The effects of caffeine on rugby passing accuracy while performing the Reactive Agility Test
Aim.—Caffeine has been observed to improve performance of high-intensity and endurance exercise, but its effects on passing accuracy and reactive agility seen in intermittent high intensity team sports such as rugby and hockey are unclear. The purpose of this investigation was to determine the effect of ingesting caffeine on passing accuracy and agility speed before and after a simulated rugby protocol (SRP). Methods.—Nine male amateur rugby union players volunteered to participate in the study. The first visit participants undertook the multistage fitness test to estimate maximal oxygen consumption levels. On the second and third visits, a passing accuracy test (PAT) was undertaken which involved a modified reactive agility speed test that pressured the participants to pass into a target at the end of each run pre and post the 40-minute SRP. Participants ingested either 6 mg.kg.bw−1 of caffeine (CAF) or a placebo (PL) 60 minutes prior to the start of the SRP. Results.—CAF maintained sprint speed after the SRP whereas it decreased during PL trial. However, there were no effect of CAF on PAT scores (P > 0.05) nor was there an effect on RPE (P > 0.05). The results of the study lend some support to findings illustrating beneficial effect of caffeine ingestion before a simulated rugby protocol.