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      Effects of the Menstrual Cycle on Exercise Performance :

      Sports Medicine
      Springer Nature

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          Changes in muscle strength, relaxation rate and fatiguability during the human menstrual cycle.

          1. The effect of the different phases of the menstrual cycle on skeletal muscle strength, contractile properties and fatiguability was investigated in ten young, healthy females. Results were compared with a similar group on the combined (non-phasic) oral contraceptive pill (OC). Cycle phases were divided into the early and mid-follicular, mid-cycle (ovulatory) and mid- and late luteal. Cycle phases were estimated from the first day of the menstrual bleed. 2. Subjects were studied weekly through two complete cycles. Measurements included quadriceps and handgrip maximum voluntary isometric force and the relaxation times, force-frequency relationship and fatigue index of the quadriceps during percutaneous stimulation at a range of frequencies from 1 to 100 Hz. 3. In the women not taking the OC there was a significant increase of about 11% in quadriceps and handgrip strength at mid-cycle compared with both the follicular and luteal phases. Accompanying the increases in strength there was a significant slowing of relaxation and increase in fatiguability at mid-cycle. No changes in any parameter were found in the women taking the OC. 4. The changes in muscle function at mid-cycle may be due to the increase in oestrogen that occurs prior to ovulation.
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            Changes in maximal voluntary force of human adductor pollicis muscle during the menstrual cycle.

            1. Muscle strength of the adductor pollicis (AP) was studied throughout the menstrual cycle to determine whether any variation in force is similar to the known cyclical changes in ovarian hormones. Three groups of young women were studied: trained regularly menstruating athletes (trained), untrained regularly menstruating (untrained) and trained oral contraceptive pill users (OCU). In addition a group of untrained young men was studied as controls. 2. Maximum voluntary force (MVF) of AP was measured over a maximum period of 6 months. Ovulation was detected by luteinizing hormone measurements or change in basal body temperature. There was a significant increase in MVF (about 10%) during the follicular phase of the menstrual cycle when oestrogen levels are rising, in both the trained and untrained groups. This was followed by a similar in MVF around the time of ovulation. Neither the OCU nor the male subjects showed cyclical changes in MVF.
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              Improved running performance in hot humid conditions following whole body precooling.

              On two separate occasions, eight subjects controlled speed to run the greatest distance possible in 30 min in a hot, humid environment (ambient temperature 32 degrees C, relative humidity 60%). For the experimental test (precooling), exercise was preceeded by cold-water immersion. Precooling increased the distance run by 304 +/- 166 m (P < 0.05). Precooling decreased the pre-exercise rectal and mean skin temperature by 0.7 degrees C and 5.9 degrees C, respectively (P < 0.05). Rectal and mean skin temperature were decreased up to 20 and 25 min during exercise, respectively (P < 0.05). Mean body temperature decreased from 36.5 +/- 0.1 degrees C to 33.8 +/- 0.2 degrees C following precooling (P < 0.05) and remained lower throughout exercise (P < 0.01) and at the end of exercise (by 0.8 degrees C; P < 0.05). The rate of heat storage at the end of exercise increased from 113 +/- 45 to 249 +/- 55 W.m-2 (P < 0.005). Precooling lowered the heart rate at rest (13%), 5 (9%), and 10 min (10%) exercise (P < 0.05) and increased the end of exercise blood lactate from 4.9 +/- 0.5 to 7.4 +/- 0.9 mmol.L-1 (P < 0.01). The VO2 at 10 and 20 min of exercise and total body sweating are not different between tests. In conclusion, water immersion precooling increased exercise endurance in hot, humid conditions with an enhanced rate of heat storage and decreased thermoregulatory strain.
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                Author and article information

                Journal
                Sports Medicine
                Sports Medicine
                Springer Nature
                0112-1642
                2003
                2003
                : 33
                : 11
                : 833-851
                Article
                10.2165/00007256-200333110-00004
                ece3cb6d-30df-483b-b8f6-4540e2f3230f
                © 2003
                History

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