For decades endurance athletes, who rely on their aerobic energy systems, have been using caffeine as an ergogenic aid to increase the time it takes to reach exhaustion. The purpose of this research article was to determine if there is a difference between the ergogenic effects of caffeine on endurance trained and untrained individuals.
The results confirmed that the Trained Group did in fact have a significantly higher aerobic capacity than the Untrained Group and that both the Trained and Untrained groups seemed to show improvements in time to exhaustion with caffeine consumption rather than the placebo trials. However, while caffeine trials averaged a longer time to exhaustion, no comparison of the groups and trials showed a statistically significant improvement in time to exhaustion.
This study is one of few to research caffeine’s effect on time to exhaustion (TTE) in both trained and untrained individuals. While the researchers showed no statistically significant ergogenic aid provided by caffeine consumption, the results averaged times did show improvement. When considering the implications of this study it is important to remember that the small sample size and duration of exercise may have limited the outcome of the research.
It is also important not to forget that the main purpose of the study was to address how caffeine consumption benefited untrained individuals compared to trained individuals. Despite the statistically insignificant results, the Caffeine Trial (which consumed 5mg/kg body weight of caffeine) of the Untrained Group did perform better than the Placebo Trail, and showed an even greater increase in TTE than the trained group. This is promising, and more research should be done to test caffeine as an ergogenic aid in untrained individuals to build upon these results.