The results of this study do not support the contention these supplements enhance either muscle strength or anaerobic exercise performance.
But a reader disputes the validity of the results.
First, the details.
45 minutes after swallowing a glucose placebo, caffeine 300 mg, or caffeine 300 mg + ephedra 60 mg, 9 resistance-trained male athletes were tested for maximal strength by bench press.
They also performed a series of other tests.
And, the results.
The volunteers reported increased alertness and enhanced mood with caffeine and ephedra.
But there were no significant differences in muscle strength, muscle endurance, or peak anaerobic power.
The bottom line?
You might feel like you could lick the world. But in reality, the authors concluded, supplementation with ephedra or ephedra plus caffeine do not enhance either muscle strength or anaerobic exercise performance.
John Russo, Jr., PharmD, is president of The MedCom Resource, Inc. Previously, he was senior vice president of medical communications at www.Vicus.com, a complementary and alternative medicine website.