Oral application of L-menthol in the heat: From pleasure to performance

Best, Russell and Barwood, Martin and Gillis, Jason and Jeffries, Owen (2019) Oral application of L-menthol in the heat: From pleasure to performance. International Conference of Environmental Ergonomics, Amsterdam, 7-12 July 2019.

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Official URL: https://www.icee2019.com/

Abstract or Summary

When menthol is applied to the oral cavity it presents with a familiar refreshing sensation and cooling mint flavour. This may be deemed hedonic in some individuals, but may cause irritation in others. This variation in response is likely dependent upon trigeminal sensitivity toward cold stimuli, suggesting a need for a menthol solution that can be easily personalised. Menthol’s characteristics can also be enhanced by matching colour to qualitative outcomes; a factor which can easily be manipulated by practitioners working in athletic or occupational settings to potentially enhance intervention efficacy. This presentation will outline the efficacy of oral menthol application for improving time trial performance to date, either via swilling or via co-ingestion with other cooling strategies, with an emphasis upon how menthol can be applied in ecologically valid scenarios. Situations in which performance is not expected to be enhanced will also be discussed. An updated model by which menthol may prove hedonic, satiate thirst and affect ventilation will also be presented, with the potential performance implications of these findings discussed and modelled. Qualitative reflections from athletes that have implemented menthol mouth swilling in competition, training and maximal exercise will also be included.

Item Type:Paper presented at a conference, workshop or other event, and published in the proceedings
Keywords that describe the item:Menthol, Sport performance, taste, pleasure
Subjects:Q Science > QP Physiology
Divisions:Schools > Centre for Sport Science and Human Performance
ID Code:7145
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Deposited On:13 Feb 2020 01:30
Last Modified:13 Feb 2020 01:30

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