Caffeine has been shown to improve endurance performance but does it have an effect on VO2 max? VO2 max refers to the amount of oxygen that can be utilized during exercise and is a way of measuring aerobic fitness.
Since caffeine has a physiological effect on endurance performance it is not likely that it would impact VO2 max. To test its effect, the researchers had 9 cyclists perform three intervals and measured their cycling time to exhaustion, peak power, VO2 max and RPE (rate of perceived exertion) for 3 conditions: no caffeine control, Placebo perceived as caffeine and caffeine.
The results indicate that there is a difference in cycling time to exhaustion for the placebo and caffeine compared to the control, as well as increased power and RPE. There was no difference in VO2 max and their did not appear to be a difference between the placebo or caffeine.
Brietzke, C., Asano, R. Y., De Russi De Lima, F., ..., Pires, F.O. (2017). Caffeine effects on VO2 max test outcomes investigated by a placebo perceived as caffeine design. Nutritional Health, 23(4).
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