The Effect of Caffeine on Exercise Perception
MetadataShow full item record
Caffeine is widely consumed and considered the most highly used psychoactive substance in the world, and consumption of caffeine results in physiological, psychological, and behavioral effects. Research in regard to caffeine and physical activity or athletic performance is done almost exclusively in trained individuals. Therefore, there is little understanding of caffeine's effect in sedentary or lightly active individuals. The purpose of this study was to test the hypothesis that low to moderate doses of caffeine will improve positive perception of exercise – specifically increased liking and decreased perceived exertion – in sedentary and lightly active adults. This study will test a second hypothesis that caffeine supplementation will increase the duration of self-regulated exercise in the same target population. Participants completed eight study sessions including consumption of a sports drink (placebo or caffeine condition), engaging in treadmill walking, and completing assessment questionnaires. Caffeine had a significant effect on exercise liking in females, significantly increased self-regulated exercise bout duration, and significantly improved "crankiness" ratings pre-/post-exercise. These findings suggest that caffeine at low doses may be an effective agent in improving participation in physical activity, specifically in females.