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Effect of fluid ingestion on neuromuscular function during prolonged cycling exercise
  1. J-M Vallier1,
  2. F Grego1,
  3. F Basset2,
  4. R Lepers3,
  5. T Bernard1,
  6. J Brisswalter1
  1. 1E.A. 3162 “Laboratoire Ergonomie Sportive et Performance”, Université de Toulon-Var, BP 20132, 83957 La Garde Cedex, France
  2. 2School of Human Kinetics and Recreation, Memorial University of Newfoundland, St John’s, NL, Canada A1C 5S7
  3. 3INSERM ERM 207, Faculté des Sciences du Sport, Université de Bourgogne, 21078 Dijon Cedex, France
  1. Correspondence to:
 Dr Vallier
 Laboratoire Ergonomie Sportive et Performance, Université du Sud Toulon-Var, Avenue de l’Université, BP 20132, 83957 La Garde Cedex, France;


Objectives: To investigate the effects of fluid ingestion on neuromuscular function during prolonged cycling exercise.

Methods: Eight well trained subjects exercised for 180 minutes in a moderate environment at a workload requiring ∼60% maximal oxygen uptake. Two conditions, fluid (F) and no fluid (NF) ingestion, were investigated.

Results: During maximal voluntary isometric contraction (MVC), prolonged cycling exercise reduced (p<0.05) the maximal force generating capacity of quadriceps muscles (after three hours of cycling) and root mean square (RMS) values (after two hours of cycling) with no difference between the two conditions despite greater body weight loss (p<0.05) in NF. The mean power frequency (MPF) for vastus lateralis muscle was reduced (p<0.05) and the rate of force development (RFD) was increased (p<0.05) only during NF. During cycling exercise, integrated electromyographic activity and perceived exertion were increased in both conditions (p<0.05) with no significant effect of fluid ingestion.

Conclusions: The results suggest that fluid ingestion did not prevent the previously reported decrease in maximal force with exercise duration, but seems to have a positive effect on some indicators of neuromuscular fatigue such as mean power frequency and rate of force development during maximal voluntary contraction. Further investigations are needed to assess the effect of change in hydration on neural mechanisms linked to the development of muscular fatigue during prolonged exercise.

  • EMG, electromyographic
  • HR, heart rate
  • iEMG, integrated EMG
  • MPF, mean power frequency
  • MVC, maximal voluntary isometric contraction
  • PSI, physiological strain index
  • RER, respiratory exchange ratio
  • RFD, rate of force development
  • RMS, root mean square
  • RPE, rating of perceived exertion
  • Vo2max, maximal oxygen uptake
  • fluid ingestion
  • integrated electromyography
  • mean power frequency
  • fatigue
  • prolonged exercise

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  • Competing interests: none declared

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