Competitive athletes completed two studies of 2-h steady-state (SS) cycling at 70% peak O2uptake followed by 7 kJ/kg time trial (TT) with carbohydrate (CHO) intake before (2 g/kg) and during (6% CHO drink) exercise. In Study A, 12 subjects received either 6 mg/kg caffeine 1 h preexercise (Precaf), 6 × 1 mg/kg caffeine every 20 min throughout SS (Durcaf), 2 × 5 ml/kg Coca-Cola between 100 and 120 min SS and during TT (Coke), or placebo. Improvements in TT were as follows: Precaf, 3.4% (0.2–6.5%, 95% confidence interval); Durcaf, 3.1% (−0.1–6.5%); and Coke, 3.1% (−0.2–6.2%). In Study B, eight subjects received 3 × 5 ml/kg of different cola drinks during the last 40 min of SS and TT: decaffeinated, 6% CHO (control); caffeinated, 6% CHO; decaffeinated, 11% CHO; and caffeinated, 11% CHO (Coke). Coke enhanced TT by 3.3% (0.8–5.9%), with all trials showing 2.2% TT enhancement (0.5–3.8%; P < 0.05) due to caffeine. Overall,1) 6 mg/kg caffeine enhanced TT performance independent of timing of intake and 2) replacing sports drink with Coca-Cola during the latter stages of exercise was equally effective in enhancing endurance performance, primarily due to low intake of caffeine (∼1.5 mg/kg).
Cox, G., Desbrow, B., Anderson, M., Bruce, C., Macrides, T., Moquin, A., Hawley, J., & Burke, L. (2002). Effect of different protocols of caffeine intake on metabolism and endurance performance. Journal of Applied Physiology, 93(3), 990-999. https://doi.org/10.1152/japplphysiol.00249.2002