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Concept: Individual time trial


The purpose this study was to examine the effects of caffeine ingestion on performance and energy expenditure (anaerobic and aerobic contribution) during a 4-km cycling time trial (TT) performed after a carbohydrate (CHO) availability-lowering exercise protocol. After preliminary and familiarization trials, seven amateur cyclists performed three 4-km cycling TT in a double-blind, randomized and crossover design. The trials were performed either after no previous exercise (CON), or after a CHO availability-lowering exercise protocol (DEP) performed in the previous evening, followed by either placebo (DEP-PLA) or 5 of caffeine intake (DEP-CAF) 1 hour before the trial. Performance was reduced (-2.1%) in DEP-PLA vs CON (421.0±12.3 vs 412.4±9.7 s). However, performance was restored in DEP-CAF (404.6±17.1 s) compared with DEP-PLA, while no differences were found between DEP-CAF and CON. The anaerobic contribution was increased in DEP-CAF compared with both DEP-PLA and CON (67.4±14.91, 47. 3±14.6 and 55.3±14.0 W, respectively), and this was more pronounced in the first 3 km of the trial. Similarly, total anaerobic work was higher in DEP-CAF than in the other conditions. The integrated electromyographic activity, plasma lactate concentration, oxygen uptake, aerobic contribution and total aerobic work were not different between the conditions. The reduction in performance associated with low CHO availability is reversed with caffeine ingestion due to a higher anaerobic contribution, suggesting that caffeine could access an anaerobic “reserve” that is not used under normal conditions.

Concepts: Oxygen, Cellular respiration, Cycling, Caffeine, The Trial, Aerobic exercise, Anaerobic exercise, Individual time trial


BACKGROUND: Hypohydration and hyperthermia are factors that may contribute to fatigue and impairment of endurance performance. The purpose of this study was to investigate the effectiveness of combining glycerol hyperhydration and an established precooling technique on cycling time trial performance in hot environmental conditions. METHODS: Twelve well-trained male cyclists performed three 46.4-km laboratory-based cycling trials that included two climbs, under hot and humid environmental conditions (33.3 +/- 1.1[degree sign]C; 50 +/- 6% r.h.). Subjects were required to hyperhydrate with 25 body mass (BM) of a 4[degree sign]C beverage containing 6% carbohydrate (CON) 2.5 h prior to the time trial. On two occasions, subjects were also exposed to an established precooling technique (PC) 60 min prior to the time trial, involving 14 BM ice slurry ingestion and applied iced towels over 30 min. During one PC trial, 1.2 BM glycerol was added to the hyperhydration beverage in a double-blind fashion (PC+G). Statistics used in this study involve the combination of traditional probability statistics and a magnitude-based inference approach. RESULTS: Hyperhydration resulted in large reductions (-0.6 to -0.7[degree sign]C) in rectal temperature. The addition of glycerol to this solution also lowered urine output (330 ml, 10%). Precooling induced further small (-0.3[degree sign]C) to moderate (-0.4[degree sign]C) reductions in rectal temperature with PC and PC+G treatments, respectively, when compared with CON (0.0[degree sign]C, P<0.05). Overall, PC+G failed to achieve a clear change in cycling performance over CON, but PC showed a possible 2% (30 s, P=0.02) improvement in performance time on climb 2 compared to CON. This improvement was attributed to subjects' lower perception of effort reported over the first 10 km of the trial, despite no clear performance change during this time. No differences were detected in any other physiological measurements throughout the time trial. CONCLUSIONS: Despite increasing fluid intake and reducing core temperature, performance and thermoregulatory benefits of a hyperhydration strategy with and without the addition of glycerol, plus practical precooling, were not superior to hyperhydration alone. Further research is warranted to further refine preparation strategies for athletes competing in thermally stressful events to optimize health and maximize performance outcomes.

Concepts: Physiology, Thermoregulation, Temperature, Hyperthermia, Humidity, The Trial, Normal human body temperature, Individual time trial


Ryan, EJ, Kim, C-H, Fickes, EJ, Williamson, M, Muller, MD, Barkley, JE, Gunstad, J, and Glickman, EL. Caffeine gum and cycling performance: A timing study. J Strength Cond Res 27(1): 259-264, 2013-The purpose of this study was to determine the most efficacious time to administer caffeine (CAF) in chewing gum to enhance cycling performance. Eight male cyclists participated in 5 separate laboratory sessions. During the first visit, the subjects underwent a graded exercise test to determine maximal oxygen consumption (V[Combining Dot Above]O2max). During the next 4 visits, 3 pieces of chewing gum were administered at 3 time points (120-minute precycling, 60-minute precycling, and 5-minute precycling). In 3 of the 4 visits, at 1 of the time points mentioned previously, 300 mg of CAF was administered. During the fourth visit, placebo gum was administered at all 3 time points. The experimental trials were defined as follows: trial A (-120), trial B (-60), trial C (-5), and trial D (Placebo). After baseline measurements, time allotted for gum administration, and a standard warm-up, the participants cycled at 75% V[Combining Dot Above]O2max for 15 minutes then completed a 7-kJ·kg cycling time trial. Data were analyzed using a repeated measures analysis of variance. Cycling performance was improved in trial C (-5), but not in trial A (-120) or trial B (-60), relative to trial D (Placebo). CAF administered in chewing gum enhanced cycling performance when administered immediately prior, but not when administered 1 or 2 hours before cycling.

Concepts: Variance, Physical exercise, Exercise, Analysis of variance, VO2 max, Physical fitness, Chewing gum, Individual time trial


Many studies have examined the effect of caffeine on exercise performance, but findings have not always been consistent. The objective of this study was to determine whether variation in the CYP1A2 gene, which affects caffeine metabolism, modifies the ergogenic effects of caffeine in a 10-km cycling time trial.

Concepts: DNA, Genetics, Evolution, Effect, Exercise, Affect, Caffeine, Individual time trial


The purpose of the present study was to investigate the effects of caffeine ingestion on pacing strategy and energy expenditure during a 4000-m cycling time-trial (TT). Eight recreationally-trained male cyclists volunteered and performed a maximal incremental test and a familiarization test on their first and second visits, respectively. On the third and fourth visits, the participants performed a 4000-m cycling TT after ingesting capsules containing either caffeine (5 of body weight, CAF) or cellulose (PLA). The tests were applied in a double-blind, randomized, repeated-measures, cross-over design. When compared to PLA, CAF ingestion increased mean power output [219.1±18.6 vs. 232.8±21.4 W; effect size (ES)  = 0.60 (95% CI = 0.05 to 1.16), p = 0.034] and reduced the total time [419±13 vs. 409±12 s; ES = -0.71 (95% CI = -0.09 to -1.13), p = 0.026]. Furthermore, anaerobic contribution during the 2200-, 2400-, and 2600-m intervals was significantly greater in CAF than in PLA (p<0.05). However, the mean anaerobic [64.9±20.1 vs. 57.3±17.5 W] and aerobic [167.9±4.3 vs. 161.8±11.2 W] contributions were similar between conditions (p>0.05). Similarly, there were no significant differences between CAF and PLA for anaerobic work (26363±7361 vs. 23888±6795 J), aerobic work (68709±2118 vs. 67739±3912 J), or total work (95245±8593 vs. 91789±7709 J), respectively. There was no difference for integrated electromyography, blood lactate concentration, heart rate, and ratings of perceived exertion between the conditions. These results suggest that caffeine increases the anaerobic contribution in the middle of the time trial, resulting in enhanced overall performance.

Concepts: Statistical significance, Difference, Caffeine, Aerobic exercise, Anaerobic exercise, Isle of Man TT, Individual time trial, Time trial


This study verified if a prior five repetition maximum (5RM) strength exercise would improve the cycling performance during a 20-km cycling time trial (TT20km). After determination of the 5RM leg press exercise load, eleven trained cyclists performed a TT20km in a control condition and 10-min after 4 sets of 5RM strength exercise bouts (potentiation condition). Oxygen uptake, blood lactate concentration, ratings of perceived exertion (RPE) and power output data were recorded during the TT20km. Cycling economy index was assessed before the TT20km and pacing strategy was analyzed assuming a “J-shaped” power output distribution profile. Results were a 6.1% reduction (p < 0.05) in the time to complete the TT20km, a greater cycling economy (p < 0.01) and power output in the first 10% of the TT20km (i.e. trend; p= 0.06) in the potentiation condition. However, no differences were observed in pacing strategy, physiological parameters and RPE between the conditions. These results suggest that 5RM strength exercise bouts improve the performance in a subsequent TT20km.

Concepts: Economics, Cycling, Weight training, Performance, Output, Individual time trial, Leg press


We investigated if a carbohydrate (CHO) mouth rinse may attenuate global fatigue and improve 4-km cycling time trial (TT4km) performance. After a preliminary session, cyclists (n= 9) performed a TT4kmafter a CHO or placebo (PLA) mouth rinse. Mean power output, time, and ratings of perceived exertion (RPE) were recorded throughout the TT4km. Twitch interpolation responses (%VA; voluntary activation and ∆Tw; delta peak twitch torque) were compared pre and post TT4kmwith traditional statistics and effect size (ES) analysis. Time-to-complete the 4 km and mean power output were comparable between CHO (386.4 ± 28.0 s) and PLA (385.4 ± 22.4 s). A lower central (p =0.054) and peripheral (p =0.02) fatigue in CHO than in PLA were suggested by an extremely-large ES in %VA (manipulation main effect:p= 0.052,d =1.18; manipulation-by-time interaction effect:p= 0.08,d =1.00) and an extremely, very-large ES in ∆Tw (manipulation main effect:p= 0.07,d =0.97; time-by-manipulation interaction effect:p= 0.09,d =0.89). The RPE increased slower in CHO than in PLA (p= 0.051;d =0.7). The apparent reduction in global fatigue (central and peripheral) and RPESLOPEwith only one CHO mouth rinse were not translated into improved TT4kmperformance. Further tests may be required to verify if these likely differences in global fatigue might represent an edge in the short-lasting cycling time trial performance.

Concepts: Better, Improve, Performance, Effect size, Individual time trial


This project was designed to assess the effects of time of day and training status on the benefits of caffeine supplementation for cycling performance. Twenty male subjects (Age, 25 years; Peak oxygen consumption, 57 mL·kg(-1)·min(-1)) were divided into tertiles based on training levels, with top and bottom tertiles designated as ‘trained’ (n = 7) and ‘untrained’ (n = 7). Subjects completed two familiarization trials and four experimental trials consisting of a computer-simulated 3-km cycling time trial (TT). The trials were performed in randomized order for each combination of time of day (morning and evening) and treatment (6mg/kg of caffeine or placebo). Magnitude-based inferences were used to evaluate all treatment effects. For all subjects, caffeine enhanced TT performance in the morning (2.3% ± 1.7%, ‘very likely’) and evening (1.4% ± 1.1%, ‘likely’). Both untrained and trained subjects improved performance with caffeine supplementation in the morning (5.5% ± 4.3%, ‘likely’; 1.0% ± 1.7%, ‘likely’, respectively), but only untrained subjects rode faster in the evening (2.9% ± 2.6%, ‘likely’). Altogether, our observations indicate that trained athletes are more likely to derive ergogenic effects from caffeine in the morning than the evening. Further, untrained individuals appear to receive larger gains from caffeine in the evening than their trained counterparts.

Concepts: Time, Effectiveness, Training, Practice, Performance, Isle of Man TT, Koi Kaze, Individual time trial


The carbohydrate (CHO) concentration of a mouth rinsing solution might influence the CHO sensing receptors in the mouth, with consequent activation of brain regions involved in reward, motivation and regulation of motor activity. The purpose of the present study was to examine the effects of maltodextrin mouth rinsing with different concentrations (3%, 6% and 12%) after an overnight fast on a 20 km cycling time trial performance. Nine recreationally active, healthy males (age: 24 ± 2 years; V ˙ O 2 m a x : 47 ± 5 mL·kg(-1)·min(-1)) participated in this study. A double-blind, placebo-controlled randomized study was conducted. Participants mouth-rinsed every 2.5 km for 5 s. Maltodextrin mouth rinse with concentrations of 3%, 6% or 12% did not change time to complete the time trial and power output compared to placebo (p > 0.05). Time trial completion times were 40.2 ± 4.0, 40.1 ± 3.9, 40.1 ± 4.4, and 39.3 ± 4.2 min and power output 205 ± 22, 206 ± 25, 210 ± 24, and 205 ± 23 W for placebo, 3%, 6%, and 12% maltodextrin conditions, respectively. Heart rate, lactate, glucose, and rating of perceived exertion did not differ between trials (p > 0.05). In conclusion, mouth rinsing with different maltodextrin concentrations after an overnight fast did not affect the physiological responses and performance during a 20 km cycling time trial in recreationally active males.

Concepts: Present, Time, Physiology, Concentration, Starch, Placebo, Solution, Individual time trial


This study investigated the ergogenic effects of a commercial energy drink (Red Bull®) or an equivalent dose of anhydrous caffeine in comparison to a non-caffeinated control beverage on cycling performance. Eleven trained male cyclists (31.7±5.9yrs, 82.3±6.1kg, VO2 max=60.3±7.8mL·kg-1·min-1) participated in a double-blind, placebo-controlled and cross-over designed study involving three experimental conditions. Participants were randomly administered Red Bull® (9.4mL·kg-1 BM, containing 3mg·kg-1BM caffeine), anhydrous caffeine (3mg·kg-1 BM given in capsule form) or a placebo 90mins before commencing a time trial equivalent to 1hr cycling at 75% peak power output. Carbohydrate and fluid volumes were matched across all trials. Performance improved by 109±153s (2.8%, p=0.039) after Red Bull® compared with placebo and by 120±172s (3.1%, p=0.043) after caffeine compared with placebo. No significant difference (p>0.05) in performance time was detected between Red Bull® and caffeine treatments. There was no significant difference (p>0.05) in mean heart rate or rating of perceived exertion among the three treatments. This study demonstrated that a moderate dose of caffeine consumed as either Red Bull® or in anhydrous form enhanced cycling time trial performance. The ergogenic benefits of Red Bull® energy drink are therefore most likely due to the effects of caffeine, with the other ingredients not likely to offer additional benefit.

Concepts: Coffee, Placebo, Caffeine, Drink, Individual time trial