Effects of caffeine on muscle signals measured with sEMG signals

(1) East Coweta High School, Sharpsburg, Georgia, (2) Sewon America, Inc., Lagrange, Georgia

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Caffeine is widely known for its ability to arouse the central nervous system. However, it is unclear whether caffeine can improve muscle performance. Previous studies have shown that caffeine has no significant effect on muscles during contraction. We conducted this experiment to determine if caffeine acts as a potential stimulant to the resting biceps, and unlike previous studies, ours was conducted on the resting human body after caffeine intake. The state of muscle was assessed with surface electromyography (sEMG), which non-invasively measures the muscle signals, or the level of electric activity of muscles. The sEMG results collected before caffeine intake and after 45 minutes of intake were compared to test the hypothesis that caffeine intake significantly changes the sEMG results. We also measured sEMG 10 hours after intake to investigate if there were any significant changes after caffeine is expected to be completely metabolized in the body and cleared from the bloodstream. We found that the average amplitudes were significantly increased in the sEMG 45 minutes after caffeine intake compared to before caffeine intake. Also, there were no significant changes in the sEMG 10 hours after caffeine intake, after most of the caffeine would have cleared from the bloodstream. We concluded that caffeine has significant potential to affect the resting biceps and suggest further research to study the contrasting outcomes from our experiments and previous research.

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