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Current Cardiology Reviews


ISSN (Print): 1573-403X
ISSN (Online): 1875-6557


Impact of Caffeine Intake Strategies on Heart Rate Variability during Post-Exercise Recovery: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

Author(s): Bianca Araujo Almeida*, Anderson Pontes Morales, José Ricardo Claudino Ribeiro, Felipe Sampaio-Jorge, Yasmin Garcia Ribeiro, Thiago Barth and Beatriz Gonçalves Ribeiro

Volume 20, Issue 3, 2024

Published on: 14 March, 2024

Article ID: e140324227991 Pages: 14

DOI: 10.2174/011573403X289842240307114736

Price: $65


Objectives: The objective of this systematic review and meta-analysis is to evaluate the influence of caffeine (CAF) intake strategies, taking into account their form, timing, and dosage, on heart rate variability (HRV) indices in the post-exercise recovery period.

Methods: The meta-analysis adhered to the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis (PRISMA) guidelines and is registered in the PROSPERO database (CRD42023425885). A comprehensive literature search was carried out across MEDLINE, Web of Science, LILACS, and SCOPUS, concluding in May 2023. We concentrated on randomized clinical trials comparing CAF supplementation effects to placebo on HRV indices post-exercise in active adults aged 18 and above. The primary endpoint was the assessment of HRV indices, measured both prior to and following exercise.

Results: Of the 10 studies included, 7 were used for the meta-analysis, and all contributed to the systematic review. The research explored a variety of CAF strategies, spanning different forms (capsule, drink, gum), times (10, 45, 60 min) and doses (2.1 to 6.0 mg/kg). The outcomes revealed no substantial variations between the placebo and CAF conditions in terms of both the square root of the average of successive squared differences between adjacent RR intervals (RMSSD) (standardized mean difference (SMD) -0.03, 95% CI -0.265 to 0.197, p=0.77) and high frequency (HF) index (SMD -0.061, 95% CI -0.272 to 0.150, p=0.57). Furthermore, metaregression analysis, employing a fixed-effects model and accounting for the administered CAF doses, revealed no significant correlation between caffeine doses and HRV indices (p>0.05).

Conclusion: In conclusion, there is moderate-certainty evidence suggesting that different CAF intake strategies, encompassing aspects such as form, time, and dose, do not have a significant impact on HRV indices recovery post-exercise (i.e., vagal modulation).

Keywords: Dietary supplements, caffeine, metabolism, heart rate, autonomic nervous system, exercise.

Graphical Abstract
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