Caffeine is a popular ergogenic aid, potentially enhancing performance in high-intensity power movements like jumping. The World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) removed caffeine from its banned list, but the National Collegiate Athletic Association (NCAA) restricts caffeine intake (5 mg/kg). Past research has examined the effects of caffeine supplementation on vertical jumping performance, since comprises reliable physical fitness test, but mixed results were reported. PURPOSE: This study examined the effects of caffeine at the NCAA limit on vertical jump performance in real-world training conditions. METHODS: Forty collegiate Division II athletes (Male = 22) from sports like basketball, volleyball, soccer, tennis, cross country, and softball during real-life training conditions participated in a single-blind, randomized, crossover design. They consumed either caffeine (5 mg/kg) or placebo, followed by 60-minute waiting period and a standardized warm-up. Three squat (SJ) and 3 countermovement jumps (CMJ) were performed on a Noraxon AMTI force platform. Jump height (m) was calculated using the fight time method. The average of the 3 respective jumps was used for statistical analysis. Normality of the data was evaluated by Kolmogorov-Smirnov and a paired t-test in Jamovi vs 2.4.14 (p < .05) was used to compare the differences in SJ and CMJ between placebo and caffeine conditions. RESULTS: In comparison with placebo (μplacebo – μcaffeine ≠ 0), caffeine consumption did not improve SJ (t39 = -.32, p = .75, μdiff = -.01 95%CI [-.01, .01], d = -.05, 95%CI [-.36, .26]) nor CMJ (t39 = -1.32, p = .20, μdiff = -.01 95%CI [-.02, .00], d = -.21, 95%CI [-.52, .11]) vertical jump performance. CONCLUSION: Consuming caffeine at the NCAA limit did not enhance vertical jump performance in a large sample of Division II athletes during real-life training. These findings may inform the NCAA to consider revising its caffeine regulations to align with evidence-based WADA guidelines.



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