Nutrients. 2014 Feb 10;6(2):637-49. doi: 10.3390/nu6020637.
Caffeine reduces reaction time and improves performance in simulated-contest of taekwondo.
The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of caffeine on reaction time during a specific taekwondo task and athletic performance during a simulated taekwondo contest. Ten taekwondo athletes ingested either 5 mg·kg-1 body mass caffeine or placebo and performed two combats (spaced apart by 20 min). The reaction-time test (five kicks "Bandal Tchagui") was performed immediately prior to the first combat and immediately after the first and second combats. Caffeine improved reaction time (from 0.42 ± 0.05 to 0.37 ± 0.07 s) only prior to the first combat (P = 0.004). During the first combat, break times during the first two rounds were shorter in caffeine ingestion, followed by higher plasma lactate concentrations compared with placebo (P = 0.029 and 0.014, respectively). During the second combat, skipping-time was reduced, and relative attack times and attack/skipping ratio was increased following ingestion of caffeine during the first two rounds (all P < 0.05). Caffeine resulted in no change in combat intensity parameters between the first and second combat (all P > 0.05), but combat intensity was decreased following placebo (all P < 0.05). In conclusion, caffeine reduced reaction time in non-fatigued conditions and delayed fatigue during successive taekwondo combats.