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Menthol as an ergogenic aid for the Tokyo 2021 Olympic games: An expert‑led consensus statement using the modified delphi method


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Introduction Menthol topical application and mouth rinsing are ergogenic in hot environments, improving performance and perception, with difering efects on body temperature regulation. Consequently, athletes and federations are beginning to explore the possible benefts to elite sport performance for the Tokyo 2021 Olympics, which will take place in hot (~ 31 °C), humid (70% RH) conditions. There is no clear consensus on safe and efective menthol use for athletes, practitioners, or
researchers. The present study addressed this shortfall by producing expert-led consensus recommendations.
Method Fourteen contributors were recruited following ethical approval. A three-step modifed Delphi method was used for
voting on 96 statements generated following literature consultation; 192 statements total (96/96 topical application/mouth
rinsing). Round 1 contributors voted to “agree” or “disagree” with statements; 80% agreement was required to accept statements. In round 2, contributors voted to “support” or “change” their round 1 unaccepted statements, with knowledge of the extant voting from round 1. Round 3 contributors met to discuss voting against key remaining statements.
Results Forty-seven statements reached consensus in round 1 (30/17 topical application/rinsing); 14 proved redundant. Six statements reached consensus in round 2 (2/4 topical application/rinsing); 116 statements proved redundant. Nine further statements were agreed in round 3 (6/3 topical application/rinsing) with caveats.
Discussion Consensus was reached on 62 statements in total (38/24 topical application/rinsing), enabling the development
of guidance on safe menthol administration, with a view to enhancing performance and perception in the heat without
impairing body temperature regulation.

Item Type: Journal article
Uncontrolled Keywords: Menthol, sport science, delphi method, Tokyo 2021 Olympic
Subjects: Q Science > QP Physiology
Divisions: Schools > Centre for Sport Science and Human Performance
Depositing User: Russell Best
Date Deposited: 08 Jul 2020 21:28
Last Modified: 21 Jul 2023 08:52

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