Exogenous caffeine ingestion does not increase plantarflexor torque in older or younger men
Journal of Aging and Physical Activity
School of Medical and Health Sciences
Aging is associated with neurodegeneration and a loss of muscle function, especially in lower-limb muscles. While caffeine may augment muscle force generation through multiple effects on the central nervous system, no studies have yet compared the effects of caffeine on force-generating capacity between younger and older men, who might respond differently due to age-related changes in the structures on which caffeine acts. In a double-blind, controlled trial, 22 younger (25 ± 5 years) and 21 older (68 ± 6 years) men were tested for isometric plantarflexor torque on two separate days (2–7 days apart) before and 60 min after ingesting 3 mg/kg (∼2 cups of coffee) of caffeine or placebo. No effects of caffeine ingestion on peak torque or rate of torque development were detected in either older or younger men. Therefore, 3 mg/kg of caffeine may not acutely counteract age-related decreases in force capacity of the functionally important plantarflexor muscles.