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Volume: 38
Number: 4
Index: December 2010
Clinical Focus:Respiratory Care
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December 2010
Clinical Focus: Respiratory Medicine
  • Asthma and the athlete
    • Vocal cord dysfunction
    • Exercise-induced asthma
    • Exercise-induced bronchospasm
  • COPD
    • Obesity and COPD
    • Relationship between COPD and nutrition intake
  • Treatment options for steroid-induced osteoporosis in men
  • Treatments for asthma
    • Bronchodilators, anticholinergics
    • Corticosteroids
    • Metered-dose vs other types of inhalers
  • Respiratory infections in winter sports athletes
  • Asthma in elite athletes
  • Pulmonary rehabilitation and physical activity
  • Fitness and long-term oxygen therapy/lung transplantation
  • Airflow function and the metabolic syndrome
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doi: 10.3810/psm.2009.12.1747
The Physician and Sportsmedicine: Volume 37: No.4
The Effects of Caffeine on Ventilation and Pulmonary Function During Exercise:
An Often-Overlooked Response
Robert F. Chapman, PhD And Timothy D. Mickleborough, PhD, FACSM
Abstract: The effects of caffeine on exercise performance have been well documented, with most reviews focusing on the metabolic, hormonal, and/or central nervous system effects. However, caffeine’s effects on ventilation and pulmonary function are often overlooked. Studies have shown that caffeine is a strong ventilatory stimulant, increasing the sensitivity of the peripheral chemoreceptors in untrained subjects and increasing exercise ventilation at all workloads in highly trained endurance athletes. The consequences of increased exercise ventilation could hold either positive or negative effects for exercise performance. Anti-inflammatory and bronchoprotective effects of caffeine are great enough to consider its efficacy as a possible prophylactic antiasthma treatment. Although an upper urinary concentration limit exists for caffeine with international sports doping control agencies, caffeine’s universal accessibility in the marketplace has resulted in its daily use being increasingly more socially acceptable as an ergogenic substance for sport and exercise.

Keywords: caffeine; exercise; ventilation; pulmonary function

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