Caffeine is a central nervous system stimulant that reduces fatigue and drowsiness. At normal doses, caffeine has variable effects on learning and memory, but it generally improves reaction time, wakefulness, concentration, and motor coordination. The amount of caffeine needed to produce these effects varies from person to person, depending on body size and degree of tolerance. The desired effects arise approximately one hour after consumption, and the desired effects of a moderate dose usually subside after about three or four hours.
A systematic review and meta-analysis from 2014 found that concurrent caffeine and l-theanine use has synergistic psychoactive effects that promote alertness, attention, and task switching; these effects are most pronounced during the first hour post-dose.
Caffeine is a proven ergogenic aid in humans.[ Caffeine improves athletic performance in aerobic (especially endurance sports) and anaerobic conditions. Moderate doses of caffeine (around 5 mg/kg) can improve sprint performance, cycling and running time trial performance, endurance (i.e., it delays the onset of muscle fatigue and central fatigue), and cycling power output. Caffeine increases basal metabolic rate in adults.
Caffeine improves muscular strength and power, and may enhance muscular endurance. Caffeine also enhances performance on anaerobic tests. Caffeine consumption before constant load exercise is associated with reduced perceived exertion. While this effect is not present during exercise-to-exhaustion exercise, performance is significantly enhanced. This is congruent with caffeine reducing perceived exertion, because exercise-to-exhaustion should end at the same point of fatigue.Caffeine also improves power output and reduces time to completion in aerobic time trials,[ an effect positively (but not exclusively) associated with longer duration exercise.