Senior Honors Projects, 2010-2019

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.

Date of Graduation

Spring 2014

Document Type


Degree Name

Bachelor of Science (BS)


Department of Kinesiology


Nicholas D. Luden

Christopher J. Womack

Michael J. Saunders


Purpose: Caffeine ingestion is widely accepted for its ergogenic properties. Recent evidence suggests that mouth rinsing with caffeine prior to exercise can improve short duration sprint performance. The purpose of this study was to examine whether the benefits of caffeine mouth rinsing can be extended to include sustained high intensity performance and whether a caffeine rinse can provide additive value to the performance benefits of caffeine intake (i.e. caffeine ingestion plus caffeine rinse > caffeine ingestion). Methods: 25 recreational cyclists performed six separate 3-km time trials (2 familiarization and 4 treatment trials), each trial separated by 3-7 days. Subjects were given a combination of caffeine and placebo capsules (6mg/kg body weight taken one hour prior to trial) and mouth-rinses (1.2% weight/volume administered immediately prior). Thus, the treatments were: PLA-PLA, PLA-CAF, CAF-CAF, CAF-PLA (capsule- mouth-rinse). Treatments were provided in a randomized, counterbalanced, double blind, placebo controlled fashion. Magnitude-based qualitative inferences were applied to evaluate treatment differences. Results: Caffeine ingestion led to better cycling performance, as CAF-CAF and CAF-PLA treatments both ‘likely’ improved performance time by 1.4% and 1.7% compared to PLA-PLA, while also improving average power output. The effects of the caffeine mouth-rinse on 3-km time trial performance were unclear compared to placebo conditions. Conclusion: Caffeine ingestion enhanced short, high intensity cycling time trial performance, while the caffeine mouth-rinse had unclear effects. Collectively, these data confirm that caffeine ingestion is useful as an ergogenic aid for high intensity cycling, while a caffeine mouth-rinse does not appear to have similar ergogenic effects.



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