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Published Online: 7 April 2011

Gender Differences in Subjective and Physiological Responses to Caffeine and the Role of Steroid Hormones

Publication: Journal of Caffeine Research
Volume 1, Issue Number 1

Abstract

Background: We have shown previously that male and female adolescents differ in their responses to caffeine, but to date, the mechanisms underlying these gender differences are unknown.
Objective: The purpose of this study was to test the hypothesis that differences in circulating steroid hormones mediate gender differences in response to caffeine.
Methods: Subjective and physiological responses to caffeine were tested in adolescents using a double-blind, placebo controlled, crossover design. Participants were tested every 2 weeks for 8 weeks and received placebo and caffeine (2 mg/kg) twice each. Females were tested with placebo and caffeine in each phase of their menstrual cycle. Salivary concentrations of testosterone, estradiol, and progesterone were also measured.
Results: Males showed greater positive subjective effects than females. In females, higher levels of estradiol were associated with little or no subjective responses to caffeine, but lower levels of estradiol were associated with negative subjective responses to caffeine relative to placebo. There were gender differences in cardiovascular responses to caffeine, with males showing greater decreases in heart rate after caffeine administration than females, but females showing greater increases in diastolic blood pressure than males after caffeine administration. These gender differences may be related to steroid hormone concentrations. Blood pressure responses to caffeine were lower in males when estradiol was high, but higher in females when estradiol was high.
Conclusions: When taken together, these findings suggest that males and females differ in their responses to caffeine and that these differences may be mediated by changes in circulating steroid hormones.

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cover image Journal of Caffeine Research
Journal of Caffeine Research
Volume 1Issue Number 1March 2011
Pages: 41 - 48
PubMed: 24761262

History

Published online: 7 April 2011
Published in print: March 2011

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Jennifer L. Temple
Department of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences, School of Public Health and Health Professions, University at Buffalo, Buffalo, New York.
Amanda M. Ziegler
Department of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences, School of Public Health and Health Professions, University at Buffalo, Buffalo, New York.

Notes

Address correspondence to:Jennifer L. Temple, Ph.D.Department of Exercise and Nutrition SciencesSchool of Public Health and Health ProfessionsUniversity at Buffalo3435 Main Street15 Farber HallBuffalo, NY 14214E-mail: [email protected]

Author Disclosure Statement

Neither author of this article has any conflicts of interest to report.

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