Sport Drink Facts and Fictions Research Paper

Pages: 4 (1439 words)  ·  Bibliography Sources: 3  ·  File: .docx  ·  Level: College Junior  ·  Topic: Sports


Results: Compared to placebo (water), ingesting glucose are regular intervals during the steady state portion of the task significantly improved performance; however, the addition of caffeine did not improve performance significantly compared to glucose alone. Conclusions: The sample size was small and incompletely randomized. Another weakness in the study was the use of water as a placebo, which would not taste the same as the other two beverages. In addition, the cyclists were all caffeine users, so the effectiveness of caffeine would depend on how much caffeine the cyclists typically consumed. Despite these limitations the authors were able to show glucose supplementation increased performance by 4.6% compared to water alone. When caffeine and glucose were combined, the average performance improvement was 9.0%, but statistically the same as glucose alone. These results show that both glucose and caffeine are ergogenic in young, well-trained, male cyclists, but modestly so.

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TOPIC: Research Paper on Sport Drink Facts and Fictions Assignment

Purpose: Skinner and colleagues (2013) make the assumption that caffeine is ergogenic and therefore focus on the effect of caffeine ingestion timing on performance. Methods: The study subjects were 14 highly-trained male cyclists between the ages of 26 and 36 that were tasked to complete a 40 km time trial on a stationary cycle. The main question being addressed was whether performance was enhanced when caffeine was consumed 1 hour before the start of the time trial or consumed so that peak serum caffeine levels were reached at the beginning of the time trial. Peak serum caffeine levels were reached 120 and 150 minutes post-ingestion for 12 and 2 subjects, respectively. Each participant consumed (blinded) either a caffeine-filled gelatin tablet or placebo after randomization. The average amount of caffeine consumed was 452 mg per study subject based on body weight. Results: The main performance measure was time to completion and both caffeine conditions were faster, but only caffeine ingested 1 hour before time trial was significantly (p < 0.002) faster (2.0% or 70.5 seconds) than placebo. In terms of best individual performance, nine of the subjects achieved their best time when consuming caffeine 1 hour before the time trial and five when serum caffeine levels peaked at the beginning of the time trial. Conclusions: This was a randomized, double-blinded study with a sample size sufficient to detect small effects. However, the issue of habitual caffeine use by the study subjects was not addressed except by forbidding caffeine use for two days prior to the time trial. In addition, the relevance of this study would be limited to young, male, well-conditioned cyclists. Despite these limitations, caffeine does provide a significant performance edge in well-trained athletes.


The above studies reveal that carbohydrate and caffeine supplementation before and during intense physical exercise in young, well-conditioned athletes provide a measurable performance benefit. While this small ergogenic effect may be important for athletes in competitive events, it is unclear whether the same benefits are available to recreational and thus less fit athletes. If not, then spending money on sports drinks makes no sense unless the taste encourages recreational athletes to hydrate better. Until recreational athletes become the focus of sports drink supplementation research, the claims by these manufacturers are more hype than substance. Water, at least for recreational athletes, remains the best sports drink.


Clarke, N.D., Campbell, I.T., Drust, B., Evans, L., Reilly, T., and Maclaren, D.P.M. (2012). The ingestion of combined carbohydrates does not alter metabolic responses or performance capacity during soccer-specific exercise in the heat compared to ingestion of a single carbohydrate. Journal of Sports Sciences, 30(7), 699-708.

Coca Cola Co. (2013). Powerade. Give your game some flavor. Retrieved 3 Apr. 2013 from

Hulston, Carl J. And Jeukendrup, Asker E. (2008). Substrate metabolism and exercise performance with caffeine and carbohydrate intake. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, 40(12), 2096-2104.

PepsiCo. (2013). G-Series. O2 Perform. Hydration to help replace what you sweat out. Retrieved 2 Apr. 2013 from

Red Bull GmbH. (n.d.). Wings when you need them. Retrieved 3 Apr. 2013 from

Sawka, Michael N., Burke, Louise M., Eichner, E. Randy, Maughan, Ronald J., Montain, Scott J. And Stachenfield, Nina S. (2007). American College of Sports Medicine position stand: Exercise and fluid replacement. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise,… [END OF PREVIEW] . . . READ MORE

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How to Cite "Sport Drink Facts and Fictions" Research Paper in a Bibliography:

APA Style

Sport Drink Facts and Fictions.  (2013, April 5).  Retrieved August 1, 2021, from

MLA Format

"Sport Drink Facts and Fictions."  5 April 2013.  Web.  1 August 2021. <>.

Chicago Style

"Sport Drink Facts and Fictions."  April 5, 2013.  Accessed August 1, 2021.