Caffeine ingestion changes time-motion and technical-tactical aspects in simulated boxing matches: A randomized double-blind PLA-controlled crossover study

The number of offensive actions and glycolytic energy in combat sports both increase with caffeine (CAF) ingestion. In addition, the effects of CAF on technical-tactical and time-motion analysis and physiological parameters in boxing are unknown. This study aimed to investigate the effects of CAF ingestion on physiological parameters and the notational analysis of boxing matches. Ten male boxers were recruited; the participants ingested 6 mg kg−1 BM of CAF or placebo (PLA) 30 min prior to the match in a crossover design. Heart rate (HR) and rate of perceived exertion (RPE) were collected before and after each of three 2 min rounds, interspersed by 1-min recovery; the matches were recorded for notational analysis. A two-way ANOVA for repeated measures was used for the physiological variables, and a three-way ANOVA with repeated measures was used for technical-tactical and time-motion variables. Statistical differences were found for HR and RPE between rounds (F(6, 54) = 131.3, p = .001;  = 0.93 and F(2, 18) = 40.6, p = .001;  = 0.81, respectively) but not between conditions (F(1, 9) = 0.46; p = .51;  = 0.05 and F(1, 9) = 0.02, p = .89;  = 0.002, respectively). The CAF condition induced a greater duration of interaction blocks (CAF = 6.5 ± 1.8 s; PLA = 4.4 ± 0.9 s; p = .01). Effort:pause ratio was 4.4 s:8.7 s (approx. 1:2) for PLA and 6.5 s:9.4 s (1:1.44) for CAF, which were significantly different (p < .05). In conclusion, 6 mg kg−1 BM of CAF prior to simulated boxing matches induces a greater duration of high-intensity actions, with no effects on internal load markers.

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