In this study, we investigated the effect of ingesting carbohydrate alone or with caffeine on performance of a rugby union-specific shuttle running protocol. On three occasions, at least one week apart in a counterbalanced trial order, eight male rugby union forwards ingested either placebo or carbohydrate (1.2g center dot kg-1 body mass center dot h-1) before and during a rugby union-specific protocol, with pre-exercise caffeine ingestion (4mg center dot kg-1) before one of the carbohydrate trials (carbohydrate+caffeine). The intermittent exercise protocol included walking, jogging, and cruising at pre-determined intensities, simulated contact events, a sustained high-intensity test of speed and agility (Performance Test), and a 15-m sprint. Ratings of perceived exertion (RPE) were recorded every 5min and a motor skills test was performed after each 21-min block. Performance Test times were not significantly different between trials but the likelihood of 2% improvements for carbohydrate+caffeine over placebo and carbohydrate were 98% and 44%, respectively. For carbohydrate+caffeine, 15-m sprints were faster than for placebo (P=0.05) and the motor skills test was performed faster in the carbohydrate+caffeine trial than the carbohydrate and placebo trials (P0.05), while RPE was lower in the carbohydrate+caffeine trial than the carbohydrate and placebo trials (P0.05). The results indicate a likely benefit to rugby performance following co-ingestion of carbohydrate and caffeine.
- team sport
- sports nutrition