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Gaven Barker, Victor Alves, Lauren Killen, James M. Green, FACSM. University of North Alabama, Florence, AL.

Background: Soccer requires a large range of physical demands for high level performance and requires a unique set of physical demands due to a blend of aerobic and anaerobic energy system contributions. Studies on the effects of caffeine supplementation on soccer performance have largely focused on males completing soccer-specific drills. Females’ responses to caffeine may differ from males and drills may not mimic game play. Therefore, this study proposes to examine caffeine’s effects on physical performance and perceptual responses in simulated women’s NCAA D1 soccer competition. METHODS: Participants will be 27 NCAA D1 athletes (age 18 to 23). Participants will avoid caffeine for ≥ 24 hours before trials. The design will be a double blind, placebo controlled cross-over study. A total of four full length scrimmages will take place. The first two scrimmages will be two days apart, followed by the third and the fourth a week later also two days apart. Participants will be randomly assigned into two teams. Half the players on each team will consume caffeine (6 mg/kg body weight) for the first two games and the other half for the last two games, with a matched placebo administered in alternate trials. Capsules (caffeine and placebo) will be administered 1-hour prior to trials. Players will wear a TITAN GPS system tracking; distance traveled, speeds at ≥18.1 km, speeds at ≥21.6, total sprints, load, accelerations, decelerations, top speed, and sprint distance (mean and total). Heart rate will be monitored using a Polar Heart Rate Monitor. The Omni RPE scale will be used to estimate acute and session RPE, with the Perceived Recovery Scale used for subjective assessments of pre-exercise feelings of recovery. Repeated measures ANOVA will be used to assess differences between trials. ANTICIPATED RESULTS: Caffeine will have a positive effect on performance measures and mitigate acute and session RPE. PRS will be sensitive to total work in previous trials.

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