J. T. Ford, A. Olson PhD, RD, & M. Campos PhD,
College of St. Benedict, St. Joseph, MN

Pre-workout products are some of the most aggressively marketed supplements and typically contain caffeine, creatine and other proposed ergogenic ingredients. Research supporting these products and whether a combination of ingredients enhances anaerobic performance any better than caffeine alone is limited. Purpose: 1) To determine if a single dose of a National Science Foundation (NSF) safe pre-workout supplement is more effective than caffeine alone at enhancing anaerobic performance, and 2) To determine the knowledge and use of nutritional supplements by DIII football players. Methods: IRB approval and informed consents were obtained for this double-blind, crossover study. Players (n=12) were recruited to participate in the pre-workout supplement study comparing a placebo, caffeine only and pre-workout supplement (Extreme Edge Pre-workout formula). Subjects completed three anaerobic tests including: maximum repetition bench press test at 50% of max weight, a vertical jump test, and three electronically timed 40 yard sprints. A one-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) was used to determine significance of mean bench press reps, vertical jump heights and sprint times. An anonymous survey was administered electronically to a DIII football team to assess basic knowledge and use of nutritional supplements (n=96). Results: The pre-workout supplement did not statistically improve anaerobic performance in maximum bench reps [M= 18.3 reps, SD= 4.62, p = 0.941], average vertical jump height [M=26.36 inch, SD= 3.32, p = 0.973] or average sprint time [M=5.37 sec, SD= .488, p = 0.991]. Many football players (54.3%) report using nutritional supplements; 82.8% of the supplements were protein powder, 51.3% creatine, and 42.3% were pre-workout supplements. Despite widespread use, 34% of players did not know the role of creatine and 67% did not know the function of caffeine in the body. Conclusion: Many players use nutritional supplements; however, a single dose of the Extreme Edge Pre-workout Formula was not more effective than caffeine alone or placebo in enhancing anaerobic performance. Although single use of this pre-workout supplement did not improve performance, the effects of long term use were not determined. Based on the results of this study, the benefits of this product do not appear to be worth the high cost.

NACSM Professional Sponsor: Amy Olson

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