The Effect of Ergogenic Supplements and Mediterranean Diet on Cycling Performance. Differences According to Duration and Intensity.


Aims: To record the prevalence and the type of supplement use among cyclists and to estimate the effect of caffeine, carbohydrates, energy drinks and meddiet score on 200m and 4km cycling time-trial performances in a Greek sample.

Methods: Fifty male cycling athletes aged 32±20 years participated in a randomized, double-blind study. The subjects were submitted to anthropometric measurements and body composition was assessed with bioelectrical impedance. All participants completed the meddiet Score questionnaire and a validated questionnaire about their ergogenic aids’ preference. The athletes performed two cycling trials (200m and 4km) and their records were taken down and were evaluated according to their consumption of caffeine, carbohydrates and energy drinks and their meddiet score. For the statistical analysis SPSS, v20 was used.

Results: Greek cyclists had a mean BMI value of 23.65±2.74 and a mean body fat percentage of 15.82±8.33. Endurance and speed performances were improved with caffeine consumption when compared to no consumption (7.42±3.92min vs 12.5±3.16min, p<0.001 and 20.75±15.69sec vs 34.07±16.25sec, p<0.05, respectively), as well as with energy drinks’ consumption (8.77±4.15min vs 13.25±2.47min, p<0.001 and 20.35±14.08sec vs 39.14±14.38sec, p<0.001, respectively). Carbohydrates’ intake improved performance in the endurance test (7.60±3.72min vs 12.86±2.92min, p<0.001), but did not have a positive influence in the speed test (25.73±18.68sec vs 33.08±15.95sec, p>0.05).

Conclusions: Ergogenic aids had a positive effect on the athletic performance in terms of speed and endurance in cyclists. 

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