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Caffeine doesn’t appear on the doping list, pseudoephedrine, on the other hand, does. Endurance athletes who think that illegal pseudo-ephedrine will enhance their performance better than legal coffee are making a big mistake, say sports scientists from the University of Western Australia in the International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism. The researchers tested both substances on 10 well-trained male cyclists and triathletes.

Caffeine doesn’t appear on the doping list, pseudoephedrine, on the other hand, does. Endurance athletes who think that illegal pseudo-ephedrine will enhance their performance better than legal coffee are making a big mistake, say sports scientists from the University of Western Australia in the International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism. The researchers tested both substances on 10 well-trained male cyclists and triathletes.

Caffeine doesn’t appear on the doping list, pseudoephedrine, on the other hand, does. Endurance athletes who think that illegal pseudo-ephedrine will enhance their performance better than legal caffeine are making a big mistake, say sports scientists from the University of Western Australia in the International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism. The researchers tested both substances on 10 well-trained male cyclists and triathletes.

A number of studies have recently published negative results on pseudoephedrine. A few weeks ago we wrote about another human study which showed that pseudoephedrine had no effect as a doping substance. That study also happened to be done in Australia. One theory is that the vasoconstrictive effect of pseudoephedrine cancels out its stimulatory effect.

On three different occasions the researchers gave their subjects: a placebo, 200 mg caffeine or 180 mg pseudoephedrine. To be precise: the men were given a dose of 2.5 mg caffeine or 2.3 mg pseudoephedrine per kg bodyweight.

All subjects also consumed caffeine daily in the form of coffee, tea or energy drinks. The researchers asked the men to stop doing this for the 48 hours before the experiment started.

One hour after ingestion the men had to do a timed 40-km ride on an ergometer.

The researchers discovered that giving the subjects pseudoephedrine had no performance enhancing effect whatsoever. Nor did their power [in other words their speed] increase after taking pseudoephedrine either. This did happen after ingesting caffeine, although the effect was not statistically significant.

1

Pseudoephedrine didn’t reduce the amount of time the men needed to complete the 40-km ride. Caffeine did reduce the time, but once again the effect was not statistically significant

2

“These results favorably show that the effects of the legal stimulant caffeine are likely better than that of the banned substance pseudoephedrine”, the researchers conclude. “Hence, an adverse finding of pseudoephedrine misuse in athletes may not have incurred a performance gain any better than that achievable via legal means.”

A comparison of caffeine versus pseudoephedrine on cycling time-trial performance.

Spence AL, Sim M, Landers G, Peeling P.

Abstract

Both caffeine (CAF) and pseudoephedrine (PSE) are proposed to be central nervous system stimulants. However, during competition, CAF is a permitted substance, whereas PSE is a banned substance at urinary levels >150 ?g · ml(-1). As a result, this study aimed to compare the effect of CAF versus PSE use on cycling time trial (TT) performance to explore whether the legal stimulant was any less ergogenic than the banned substance. Here, 10 well-trained male cyclists or triathletes were recruited for participation. All athletes were required to attend the laboratory on four separate occasions–including a familiarization trial and three experimental trials, which required participants to complete a simulated 40 km (1,200 kJ) cycling TT after the ingestion of either 200 mg CAF, 180 mg PSE or a nonnutritive placebo (PLA). The results showed that the total time taken and the mean power produced during each TT was not significantly different (p > .05) between trials, despite a 1.3% faster overall time (~57 s) after CAF consumption. Interestingly, the time taken to complete the second half of the TT was significantly faster (p < .05) in CAF as compared with PSE (by 99 s), with magnitude based inferences suggesting a 91% beneficial effect of CAF during the second half of the TT. This investigation further confirms the ergogenic benefits of CAF use during TT performances and further suggests this legal CNS stimulant has a better influence than a supra-therapeutic dose of PSE.

PMID: 23578950 [PubMed - in process]

Source: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/23578950

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