Thermoregulation and Fluid Balance as Possible Limiting Factors in Prolonged Exercise in Humans

  • R. J. Maughan
  • S. D. R. Galloway
  • Y. Pitsiladis
  • S. M. Shirreffs
  • J. B. Leiper


Fatigue is the inevitable result of prolonged strenuous exercise, but the nature of the fatigue process and the time for which exercise can be sustained will be influenced by many factors. The most important of these is undoubtedly the intensity of the exercise in relation to the cardiovascular and metabolic capacity of the individual, and the most effective way to delay the onset of fatigue and improve performance is by training. The primary cause of fatigue in exercise lasting more than one hour but not more than 4–5 hours is usually considered to be the depletion of the body’s carbohydrate reserves: in bicycle exercise (6), but less convincingly in running (9), the glycogen content of the exercising muscles appears to be crucial. Systematic training results in many adaptations to the cardiovascular system and to the muscles, allowing them to increase delivery and use of oxygen and enhancing the extent to which they can use the relatively unlimited fat stores as a fuel and thus spare the rather small amounts of carbohydrate which are stored in the liver and in the muscles. In the same way, in situations where exercise capacity is limited by carbohydrate availability, improvements can be demonstrated to result from feeding carbohydrate before or during exercise.


Exercise Performance Muscle Glycogen Prolonged Exercise Fluid Replacement Exercise Time 
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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 1996

Authors and Affiliations

  • R. J. Maughan
    • 1
  • S. D. R. Galloway
    • 1
  • Y. Pitsiladis
    • 1
  • S. M. Shirreffs
    • 1
  • J. B. Leiper
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Environmental and Occupational MedicineUniversity Medical SchoolForesterhillScotland

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