International Journal of Exercise Science 15(2): 645-654, 2022. The placebo effect of caffeine has been poorly investigated in endurance exercise. Therefore, the aim of this study was to analyze the placebo effect of caffeine on 4 km running performance in amateur runners. Twenty-two healthy and recreational male runners (25.5 ± 8.4 yrs; 75.0 ± 7.1 kg; 173.7 ± 6.3 cm) underwent a deceptive experimental design consisting of three different sessions: a) control (CON) in which participants did not ingest any substance; b) placebo (PLA) in which participants ingested a capsule filled with maltodextrin but they were informed that they would receive caffeine; c) caffeine (CAF) in which participants were informed that they would receive caffeine and actually received caffeine. After 60 min for substances absorption, participants performed a 4-km test and they completed the distance as fast as possible. The time employed to cover the distance was lower in PLA (17.4 ± 1.5 min) and CAF (17.4 ± 1.4 min) than CON sessions (18.6 ± 2.8 min; P<0.05). There were no differences in the 4-km times between PLA and CAF (P>0.05) and no differences were reported between treatments for RPE (P>0.05). In conclusion, there was a placebo effect of caffeine on a 4-km maximal running trial which entailed that believing to have ingested caffeine improved performance to a similar extent than actually receiving caffeine. Therefore, the expectancy induced by caffeine may be one of the mechanisms behinds the ergogenic effect of this stimulant on endurance exercise.
Rohloff, Giovanna; Souza, Diego; Ruiz-Moreno, Carlos; Del Coso, Juan; and POLITO, MARCOS
"Stimulus Expectancy and Stimulus Response of Caffeine on 4-Km Running Performance: a Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled and Crossover Study,"
International Journal of Exercise Science: Vol. 15
2, Pages 645 - 654.
Available at: https://digitalcommons.wku.edu/ijes/vol15/iss2/6