Quick Navigation

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.
Notes
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.

References

  1. Wiggers D, et al. Use and Perceptions of Caffeinated Energy Drinks and Energy Shots in Canada. Am J Prev Med. (2017)
  2. Stephens MB, et al. Energy drink and energy shot use in the military. Nutr Rev. (2014)
  3. Malinauskas BM, et al. A survey of energy drink consumption patterns among college students. Nutr J. (2007)
  4. Utter J, et al. Energy drink consumption among New Zealand adolescents: Associations with mental health, health risk behaviours and body size. J Paediatr Child Health. (2017)
  5. Hammond D, Reid JL. Exposure and perceptions of marketing for caffeinated energy drinks among young Canadians. Public Health Nutr. (2018)
  6. Emond JA, Sargent JD, Gilbert-Diamond D. Patterns of energy drink advertising over US television networks. J Nutr Educ Behav. (2015)
  7. Francis J, et al. Informing Intervention Strategies to Reduce Energy Drink Consumption in Young People: Findings From Qualitative Research. J Nutr Educ Behav. (2017)
  8. Hammond D, Reid JL, Zukowski S. Adverse effects of caffeinated energy drinks among youth and young adults in Canada: a Web-based survey. CMAJ Open. (2018)
  9. Scholey AB, Kennedy DO. Cognitive and physiological effects of an "energy drink": an evaluation of the whole drink and of glucose, caffeine and herbal flavouring fractions. Psychopharmacology (Berl). (2004)
  10. Giles GE, et al. Differential cognitive effects of energy drink ingredients: caffeine, taurine, and glucose. Pharmacol Biochem Behav. (2012)
  11. Temple JL, et al. The Safety of Ingested Caffeine: A Comprehensive Review. Front Psychiatry. (2017)
  12. Faber MS, Jetter A, Fuhr U. Assessment of CYP1A2 activity in clinical practice: why, how, and when?. Basic Clin Pharmacol Toxicol. (2005)
  13. Rétey JV, et al. A genetic variation in the adenosine A2A receptor gene (ADORA2A) contributes to individual sensitivity to caffeine effects on sleep. Clin Pharmacol Ther. (2007)
  14. Alsene K, et al. Association between A2a receptor gene polymorphisms and caffeine-induced anxiety. Neuropsychopharmacology. (2003)
  15. Malik VS, Schulze MB, Hu FB. Intake of sugar-sweetened beverages and weight gain: a systematic review. Am J Clin Nutr. (2006)
  16. Bray GA, Popkin BM. Dietary sugar and body weight: have we reached a crisis in the epidemic of obesity and diabetes?: health be damned! Pour on the sugar. Diabetes Care. (2014)
  17. Seifert SM, et al. An analysis of energy-drink toxicity in the National Poison Data System. Clin Toxicol (Phila). (2013)
  18. Miles-Chan JL, et al. The blood pressure-elevating effect of Red Bull energy drink is mimicked by caffeine but through different hemodynamic pathways. Physiol Rep. (2015)
  19. Grasser EK, et al. Energy Drinks and Their Impact on the Cardiovascular System: Potential Mechanisms. Adv Nutr. (2016)
  20. Di Rocco JR, et al. Atrial fibrillation in healthy adolescents after highly caffeinated beverage consumption: two case reports. J Med Case Rep. (2011)
  21. Shen J, et al. Dietary factors and incident atrial fibrillation: the Framingham Heart Study. Am J Clin Nutr. (2011)
  22. Hanan Israelit S, Strizevsky A, Raviv B. ST elevation myocardial infarction in a young patientafter ingestion of caffeinated energy drink and ecstasy. World J Emerg Med. (2012)
  23. Kaoukis A, et al. Reverse Takotsubo cardiomyopathy associated with the consumption of an energy drink. Circulation. (2012)
  24. Rottlaender D, et al. Cardiac arrest due to long QT syndrome associated with excessive consumption of energy drinks. Int J Cardiol. (2012)
  25. Berger AJ, Alford K. Cardiac arrest in a young man following excess consumption of caffeinated "energy drinks". Med J Aust. (2009)
  26. Benjo AM, et al. Left main coronary artery acute thrombosis related to energy drink intake. Circulation. (2012)
  27. Jonjev ZS, Bala G. High-energy drinks may provoke aortic dissection. Coll Antropol. (2013)
  28. Gaskins AJ, et al. Pre-pregnancy caffeine and caffeinated beverage intake and risk of spontaneous abortion. Eur J Nutr. (2016)
  29. Silva CG, et al. Adenosine receptor antagonists including caffeine alter fetal brain development in mice. Sci Transl Med. (2013)
  30. Knutti R, Rothweiler H, Schlatter C. The effect of pregnancy on the pharmacokinetics of caffeine. Arch Toxicol Suppl. (1982)
  31. Ruxton CH. The suitability of caffeinated drinks for children: a systematic review of randomised controlled trials, observational studies and expert panel guidelines. J Hum Nutr Diet. (2014)
  32. Alford C, Cox H, Wescott R. The effects of red bull energy drink on human performance and mood. Amino Acids. (2001)
  33. Howard MA, Marczinski CA. Acute effects of a glucose energy drink on behavioral control. Exp Clin Psychopharmacol. (2010)
  34. van den Eynde F, et al. The effects of energy drinks on cognitive performance. Tijdschr Psychiatr. (2008)
  35. Roehrs T, Roth T. Caffeine: sleep and daytime sleepiness. Sleep Med Rev. (2008)
  36. Souza DB, et al. Acute effects of caffeine-containing energy drinks on physical performance: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Eur J Nutr. (2017)