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Power Output

Power Output is the ability to procure a large amount of strength in a rapid manner, and considered both muscular and neural factors. Supplements that increase power output are of interest to atheltes and strength enthusiasts.

Our evidence-based analysis on power output features 36 unique references to scientific papers.

Research analysis led by Kamal Patel.
All content reviewed by the Examine.com Team. Published: Apr 19, 2013
Last Updated:

Frequently Asked Questions about Power Output

Are energy drinks bad for you?
Case studies have linked energy drinks to adverse effects, especially on the cardiovascular system, but the overall risk of something bad happening is low and context-dependent.

Human Effect Matrix

The Human Effect Matrix looks at human studies (it excludes animal and in vitro studies) to tell you what supplements affect power output
Grade Level of Evidence
Robust research conducted with repeated double-blind clinical trials
Multiple studies where at least two are double-blind and placebo controlled
Single double-blind study or multiple cohort studies
Uncontrolled or observational studies only
Level of Evidence
? The amount of high quality evidence. The more evidence, the more we can trust the results.
Outcome Magnitude of effect
? The direction and size of the supplement's impact on each outcome. Some supplements can have an increasing effect, others have a decreasing effect, and others have no effect.
Consistency of research results
? Scientific research does not always agree. HIGH or VERY HIGH means that most of the scientific research agrees.
grade-a Strong Very High See all 66 studies
Creatine is the reference compound for power improvement, with numbers from one meta-analysis to assess potency being "Able to increase a 12% improvement in strength to 20% and able to increase a 12% increase in power to 26% following a training regiment using creatine monohydrate".
grade-a - Moderate See all 12 studies
Limited evidence supports the increase in power output, which may be due to chance; more often than not, there is no significant influence
grade-a - Moderate See all 28 studies
Although technically an increase in average power output may occur during exercise associated with the 'burn' (metabolic acidosis) to the degree of 1-2%, saying this is an inherent or reliable increase in power would be misleading; it is an attenuation of the decrease in power that acidosis is able to induce
grade-b Notable Very High See all 9 studies
There appears to be a reliable and significant increase in power output (both weight lifting as well as cycle ergometer measurements) in both trained and sedentary persons with doses of caffeine exceeding 5mg/kg, assuming the subject is not caffeine tolerant. Tolerance, or lower doses of caffeine, are not as effective.
grade-b - Very High See all 5 studies
No significant effect on acute power output.
grade-b - Very High See all 5 studies
No interaction between chromium and strength gain in naive nor trained athletes.
grade-b - Very High See all 9 studies
For the most part and aside from one pilot study, there is no consistent or remarkable increase in power output seen with colostrum that is not replicated by whey. Protein, inherently, may increase power output when combined in the diet over longer periods though.
grade-b - Very High See all 3 studies
No significant improvement in power output has been noted with DHEA supplementation (studies mostly in older individuals)
grade-b - Moderate See all 5 studies
Highly mixed effects on power output, with mostly no significant influence but a possible increase in mean power output occurring in short-term anaerobic endurance exercise secondary to reducing the rate of perceived exertion
grade-b - High See all 7 studies
There appear to be isolated cases of power output being increased which fail to be replicated elsewhere under similar experimental conditions, and the majority of evidence suggests that the power output increase seen is no greater than placebo; a potential ergogenic effect is either due to a currently unknown prerequisite (ie. parameter of the study population) or is not present.
grade-b - High See all 3 studies
There doesn't seem to be an inherent effect of protein on power output, although it may augment training-induced power accural (an inherent effect of protein supplementation).
grade-c Notable - See study
The lone pilot study noted a 14% increase in power output as assessed by bench throws, requires replication but seems stronger than caffeine based on this study.
grade-c Notable Very High See all 4 studies
Improvements in power output have been noted in trained persons subject to a sprint test and in sedentary persons who simply took the supplement as well as untrained people who began strength training.
grade-c Notable - See study
Notable as acute power output (leg extension measurement) increased by 20-30% (more efficacy in untrained persons, some efficacy in trained persons) after 8 weeks whereas placebo failed to have an increase. Needs more research to fine-tune the efficacy.
grade-c Minor - See study
Acute ingestion of alcohol may be able to reduce subsequent power output
grade-c Minor - See study
An increase in power output is noted with clenbuterol usage
grade-c Minor - See study
150mg resveratrol taken shortly after a workout appears to hinder the improvements in power output (assessed via Wingate test) seen with exercise alone; effects of resveratrol at other times uncertain.
grade-c Minor - See study
Power output has been noted to be increased in sprint tests, which is thought to be secondary to pulmonary effects of terminalia
grade-c Minor - See study
An increase in power output on a Wingate test has been noted with theaflavins supplementation above 1,800mg daily; efficacy of lower doses is uncertain
grade-c Minor - See study
As measured by peak torque (isokinetically), ursolic acid supplementation may increase power output in trained individuals.
grade-c Minor Moderate See 2 studies
A lone study noted an increase in muscle torque associated with Velvet Antler supplementation, which needs to be replicated to see if it is a true effect.
grade-c - - See study
When tested after exercise, alanylglutamine is no different than water in jump performance in athletes
grade-c - - See study
Strength recovery over the course of three days recovery was not significantly improved by 6-12mg anatabine
grade-c - - See 2 studies
grade-c - Very High See 2 studies
No significant influence on power output
grade-c - - See study
grade-c - Moderate See 2 studies
Mixed effects on power output, but when it does occur it is not a per se increase in power output but secondary to reduced muscular soreness after repeated exercise. This may be more indicative of anti-fatigue effects than of genuine power output improvement
grade-c - - See study
Otherwise healthy trained men do not experience a further increase in power output relative to placebo when D-aspartic acid is taken alongside resistance training.
grade-c - - See study
No difference between improvements in power output between ecdysteroids and placebo
grade-c - - See study
No significant influence on power output with standard oral doses of ephedrine (higher doses may influence power output, but this is not well researched)
grade-c - - See study
No interactions with power output have been noted with gamma-oryzanol ingestion
grade-c - - See study
No significant influence on power output and strength associated with glutamine supplementation over placebo.
grade-c - - See study
No significant influence on power output when taken acutely before exercise
grade-c - - See study
Power output as assessed by jumping tasks and weightlifting is unaffected
grade-c - - See study
grade-c - - See study
Acute inhalation of marijuana failed to modify grip strength when tested compared to control.
grade-c - - See study
grade-c - - See study
No significant effect on acute power output
grade-c - - See study
No significant influence on power output noted with pyruvate supplementation in healthy athletes
grade-c - - See study
No significant influences on power output
grade-c - Very High See 2 studies
No significant alterations in power output associated with tribulus supplementation.
grade-c - Very High See 2 studies
Although a trend to increase power output has been noted, most research suggest no benefit, although recovery times may improve.
grade-c - - See study
No significant influence on power output noted with yohimbine
grade-d Minor - See study
A slight increase in power output has been noted, which may be secondary to increased training adaptations
grade-d - - See study
No apparent effect when used acutely before exercise with a cycle ergometer.


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