The purpose of this paper is to explore the effects of low doses of caffeine (<3 mg/kg) on jumping performance using a meta-analysis.
The search for eligible studies was performed through six databases, with additional backward and forward citation tracking. A random-effects meta-analysis was performed to compare the effects of caffeine vs placebo on jump height. The methodological quality of the included studies was appraised using the physiotherapy evidence database checklist.
Eight studies were included in the review. They were classified as good or excellent methodological quality. The pooled number of participants across all studies was 203. Four studies provided caffeine in relative doses, ranging from 1 to 2 mg/kg. Four studies provided caffeine supplementation in absolute doses of 80, 150 or 200 mg. The meta-analysis found that caffeine ingestion increased vertical jump height (Cohen’s d: 0.21; 95% confidence interval: 0.10, 0.31; p < 0.001; +3.5%).
The present meta-analysis found that caffeine doses of ∼1 to 2 mg/kg enhance jumping height. The effects observed herein are similar to those with higher caffeine doses, which is relevant as low caffeine doses produce minimal side effects. For most individuals, a caffeine dose of ∼1 to 2 mg/kg is equivalent to an amount of caffeine in an energy drink, one to two cups of coffee, one to two pieces of caffeinated chewing gum or several cups of green tea.
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