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Abstract

The use of caffeine-containing (74-mg) energy patches (EnP) offers a novel mode of caffeine delivery that may alleviate stomach discomfort associated with oral caffeine use. The purpose of this study was to use four separate tests to evaluate the effects of EnP use on aerobic and anaerobic exercise performance. Three separate moderately active college-aged sample populations performed either 1) cycle time-to-exhaustion, 2) Wingate (WIN), or 3) repeated sprints and one repetition maximum bench press using EnP and placebo patches (PlP). No statistical differences were found between EnP and PlP for all dependent variables (p > 0.05) except for WIN peak power, which showed a statistically significant decrease (p = 0.04). The dose of caffeine topically applied via an EnP may not have been enough to elicit an ergogenic effect on exercise performance. A dose greater than 74-mg caffeine may be needed to produce an ergogenic effect. Further research is needed to investigate the delivery kinetics of transdermal caffeine in large dosages along with blood caffeine concentrations during and after exercise.