Effects on the Respiratory System

In caffeine-naive subjects, a dose of 4mgkg_1 increases the mean respiratory rate. This effect is not found in chronic caffeine ingestion. Several mechanisms have been suggested, such as an increase in pulmonary blood flow, an increased supply of air to the lungs due to the relaxation of bronchiolar and alveolar smooth muscle, an increase in sensitivity of the medullary respiratory center to carbon dioxide, stimulation of the central respiratory drive, an improved skeletal muscle contraction, and an increase in cardiac output.

At higher doses (7mgkg_1), caffeine ingested by trained volunteers alters ventilatory and gas exchange kinetics during exercise, leading to a transient reduction in body carbon dioxide stores.

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