The effect of carbohydrate and caffeine mouth rinsing on kicking performance in competitive Taekwondo athletes during Ramadan

Pak I. E. , CUĞ M., Volpe S. L. , Beaven C. M.

JOURNAL OF SPORTS SCIENCES, vol.38, no.7, pp.795-800, 2020 (Journal Indexed in SCI) identifier identifier identifier

  • Publication Type: Article / Article
  • Volume: 38 Issue: 7
  • Publication Date: 2020
  • Doi Number: 10.1080/02640414.2020.1735033
  • Page Numbers: pp.795-800


Mouth rinsing has been proposed as a strategy to minimize performance decrements during Ramadan. We investigated the effect of 4 weeks of Ramadan on kicking performance in 27 Taekwondo athletes performing weekly Taekwondo Anaerobic Intermittent Kick Tests (TAIKT). The effects of a placebo, 6.4% glucose and 6-mg/kg caffeine mouth rinses on TAIKT performance and perceived exertion were investigated before, during weekly training sessions, and after Ramadan in a counterbalanced, crossover design. Ramadan had a significant negative impact on the percentage of successful kicks in Week 1 of Ramadan (pre: 76.7 +/- 0.4%, Week 1: 69.9 +/- 3.2%). The percentage of successful kicks was significantly greater in the caffeine mouth rinse condition compared to the glucose and placebo conditions during the first 3 weeks of Ramadan (caffeine: 38.3 +/- 6.8%, glucose: 36.4 +/- 6.9%, placebo: 36.0 +/- 6.5%). Caffeine decreased perceived exertion during Ramadan (0.74-1.15 AU, p>0.05). Our results showed that Ramadan had a significant negative effect on repeated high-intensity kicking efforts that should be considered when training and competing. Additionally, there were significant positive effects of a caffeine mouth rinse in a sport-specific test. These data suggest that athletes can consider mouth rinsing as a strategy to enhance performance when undertaking training or competition during a period of privation.