PERFORMANCE Sports science and nutrition news
PASSING mild electric currents over the scalp to stimulate it was found to increase the activity of the area associated with muscle contraction, enhancing athletics performance in the process.
That was the finding of Dr Lex Mauger and colleagues at the University of Kent’s School of Sport and Exercise Sciences following a recent study.
Mauger and his team worked with 12 cyclists who were asked to perform a time trial test to exhaustion while a current (transcranial direct current stimulation or tDCS) was passed over their scalps. Results showed that the cyclists experienced a decreased perception of effort and were able to cycle for longer with the stimulation therapy.
Previous studies have shown tDCS to boost endurance performance, although experts were unsure about the precise mechanisms behind it. Mauger and his colleagues think tDCS makes exercise feel less effortful. Their findings were published in the journal Brain Stimulation.
electric currents boosted performance