Date of Graduation
Bachelor of Science
Health, Human Performance and Recreation
Dr. Stavros Kavouras
Dr. Brendon McDermott
Committee Member/Second Reader
Dr. Matthew Ganio
Purpose: The purpose of this research was to determine if activating the oral- pharyngeal receptors through the act of swallowing plays a role in enhancing exercise performance. It was hypothesized that stimulation of the pharyngeal receptors through the act of swallowing (D trial) increases exercise performance when compared to infusing the same amount of liquid via a nasogastric tube (I trial). Methods: Five trained male cyclists (31 ± 5 years; 74.7 ± 4 kg; 57 ± 3 mL/kg/min) performed two trials in a counterbalanced fashion, each consisting of 120 minutes cycling in an environment at 35°C and 30% RH at 55% VO2max followed by a 5k- performance test. Participants completed these trials by drinking 25mL of water every 5 minutes or by having 25mL of water infused every 5 minutes through a nasogastric tube. Blood and urine samples were collected before and after the trials. Heart rate, skin temperature, and core temperature were recorded systematically throughout the protocol, and the participants’ perception of thirst, mouth dryness, and stomach fullness were also recorded via a visual analog scale. Results: All five cyclists completed the performance test following the D trial, but two cyclists failed to complete the performance test following the I trial due to fatigue and lightheadedness. The time to completion for the D and I trials were 13.35 ± 0.54 verses 13.18 ± 0.86 min respectively. Core body temperature (Tc) showed a 0.37°C increase following the 2 hour cycle during the I trial but a 0.30°C decrease following the 5k. Heart rate following the Infusion trial (I) averaged 187 bpm when compared with the drinking trial (D) of 189 bpm. Conclusions: Stimulating the receptors by swallowing might play a role in enhancing exercise performance, but more trials will need to be completed in order to evaluate this question.
Smith, Jordan E., "The Effect of Thirst and Pharyngeal Stimulation on Exercise Performance" (2016). Health, Human Performance and Recreation Undergraduate Honors Theses. 30.