No effect of nutritional adenosine receptor antagonists on exercise performance in the heat

Samuel N. Cheuvront, Brett R. Ely, Robert W. Kenefick, Bozena B. Michniak-Kohn, Jennifer C. Rood, Michael N. Sawka

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

58 Scopus citations


Nutritional adenosine receptor antagonists can enhance endurance exercise performance in temperate environments, but their efficacy during heat stress is not well understood. This double-blinded, placebo-controlled study compared the effects of an acute dose of caffeine or quercetin on endurance exercise performance during compensable heat stress (40°C, 20-30% rh). On each of three occasions, 10 healthy men each performed 30-min of cycle ergometry at 50% V̇O2peak followed by a 15-min performance time trial after receiving either placebo (Group P), caffeine (Group C; 9 mg/kg), or quercetin (Group Q; 2,000 mg). Serial blood samples, physiological (heart rate, rectal, and mean skin body temperatures), perceptual (ratings of perceived exertion, pain, thermal comfort, motivation), and exercise performance measures (total work and pacing strategy) were made. Supplementation with caffeine and quercetin increased preexercise blood concentrations of caffeine (55.62 ± 4.77 μM) and quercetin (4.76 ± 2.56 μM) above their in vitro inhibition constants for adenosine receptors. No treatment effects were observed for any physiological or perceptual measures, with the exception of elevated rectal body temperatures (0.20-0.30°C; P < 0.05) for Group C vs. Groups Q and P. Supplementation did not affect total work performed (Groups P: 153.5 ± 28.3, C: 157.3 ± 28.9, and Q: 151.1 ± 31.6 kJ; P > 0.05) or the self-selected pacing strategy employed. These findings indicate that the nutritional adenosine receptor antagonists caffeine and quercetin do not enhance endurance exercise performance during compensable heat stress.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)R394-R401
JournalAmerican Journal of Physiology - Regulatory Integrative and Comparative Physiology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2009

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Physiology
  • Physiology (medical)


  • Caffeine
  • Central fatigue
  • Dietary supplements
  • Quercetin
  • Thermoregulation


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