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THE JOURNAL OF SPORTS MEDICINE AND PHYSICAL FITNESS
A Journal on Applied Physiology, Biomechanics, Preventive Medicine,
Sports Medicine and Traumatology, Sports Psychology
Indexed/Abstracted in: Chemical Abstracts, CINAHL, Current Contents/Clinical Medicine, EMBASE, PubMed/MEDLINE, Science Citation Index Expanded (SciSearch), Scopus
Impact Factor 1,111
ORIGINAL ARTICLES EXCERCISE PHYSIOLOGY AND BIOMECHANICS
The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness 2014 October;54(5):595-604
Spraying with 0.20% L-menthol does not enhance 5 km running performance in the heat in untrained runners
Barwood M. J., Corbett J., White D. K. ✉
Department of Sport and Exercise Science, University of Portsmouth, Portsmouth, UK
BACKGROUND: L-Menthol stimulates cutaneous thermoreceptors and induces cool sensations improving thermal comfort but has also been linked to heat storage responses. Therefore, L-Menthol application could lead to a conflict in behavioural and thermoregulatory drivers improving comfort but leading to a higher rate of deep body temperature rise; the present study examined this possibility.
METHODS: Six untrained male participants (age 21  years; height 1.80 [0.07] m; mass 78.9 [6.9] kg; surface area 1.98 [0.13] m2) took part. They completed three trials in hot conditions (34 °C) where their clothing was sprayed (CONTROL-SPRAY or MENTHOL-SPRAY) or not sprayed (CONTROL) after a fixed intensity exercise period (15-minutes), which induced thermal discomfort, before completing a 5 km treadmill time trial (TT). Thermal perception (thermal sensation and comfort; TS, TC), thermal responses (aural temperature [Tau], skin temperature [Tskin]), perceived exertion (RPE), heart rate, pacing (1 km split time) and performance (TT completion time) were measured.
RESULTS: MENTHOL-SPRAY induced improvements in TS (up to 3 km of TT) and TC (up to 1 km) with Tau showing a tendency to be higher than CONTROL-SPRAY (+0.20 [0.29] °C) and CONTROL condition (0.30 [0.34] °C); this was not statistically significant and the rate of rise in Tau was linear. Tau was continuing to rise between the 4th and 5th kilometre of the TT. The other variables were unchanged. TT completion time and pace were not different: CONTROL 27.92 [1.65], CONTROL-SPRAY 28.10 [1.12], MENTHOL-SPRAY 27.53 [2.85] minutes.
CONCLUSION: Spraying L-MENTHOL prior to exercise in the heat culminated in improved perception but not altered performance.