Paracetamol improves exercise endurance in the heat

Paracetamol has a significant effect on exercise performance and the body's ability to cope with the thermal challenge of exercise in the heat, shows a study published today [20 September] in Experimental Physiology.

The research team have previously shown that paracetamol can improve through a reduction in exercise-induced pain. This study suggests, for the first time, that paracetamol can also improve the length of time someone can exercise for in hot conditions. The data suggests that this is achieved by reducing the body's temperature during exercise, which subsequently improves their tolerance to exercise in the heat.

To perform the research, a group of healthy, male participants ingested single doses of paracetamol or a placebo, before cycling at a fixed intensity for as long as they could in hot conditions. During the exercise, measures of core and were recorded alongside the participants' perception of the heat.

As the study was performed in humans, with a common over-the counter drug, the implications are far reaching.

Dr Lex Mauger, who led the study at The University of Kent's School of Sport and Exercise Sciences, explains:

"Firstly, consideration by the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) and local anti-doping authorities should be made about the use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) in sport – on both health and performance grounds. Secondly, the utility of paracetamol as a first-response drug to exertional should be investigated."

The research gives a new insight into the effects of paracetamol on , and further studies hope to determine by which mechanisms this takes place.

Dr Mauger says: "Whilst we have found that paracetamol improves the time someone can exercise in the heat, and that this occurs alongside a reduced body temperature, we did not measure the specific mechanisms by which this may have occurred. It is important now to try and isolate how paracetamol reduced participants' body temperature during exercise."

More information: Mauger A, Taylor L, Harding C, Wright B, Foster J and Castle P (2013). Acute acetaminophen (paracetamol) ingestion improves time to exhaustion during exercise in the heat. Experimental Physiology.

add to favorites email to friend print save as pdf

Related Stories

Improved sleep may improve exercise duration

Aug 23, 2013

(HealthDay)—The length of an individual's sleep appears to influence their participation level in exercise the next day, according to a small study published in the August issue of the Journal of Clinical Sl ...

Recommended for you

Most US babies get their vaccines, CDC says

Aug 28, 2014

(HealthDay)—The vast majority of American babies are getting the vaccines they need to protect them from serious illnesses, federal health officials said Thursday.

Expression of privilege in vaccine refusal

Aug 27, 2014

Not all students returning to school this month will be up to date on their vaccinations. A new study conducted by Jennifer Reich, a researcher at the University of Colorado Denver, shows that the reasons why children may ...

User comments