Mental fatigue and physical and cognitive performance during a 2-bout exercise test

Vrijkotte, Susan, Meeusen, Romain, Vandervaeren, Cloe, Buyse, Luk, Van Cutsem, Jeroen, Pattyn, Nathalie, and Roelands, Bart (2018) Mental fatigue and physical and cognitive performance during a 2-bout exercise test. International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance, 13 (4). pp. 510-516.

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The 2-bout exercise protocol has been developed to diagnose nonfunctional overreaching and the "overtraining syndrome." It consists of 2 maximal exercise bouts separated by 4 hours. Mental fatigue negatively influences performance, but the effects of its occurrence during the 2-bout exercise protocol have never been investigated. The aim of this study was to examine whether mental fatigue (induced during the rest period) influences physical and cognitive performance during/after the second exercise bout of the 2-bout exercise protocol.

Methods: Nine healthy, well-trained male cyclists participated in a single-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled crossover study. The intervention consisted of cither 1.5-hour rest (control) or performing a computer-based Stroop task to induce mental fatigue. Cognitive (Eriksen Flanker task), physiological (lactate, maximum heart rate, and maximum wattage), and subjective data (mental fatigue-visual analog scale. Profile of Mood States, and rating of perceived exertion) were gathered.

Results: Ratings of fatigue, tension, and mental fatigue were affected in the mental fatigue condition (P< .05). Neither physiological nor cognitive differences were found between conditions. Ratings of mental fatigue were already affected after the first maximum exercise test (P < .05).

Conclusions: Neither physical nor cognitive performance was affected by mental fatigue, but subjective ratings did reveal significant differences. It is recommended to exclude mentally challenging tasks during the 2-bout exercise protocol rest period to ascertain unaffected subjective test results. This study should be repeated in athletes diagnosed with nonfunctional overreaching/overtraining syndrome.

Item ID: 54202
Item Type: Article (Research - C1)
ISSN: 1555-0273
Keywords: reactivity, maximal exercise, Stroop, fatigue
Date Deposited: 20 Jun 2018 07:41
FoR Codes: 42 HEALTH SCIENCES > 4207 Sports science and exercise > 420702 Exercise physiology @ 100%
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