Caffeine and Exercise: Metabolism and Performance

School of Human Biology, University of Guelph, Ontario.
Canadian journal of applied physiology = Revue canadienne de physiologie appliquée (Impact Factor: 1.3). 07/1994; 19(2):111-38. DOI: 10.1139/h94-010
Source: PubMed


Caffeine ingestion prior to prolonged exercise delays fatigue. However, the mechanisms involved are very unclear. Caffeine is associated with elevated plasma epinephrine but the metabolic impact of this is uncertain. Glycogen sparing occurs in active muscle, at least in the first few minutes, but studies have generally failed to demonstrate enhanced fat metabolism. The demethylation of caffeine by the hepatic cytochrome P-450 oxygenases begins within minutes and dimethylxanthines (especially paraxanthine) are generated. These compounds appear in the plasma within an hour of caffeine ingestion and may have effects on tissues that have been attributed to caffeine and/or epinephrine. While the most widely supported theory is that caffeine and other methylxanthines are adenosine receptor antagonists, this action alone cannot explain all of the observed responses. Nevertheless, habituation to and withdrawal from caffeine are associated with up and down regulation of adenosine receptors. One study demonstrated marked differences in the effects of caffeine on the plasma concentrations of epinephrine and dimethylxanthines between caffeine users and nonusers. Caffeine is clearly a very active drug that has many effects on humans including increasing exercise endurance. This can be associated with muscle glycogen sparing and elevated plasma epinephrine, but the underlying mechanisms are unknown.

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Available from: Terry Graham, Jun 16, 2014
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    • "If confirmed, the theory of striated urethral and/or pelvic muscular fatigue in SUI may lead to a reconsideration of the conservative management of SUI, especially for programs of pelvic floor electrostimulation, since nutritional status, musculature fiber type, and stimulation frequency directly affect muscular fatigue. Moreover, the use of drugs such as caffeine that limit neuromuscular fatigue [16] should be discussed. "
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    ABSTRACT: The physiology of urinary continence during stress is complex and the role of passive and active mechanisms remains unclear. Coughing leads to a contraction of urethral rhabdomyosphincter and pelvic floor muscles leading to a positive urethro-vesical gradient and continence. Neuromuscular fatigue can involve all striated muscles, including rhabdomyosphincter, peri-urethral and pelvic floor muscles. This article reviews results of studies assessing perineal muscular fatigue in urinary incontinence. A systematic review of the literature (Medline, Pascal and Embase) with use of the MESH keywords fatigue, stress, urinary incontinence, pelvic floor, urethra, urethral pressure, and muscle. Animal models have shown that the pelvic muscles (iliococcygeus and pubococcygeous) exhibit more neuromuscular fatigue than classical skeletal striated muscles (i.e. soleus muscle). Although the human external urethral sphincter is considered to be a highly fatigue-resistant muscle with its high proportion of slow muscle fibers, repeated coughing seems to lead to decreased urethral pressure in numerous women affected with stress urinary incontinence. In this case, "urethral fatigue" might be a possibility. Although few studies have focused on perineal muscular fatigue, such increased fatigue in pelvic floor muscles may play a role in the pathophysiologic features of stress urinary incontinence in women.
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    • "Effects of caffeine on performance. There are several recent and comprehensive reviews of the effects of caffeine on exercise performance and a detailed review of the literature will not be attempted here (Dodd et al. 1993; Graham et al. 1994; Spriet, 1997). There are a number of studies showing bene®cial effects of caffeine ingestion on a variety of laboratory tests of endurance performance. "
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    ABSTRACT: The use of nutritional supplements in sport is widespread and few serious athletes do not, at some stage in their career, succumb to the temptation to experiment with one or more nutritional supplements. Nutritional ergogenic aids are aimed primarily at enhancing performance (either by affecting energy metabolism or by an effect on the central nervous system), at increasing lean body mass or muscle mass by stimulation of protein synthesis and at reducing body fat content. Although not strictly ergogenic (i.e. capable of enhancing work performance), supplements aimed at increasing resistance to infection and improving general health are seen by athletes as important in reducing the interruptions to training that minor illness and infection can cause. Creatine is perhaps the most widely used supplement in sport at the moment. Supplementation can increase muscle creatine phosphate levels and, although not all published studies show positive results, there is much evidence that performance of short-term high-intensity exercise can be improved by supplementation. Ingestion of large doses of bicarbonate can enhance performance of exercise where metabolic acidosis may be a limiting factor, but there is a significant risk of adverse gastrointestinal side effects. Caffeine can also improve performance, in part by a stimulation of fatty acid mobilization and sparing of the body's limited carbohydrate stores, but also via direct effects on muscle and possibly by central nervous system effects on the perception of effort and fatigue. Carnitine plays an essential role in fatty acid oxidation in muscle but, although supplements are used by athletes, there is no good evidence of a beneficial effect of supplementation. None of these products contravenes the International Olympic Committee regulations on doping in sports, although caffeine is not permitted above a urine concentration of 12 mg/l. Supplementation is particularly prevalent among strength and power athletes, where an increase in muscle mass can benefit performance. Protein supplements have not been shown to be effective except in those rare cases where the dietary protein intake is otherwise inadequate. Individual amino acids, especially ornithine, arginine and glutamine, are also commonly used, but their benefit is not supported by documented evidence. Cr and hydroxymethylbutyrate are also used by strength athletes, but again there are no well-controlled studies to provide evidence of a beneficial effect. Athletes use a wide variety of supplements aimed at improving or maintaining general health and vitamin and mineral supplementation is widespread. There is a theoretical basis, and limited evidence, to support the use of antioxidant vitamins and glutamine during periods of intensive training, but further evidence is required before the use of these supplements can be recommended.
    Preview · Article · Jan 2000 · Nutrition Research Reviews

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