learn more.

Very cool study since caffeine in higher doses may have an analgesic (pain killing) effect. Adding aspirin may work via a similar mechanism also.

I remember "back in the day" some strength coaches promoting a baby aspirin before lifting for this effect and also so that it may thin your blood a bit for better oxygen delivery. I have not see any research on the latter and personally I am not a fan of blunting the pain response for strength training at all since pain is vital feedback--you want to know if you did something wrong!

The only time it may be worth trying is for very long distance events (tris, marathons) if you are doing it as a professional and your income depends on upon it. Even then I would highly recommend those athletes to try a higher dose of caffeine first IN TRAINING. Do NOT make ANY changes before a big race!

We know that pain negatively affects performance, so the theory behind the study is sound. The tricky part is that caffeine has many different physiologic effects in the body.

Interestingly, caffeine, aspirin (or acetaminophen aka Tylenol) is commonly found in over the counter headache medicine.

Effects of caffeine and aspirin on light resistance training performance, perceived exertion, and pain perception.

Hudson GM, Green JM, Bishop PA, Richardson MT.

Department of Health, Human Performance, & Recreation, Baylor University, Waco, Texas, USA.

This study compared independent effects of caffeine and aspirin on muscular endurance (repetitions), heart rate (HR), perceived exertion (RPE), and perceived pain index (PPI) during light resistance training bouts performed to volitional failure. It was hypothesized that the hypoalgesic properties of these ergogenic aids would decrease pain perception and potentially result in enhanced performance.

College-aged men (n = 15) participated in a within-subjects, double-blind study with three independent, counterbalanced sessions wherein aspirin (10 mg x kg(-1)), caffeine (6 mg x kg(-1)), or matched placebo were ingested 1 hour before exercise, and RPE, HR, PPI, and repetitions (per set and total per exercise) were recorded at 100% of individual, predetermined, 12-repetition maximum for leg extensions (LE) and seated arm curls (AC). Repeated-measures analyses of variance were used for between-trial comparisons.

Caffeine resulted in significantly greater (p <>or= 5 repetitions) for total repetitions, with 53% exceeding the effect size (>or= 2 repetitions) for repetitions in set 1 with caffeine (vs. placebo). In AC, 53% (total repetitions) and 47% (set 1 repetitions) of participants exceeded effect sizes with caffeine (vs. placebo), with only 13% experiencing decrements in performance (total repetitions). Aspirin also produced a higher PPI and RPE overall and in set 1 (vs. placebo).

Conclusion: This study demonstrates that caffeine significantly enhanced resistance training performance in leg extensions and arm curls, whereas aspirin did not. Athletes may improve their resistance training performance by acute ingestion of caffeine. As with most ergogenic aids, our analyses indicate that individual responses vary greatly.

My notes:
The caffeine dose used here is on the higher end and comes out to be about 600 mg for an adult male around my size (about 21o lbs), which is about 3-4 standard cups of coffee.

It showed that caffeine at this dose for this protocol did help performance.

Ironically, asprin INCREASED the percieved pain and RPE (rating of percieved effort--the weights felt heavier) which is an odd finding.

See related posts below

More Caffeine!!

Caffeine and Testosterone--Is There a Connection?

Another Coffee Study and Caffeine Speeds Recovery?

Red Bull Will Give You a Stroke! What?

Update on Energy Drinks--Caffeine experts call for warning labels for energy drinks