Caffeine improves performance indicators in female volleyball athletes

The randomised, double-blind, crossover study, published in the journal Nutrients​, assessed the effect of supplementing with 5 mg/kg body weight caffeine over one week of training.

The authors from Spain found that the impact of caffeine intake improved the well-being, physical performance and perception of fatigue in the women’s volleyball team athletes. 

Female-focused research needed 

Caffeine is often used in athletic performance as an ergogenic aid,​ with its popularity on the rise due to its effect on aerobic​ and anaerobic activities​, increasing strength and power capacity​ by enhancing intracellular calcium and Na+-K+ ATPase pump activity​ and delaying the onset of fatigue​ through activation of the central nervous system, which blocks the adenosine receptors​.

It has been well established​ that a range of supplementation with a dose of three to nine mg/kg body weight enhances athletic performance. And caffeine intake one hour before a training session has been shown to be an optimal strategy to enhance performance​ due to its fast absorption and plasma availability​. 

The authors noted that while previous volleyball studies​ have reported the effect of caffeine on jumping improvement, components such as agility and change of direction remain unclear​ and that more evidence is needed to determine the effect of caffeine on agility, especially in women’s volleyball.

“Caffeine has been proven to deliver positive outcomes in reducing perceived exertion​ and diminishing muscular soreness or damage​, although to a lesser degree than in men​,” they wrote. “And, a main undesirable aspect to consider regarding caffeine supplementation in athletes is that it could negatively affect sleep quality​, especially in women athletes because the effect of caffeine persists longer in women than in men​.