Exercising with reserve: evidence that the central nervous system regulates prolonged exercise performance

Swart, J., Lamberts, R. P., Lambert, Mike I., St Clair Gibson, Alan, Lambert, Estelle, Skowno, Justin and Noakes, Timothy (2009) Exercising with reserve: evidence that the central nervous system regulates prolonged exercise performance. British Journal of Sports Medicine, 43 (10). pp. 782-788. ISSN 0306-3674

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Official URL: http://dx.doi.org/10.1136/bjsm.2008.055889


OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study was to measure the effects of an amphetamine (methylphenidate) on exercise performance at a fixed rating of perceived exertion of 16. METHODS: Eight elite cyclists ingested 10 mg methylphenidate in a randomised, placebo-controlled crossover trial. RESULTS: Compared with placebo, subjects receiving methylphenidate cycled for approximately 32% longer before power output fell to 70% of the starting value. At the equivalent time at which the placebo trial terminated, subjects receiving methylphenidate had significantly higher power outputs, oxygen consumptions, heart rates, ventilatory volumes and blood lactate concentrations although electromyographic activity remained unchanged. The ingestion of a centrally acting stimulant thus allowed subjects to exercise for longer at higher cardiorespiratory and metabolic stress indicating the presence of a muscular reserve in the natural state.
CONCLUSIONS: This suggests that endurance performance is not only "limited" by mechanical failure of the exercising muscles ("peripheral fatigue"). Rather performance during prolonged endurance exercise under normal conditions is highly regulated by the central nervous system to ensure that whole-body homeostasis is protected and an emergency reserve is always present.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: C600 Sports Science
Department: Faculties > Health and Life Sciences > Sport, Exercise and Rehabilitation
Depositing User: EPrint Services
Date Deposited: 08 Mar 2011 09:08
Last Modified: 31 Jul 2021 08:38
URI: http://nrl.northumbria.ac.uk/id/eprint/226

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