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ABSTRACT: This study examined the impact of caffeine ingestion on field hockey skill performance following high-intensity fatigue. Thirteen male hockey players (mean age = 21.1 ± 1.2 years) performed hockey sprint dribble and ball handling tests at rest and after a bout of total body fatigue (90% maximal capacity) following caffeine (5 mg kg(-1)) or placebo ingestion. Sprint dribble times were slower postfatigue compared with rest but were significantly faster postfatigue with caffeine compared with postfatigue with placebo ingestion (P < 0.01). Ball handling scores were higher at rest compared with postfatigue, but scores postfatigue were higher following caffeine than placebo ingestion (P < 0.01). Rating of perceived exhaustion (RPE) was lower (P < 0.01) and readiness to invest physical (P < 0.01) and mental effort (P = 0.01) were significantly higher in the caffeine condition. Caffeine ingestion may therefore be effective in offsetting decrements in skilled performance associated with fatigue.
Research in Sports Medicine An International Journal 01/2012; 20(1):25-36.