Acute influence of caffeinated commercially available energy drinks on performance, perceived exertion and blood lactate in youth female water polo players Energy drinks on performance of water polo players

Main Article Content

Hamid Arazi
Sara Rakhshanfar
Ehsan Eghbali
Katsuhiko Suzuki


energy drink; water polo; muscle strength; blood lactate


The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of a commercially available energy drink (ED) on performance indicators, rating of perceived exertion (RPE) and blood lactate in youth female water polo players. Sixteen young Water Polo players (players in the league and national competitions) volunteered to participate in a double-blind repeated-measures crossover counterbalanced research. They ingested 6 ml/kg body weight of Red Bull (RB) or a placebo (PL) with the same appearance and taste. Fifteen minutes after ingestion, they performed following tests: strength or one repetition maximum (1RM) and 60% of 1RM in the chest press and leg press, 50 m and 100 m swimming test, running-based anaerobic sprint test (RAST) and aerobic test. Also, before and after aerobic test and RAST, 5 ml blood from antecubital vein was taken from participants to measure plasma lactate. In addition, participants’ RPE scales (15-point scale ranging from six (extremely light) to twenty (extremely hard)) were filled out before and after the aerobic and anaerobic tests. In comparison to the PL, the ingestion of ED reduces 50 m and 100 m swim record (Δ-change=-5.34, Δ-change=-5.85, P˂0.001; respectively) and increased aerobic (Δ-change=2.55, P˂0.001) and anaerobic performance (peak power: Δ-change=21.68, P=0.02; average power: Δ-change=24.04, P=0.03; fatigue index: Δ-change=0.98, P=0.003). The ingestion of the ED did not increase the muscular endurance in the bench press and leg press tests (P=0.59, P=0.35; respectively); Also, no differences were found in bench press strength between the two drink conditions (P=0.30). On the contrary, significance differences were found in leg press strength (Δ-change=2.56, P=0.03) and RPE post aerobic and anaerobic test between ED and PL (Δ-change=-0.72, P=0.04; Δ-change=-0.25, P=0.02; respectively). In contrast, blood lactate levels during the post exercise were unaffected by the ED ingestion (P=0.56, P=0.12; respectively). The intake of an ED (6 ml/kg body weight) increased some performance indicators and positively affected swimming at maximal speed. It seems that Red Bull ingestion may have a positive effect on water polo athletes’ performance due to significant impact on their aerobic and anaerobic metabolism.


Download data is not yet available.
Abstract 38 | PDF Downloads 13


1. Jeffries O, Hill J, Patterson SD, Waldron M. Energy drink doses of caffeine and taurine have a null or negative effect on sprint performance. J. Strength Cond. Res. 2017; 1.
2. WHO/Europe. Energy drinks cause concern for health of young people. Available at: disease.
3. Laquale KM. Red Bull: The other energy drink and its effect on performance. Athlet. Ther. Today. 2007; 12: 43-45.‏
4. Astorino TA, Roberson DW. Efficacy of acute caffeine ingestion for short-term high-intensity exercise performance: a systematic review. J. Strength Cond. Res. 2010; 24: 257-265.‏
5. Warren GL, Park ND, Maresca RD, McKibans KI, Millard-Stafford ML. Effect of caffeine ingestion on muscular strength and endurance: a meta-analysis. Med. Sci. Sports Exerc. 2010; 42: 1375-1387.‏
6. Balshaw TG, Bampouras TM, Barry TJ, Sparks SA. The effect of acute taurine ingestion on 3-km running performance in trained middle-distance runners. Amino acids. 2013; 44: 555-561.‏
7. Hansen SH, Andersen ML, Birkedal H, Cornett C, Wibrand F. The important role of taurine in oxidative metabolism. Adv. Exp. Med. Biol. 2006; 583:129–35.
8. Spriet LL, Whitfield J. Taurine and skeletal muscle function. Curr. Opin. Clin. Nutr Metab. Care. 2015; 18: 96-101.
9. Eckerson JM, Bull AJ, Baechle TR, Fischer CA, O’brien DC, Moore GA, Pulverenti TS. Acute ingestion of sugar-free red bull energy drink has no effect on upper body strength and muscular endurance in resistance trained men. J. Strength Cond. Res. 2013; 27: 2248-2254.
10. Del Coso J, Ramírez JA, Muñoz G, Portillo J, Gonzalez-Millán C, Muñoz V, Muñoz-Guerra J. Caffeine-containing energy drink improves physical performance of elite rugby players during a simulated match. Appl. Physiol. Nutr. Metab. 2012; 38: 368-374.
11. Del Coso J, Portillo J, Muñoz G, Abián-Vicén J, Gonzalez-Millán C, Muñoz-Guerra J. Caffeine-containing energy drink improves sprint performance during an international rugby sevens competition. Amino acids. 2013; 44: 1511-1519.
12. Chtourou H, Trabelsi K, Ammar A, Shephard RJ, Bragazzi NL. Acute Effects of an “Energy Drink” on Short-Term Maximal Performance, Reaction Times, Psychological and Physiological Parameters: Insights from a Randomized Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled, Counterbalanced Crossover Trial. Nutrients. 2019; 11: 992.
13. Ivy JL, Kammer L, Ding Z, Wang B, Bernard JR, Liao YH, Hwang J. Improved cycling time-trial performance after ingestion of a caffeine energy drink. Int. J. Sport Nutr. Exerc. Met. 2009; 19: 61-78.
14. Astorino TA, Matera AJ, Basinger J, Evans M, Schurman T, Marquez R. Effects of red bull energy drink on repeated sprint performance in women athletes. Amino acids. 2012; 42: 1803-1808.
15. Cox GR, Mujika I, Van den Hoogenband CR. Nutritional recommendations for water polo. Int. J. Sport Nutr. Exerc. Met. 2014; 24: 382-391.
16. Tan F, Polglaze T, Dawson B. Activity profiles and physical demands of elite women's water polo match play. J. Sports Sci. 2009; 27: 1095-1104.‏
17. Rodríguez FA. Physiological Testing of Swimmers and Water Polo Players in Spain. Med. Sport Sci. 1994; 39: 172-177.‏
18. Brzycki M. Strength testing-Predicting a one-rep max from a reps-to-fatigue. J. Phys. Health Edu. Recreat. 1993; 64: 88-90.
19. Zagatto AM, Beck WR, Gobatto CA. Validity of the Running Anaerobic Sprint Test for assessing anaerobic power and predicting short-distance performances. J. Strength Cond. Res. 2009; 23: 1820–1827.
20. American Alliance for Health, Physical Education and Recreation. Health Related Physical Fitness Test Manual. Washington, DC. 1980.
21. Borg GA. Perceived exertion: a note on” history” and methods. Med. Sci. Sport. Exerc. 1973; 5: 90-3.
22. Ellis PD. The essential guide to effect sizes: Statistical power, meta-analysis, and the interpretation of research results. Cambridge University Press.‏ 2010.
23. Cohen J. Statistical Power Analysis for the Behavioral Sciences. 2nd ed. Hillsdale: Routledge. 1988.
24. Prins PJ, Goss FL, Nagle EF, Beals K, Robertson RJ, Lovalekar MT, Welton GL. Energy Drinks Improve Five-Kilometer Running Performance in Recreational Endurance Runners. J. Strength Cond. Res. 2016; 30: 2979-2990.
25. Burke LM. Caffeine and sports performance. Appl. Physiol. Nutr. Metab. 2008; 33: 1319-1334.
26. Ganio MS, Klau JF, Casa DJ, Armstrong LE, Maresh CM. Effect of caffeine on sport-specific endurance performance: a systematic review. J. Strength Cond. Res. 2009; 23: 315-324.
27. Goldstein ER, Ziegenfuss T, Kalman D, Kreider R, Campbell B, Wilborn C, Wildman R. International society of sports nutrition position stand: caffeine and performance. J. Int. Soc. Sports Nutr. 2010; 7: 5.‏
28. Waldron M, Patterson SD, Tallent J, Jeffries O. The effects of an oral taurine dose and supplementation period on endurance exercise performance in humans: a meta-analysis. Sports. Med. 2018; 48: 1247-1253.
29. Del Coso J, Muñoz-Fernández VE, Muñoz G, Fernández-Elías VE, Ortega JF, Hamouti N, Muñoz-Guerra J. Effects of a caffeine-containing energy drink on simulated soccer performance. PloS one. 2012; 7: e31380.
30. Arazi H, Najafdari A, Eghbali E. Effect of Big Bear energy drink on performance indicators, blood lactate levels and rating of perceived exertion in elite adolescent female swimmers. Prog. Nutr. 2016; 18: 403-410.‏
31. Rutherford JA, Spriet LL, Stellingwerff T. The effect of acute taurine ingestion on endurance performance and metabolism in well-trained cyclists. Int. J. Sport Nutr. Exerc. Met. 2010; 20: 322-329.
32. Graham TE. Caffeine and exercise. Sports Med. 2001; 31: 785-807.
33. Forbes SC, Candow DG, Little JP, Magnus C, Chilibeck PD. Effect of Red Bull energy drink on repeated Wingate cycle performance and bench-press muscle endurance. Int. J. Sport Nutr. Exerc. Met. 2007; 17: 433-444.
34. Dragoo KR, Silvers WM, Johnson KE, Gonzalez EA. Effects of a caffeine-containing transdermal energy patch on aerobic and anaerobic exercise performance. Int. J. Exerc. Sci. 2011; 4: 7.‏
35. Souza DB, Del Coso J, Casonatto J, Polito MD. Acute effects of caffeine-containing energy drinks on physical performance: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Eur. J. Nutr. 2017; 56: 13-27.
36. Lim ZX, Singh A, Leow ZZX, Arthur PG, Fournier PA. The Effect of Acute Taurine Ingestion on Human Maximal Voluntary Muscle Contraction. Med. Sci. Sports Exerc. 2018; 50: 344–352.
37. Graham TE, Spriet LL. Metabolic, catecholamine, and exercise performance responses to various doses of caffeine. J. Appl. Physiol. 1995; 78: 867-874.
38. Tarnopolsky M, Cupido C. Caffeine potentiates low frequency skeletal muscle force in habitual and nonhabitual caffeine consumers. J. Appl. Physiol. 2000; 89: 1719-1724.
39. Owens DS. Lifestyle Modification: Diet, Exercise, Sports, and Other Issues. In Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. Springer, Cham.‏ 2019.
40. Woolf K, Bidwell WK, Carlson AG. The effect of caffeine as an ergogenic aid in anaerobic exercise. Int. J. Sport Nutr. Exerc. Met. 2008; 18: 412-429.
41. Arnaud MJ, Welsch C. Theophylline and caffeine metabolism in man. In Theophylline and other Methylxanthines/Theophyllin und andere Methylxanthine. Vieweg+ Teubner Verlag, Wiesbaden. 1982.
42. Ghandforoush-Sattari M, Mashayekhi S, Krishna CV, Thompson JP, Routledge PA. Pharmacokinetics of oral taurine in healthy volunteers. J. Amino Acids. 2010; 346237: 2010.
43. Davis JK, Green JM. Caffeine and anaerobic performance. Sports. Med. 2009; 39: 813-832.
44. Brunyé TT, Mahoney CR, Lieberman HR, Taylor HA. Caffeine modulates attention network function. Brain. Cognition. 2010; 72: 181-188.
45. Guttierres APM, Alfenas RDC, Gatti K, Lima JRP, Silva ÂA, Natali AJ, Marins JCB. Metabolic effects of a caffeinated sports drink consumed during a soccer match. Motriz: J. Phys. Ed. 2013; 19: 688-695.
46. Doherty M, Smith PM. Effects of caffeine ingestion on rating of perceived exertion during and after exercise: a meta‐analysis. Scand J. Med. Sci. Sports. 2005; 15: 69-78.
47. Santos V, Santos V, Felippe L, Almeida JrJ, Bertuzzi R, Kiss M, Lima-Silva A. Caffeine reduces reaction time and improves performance in simulated-contest of taekwondo. Nutrients. 2014; 6: 637-649.
48. da Silva LA, Tromm CB, Bom KF, Mariano I Pozzi B, da Rosa GL, Cassiano W. Effects of taurine supplementation following eccentric exercise in young adults. Appl. Physiol. Nutr Metab. 2013; 39: 101-104.‏
49. Weltman A. The blood lactate response to exercise. Human kinetics. 1995.