Researchers at the Sunderland University in the United Kingdom have come up with a more detailed study of the placebo effect in sports. During the latest research, 15 professional athletes dealing with endurance sports were examined. Athletes were tested at 1000m running on the racetrack after taking a placebo drink and during the second test after taking a caffeine supplement.

Placebo drink does not have any feature, it only causes a placebo effect that deceives the respondent and affects his psyche. On the test after taking caffeinated beverage, the progress in the results was 1.7% compared to the previous results. During the testing of athletes after taking a placebo drink, the progress in the results was also 1.7%. Before the test, athletes were told that the placebo drink contains caffeine in itself, which is not the case.

During this test, scientists tried to determine the difference between the expectations of the drink and its actual pharmacological effect. Layman would say, the results have shown that if an athlete believes he has taken a caffeine drink he will have a better result than if he is sure he did not take a caffeine drink. The results showed that the placebo effect is 1.7% strong, which does not mean that the effect of the caffeine supplement is 0%, but these results show that the effect of a caffeine supplement that an athlete consumes before the race is no greater than the effect of placebo.

These statements do not apply to sports events with a longer duration. For example, during the marathon race, the importance of caffeine will be very important because the placebo effect can not be achieved infinitely many times during a single race.

Either way, the role of caffeine in sports has been confirmed, how many percent of the established role of caffeine gets into the placebo effect is yet to be discovered.

U poslednjih nekoliko godina javlja se veliki interes za placebo efekat kako u sportu tako i u medicinskim naukama. Ljudski mozak je vrlo kompleksan i moćan, a nedovoljno istražen (manje od 20%). Da li će buduća saznanja o ulozi placeba u sportu dovesti do unapređenja sportskih rezultata ostaje da vidimo.

In the last few years there has been a great interest in the placebo effect both in sports and in medical science. The human brain is very complex and powerful, and insufficiently explored (less than 20%). Whether future knowledge about the role of placebo in sports will lead to the improvement of sports results remains to be seen.

Djordje Agbaba

🇬🇧Head coach at ‘Novi Sad’ swimming club, founder of ‘Science in sport’.

🇷🇸Glavni trener plivačkog kluba Novi Sad, osnivač ‘Nauka u sportu’.

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