Athletes often have to compete late in the evening, when they are no longer able to perform at their best. As reported in the journal Frontiers in Physiology, however, researchers from the University of Basel have shown that athletes who are exposed to blue light before competing can significantly increase their performance in the final spurt. The blue light had no impact on the athletes’ maximum performance.
Many sports events take place late in the evening, during television prime time. At this time of day, however, many athletes often fail to perform at their best due to their sleep-wake cycle.
In a study headed by Professor Arno Schmidt-Trucksäss, Raphael Knaier and colleagues at the University of Basel investigated whether light exposure before a cycling time trial can compensate for this disadvantage.
The Sports and Exercise Medicine division, as well as Professor Christian Cajochen at the Centre for Chronobiology, took part in this extensive investigation involving 74 young male athletes.
It is well known that blue light reduces the production of the sleep hormone melatonin. The researchers tested the hypothesis that this suppression of melatonin could improve an athlete’s endurance during a 12-minute cycling time trial.
They randomly divided the participants into three groups and exposed them to either bright light, blue monochromatic light or control light for an hour. This light exposure was immediately followed by the performance test on the bicycle ergometer.
Bright light is less effective
Exposure to blue light significantly improved the athletes’ ability to increase their performance during the final spurt of the time trial. This increase was defined as the ratio of the performance measured in the first minute to that of the last minute of the test. The subjects’ improved performance in the final spurt also correlated with the amount of blue light. This light was able to effectively suppress the melatonin and thus influence the athletes’ sleep-wake cycle.
Compared to the control light, bright light led to a small increase in overall performance, but the difference was not significant. “Since even minor differences are relevant in top-level sport, however, this should be investigated more closely in further studies,” commented Professor Schmidt-Trucksäss.
Raphael Knaier, Juliane Schäfer, Anja Rossmeissl, Christopher Klenk, Henner Hanssen, Christoph Höchsmann, Christian Cajochen, and Arno Schmidt-Trucksäss
Prime Time Light Exposures Do Not Seem to Improve Maximal Physical Performance in Male Elite Athletes, but Enhance End-Spurt Performance
Frontiers in Physiology (2017), doi: 10.3389/fphys.2017.00264
Professor Arno Schmidt-Trucksäss, University of Basel, Department of Sport, Exercise and Health, Tel. +41 61 207 47 41, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
lic. phil. Christoph Dieffenbacher | Universität Basel
Meadows beat out shrubs when it comes to storing carbon
23.11.2017 | Norwegian University of Science and Technology
Migrating Cells: Folds in the cell membrane supply material for necessary blebs
23.11.2017 | Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster
Heat from the friction of rocks caused by tidal forces could be the “engine” for the hydrothermal activity on Saturn's moon Enceladus. This presupposes that...
The WHO reports an estimated 429,000 malaria deaths each year. The disease mostly affects tropical and subtropical regions and in particular the African continent. The Fraunhofer Institute for Silicate Research ISC teamed up with the Fraunhofer Institute for Molecular Biology and Applied Ecology IME and the Institute of Tropical Medicine at the University of Tübingen for a new test method to detect malaria parasites in blood. The idea of the research project “NanoFRET” is to develop a highly sensitive and reliable rapid diagnostic test so that patient treatment can begin as early as possible.
Malaria is caused by parasites transmitted by mosquito bite. The most dangerous form of malaria is malaria tropica. Left untreated, it is fatal in most cases....
The formation of stars in distant galaxies is still largely unexplored. For the first time, astron-omers at the University of Geneva have now been able to closely observe a star system six billion light-years away. In doing so, they are confirming earlier simulations made by the University of Zurich. One special effect is made possible by the multiple reflections of images that run through the cosmos like a snake.
Today, astronomers have a pretty accurate idea of how stars were formed in the recent cosmic past. But do these laws also apply to older galaxies? For around a...
Just because someone is smart and well-motivated doesn't mean he or she can learn the visual skills needed to excel at tasks like matching fingerprints, interpreting medical X-rays, keeping track of aircraft on radar displays or forensic face matching.
That is the implication of a new study which shows for the first time that there is a broad range of differences in people's visual ability and that these...
Computer Tomography (CT) is a standard procedure in hospitals, but so far, the technology has not been suitable for imaging extremely small objects. In PNAS, a team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) describes a Nano-CT device that creates three-dimensional x-ray images at resolutions up to 100 nanometers. The first test application: Together with colleagues from the University of Kassel and Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht the researchers analyzed the locomotory system of a velvet worm.
During a CT analysis, the object under investigation is x-rayed and a detector measures the respective amount of radiation absorbed from various angles....
15.11.2017 | Event News
15.11.2017 | Event News
30.10.2017 | Event News
23.11.2017 | Information Technology
23.11.2017 | Physics and Astronomy
23.11.2017 | Life Sciences