The effects of low-dose caffeine on perceived pain during a grip to exhaustion task.

This double-blind, placebo-controlled, within-subject experiment examined the effects of low-dose caffeine on pain reported during an exhaustive grip task. The grip task consisted of holding a metal block attached to standard Olympic weight plates with the arm at the side until the participants could no longer maintain their grip. Apparently healthy recreationally trained college-aged adults (men, n = 5; women, n = 5) were given either a piece of Stay Alert™ gum that delivered 85% of the effective dose of 100 mg of caffeine in 5 minutes or an identical placebo gum that contained no caffeine. Subsequently, pain perception and ratings of perceived exertion were recorded during an exhaustive grip task every 15 seconds and the overall time to exhaustion. No significant difference was found in time to exhaustion between treatments. A significant main effect of treatment for reported pain (p < 0.001, Φ = 0.377) was observed. Thus, in a population of recreationally trained college-aged adults, low-dose caffeine may attenuate the individual's perception of pain during a grip to exhaustion task.
AuthorsDavid Bellar, Gary H Kamimori, Ellen L Glickman
JournalJournal of strength and conditioning research / National Strength & Conditioning Association (J Strength Cond Res) Vol. 25 Issue 5 Pg. 1225-8 (May 2011) ISSN: 1533-4287 [Electronic] United States
PMID21522070 (Publication Type: Journal Article, Randomized Controlled Trial)
Chemical References
  • Caffeine
  • Adult
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Caffeine (administration & dosage)
  • Double-Blind Method
  • Female
  • Hand Strength (physiology)
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Muscle, Skeletal (drug effects, physiology)
  • Pain Perception (drug effects, physiology)
  • Pain Threshold (drug effects, physiology)
  • Physical Exertion (drug effects, physiology)
  • Reference Values
  • Young Adult

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