Influence of acute consumption of caffeine vs. placebo over Bia-derived measurements of body composition: A randomized, double-blind, crossover design

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Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition


Background: Bioelectrical impedance analysis (BIA) is often used to estimate total body water (TBW), intracellular body water (ICW), extracellular body water (ECW), and body fat percentage (BF%). A common restriction for BIA analysis is abstinence from caffeine 12-h prior to testing. However, research has yet to determine whether the consumption of caffeine influences BIA testing results. The purpose of this study was to determine if the consumption of caffeine influences BIA-derived BF% and body water values in habitual caffeine users. Methods: Twenty apparently healthy males (26.6 ± 4.1 years) identified as habitual caffeine consumers (≥ one 95 mg serving per day ≥ four days per week) participated in this study. Participants came to the lab on three occasions, the first visit serving as the control (CON) with no supplementation. The remaining two visits were performed in a randomized double-blind, cross-over fashion. Participants consumed 200 mg of dextrose (PLA) or caffeine (CAF) in capsule form. During each visit, seven multi-frequency BIA measurements were conducted before (PRE) and after (15-min, 30-min, 45-min, 60-min, 75-min, 90-min) consumption. Results: Repeated measures ANOVA revealed BF% for CAF was lower than the CON and PLA conditions at PRE and 15-min (p < 0.001, p = 0.004), but not statistically significant for the remaining time points (i.e., 30-, 45-, 60-, 75-, and 90-min). However, the effect size (ES) of the BF% differences were trivial. The CON, PLA, and CAF conditions had higher PRE ICW values than their associated post time points (i.e., 15-, 30-, 45-, 60-, 75-, and 90-min). Similar to BF%, ES of the mean differences for ICW were trivial. No other differences were observed. Conclusion: Caffeine consumption in habitual users produced trivial changes in TBW, ECW, ICW, or BF%. Therefore, the pre-testing guidelines for caffeine consumption may not be necessary in habitual caffeine consumers.



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