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Taurine for Heat Endurance, Melatonin's Athletic Benefits, and the Real Effects of Stretching on Performance

Welcome to our weekly summary of the latest research from the worlds of sports science and sports nutrition.

In this week’s summary:


Taurine: A Dietary Supplement for Maintaining Performance in Hot and Humid Conditions 

Cyclist holding Blonyx Hydra+

An April 2024 study investigated the effects of taurine's effects on how the body regulates temperature during low-intensity exercise in hot and increasingly humid conditions. Over eight days, male and female participants received either taurine or a placebo and performed walking exercises that generated a fixed amount of heat. The results showed that those who took taurine sweat more, activated more sweat glands, and experienced improved cooling of their bodies through evaporation, which reduced the internal heat stored. This led to improved control of their core temperature, especially as environmental conditions became more challenging. The study suggests that taurine supplementation enhances the body's ability to manage heat stress in hot environments, potentially delaying or preventing the dangerous effects of overheating.

Our thoughts: Want to get better at training in the heat this summer? Perhaps Taurine is the answer. Its thermoregulating benefits might be even more prominent when combined with a real food hydration solution like Hydra+, but that’s for another study.


The Effects of Melatonin Supplementation on Performance and Health Biomarkers in Athletes

Woman pouring melatonin pills into her hand
A systematic review of randomized controlled trials investigated the effects of melatonin supplementation on sports performance and health biomarkers in highly trained athletes. Melatonin, known for its antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, and immunoregulatory properties, was assessed to determine if it could enhance athletic performance indirectly through health improvements. The melatonin doses in the trials varied from 5 mg to 100 mg, administered before or after exercise. The review, which involved 21 studies selected from 294 references, found that melatonin supplementation could improve antioxidant status, reduce inflammation, and help reverse liver and muscle damage. It also moderately affected blood sugar levels, cholesterol, triglycerides, and creatinine levels. While the studies showed promising results regarding melatonin's potential benefits on various health biomarkers and hormonal responses, its direct impact on improving athletic performance itself remains unclear. However, these health improvements suggest a possible indirect benefit of melatonin on sports performance.

Our thoughts: Melatonin is known for its impact on sleep, but a number of studies are looking at its impact on health and performance in athletes. While performance improvements aren’t conclusive yet, it’s showing some other health benefits that could lead to better performance.


The Impact of Chronic Static Stretching on Jumping and Sprinting Performance 

Women stretching on a gym floor

A systematic review and meta-analysis explored the impact of chronic static stretching (holding stretches for extended periods) on jumping and sprinting performance, activities often essential in high-speed sports like soccer, basketball, and track and field. Analyzing data from 14 studies that measured performance outcomes, researchers hypothesized that static stretching could positively affect athletic capabilities. The results, however, showed a slight positive but statistically trivial effect on jumping performance and no significant improvement in sprinting abilities. The findings suggest that while static stretching alone might slightly enhance some aspects of jumping, it does not significantly boost performance in jumping or sprinting. This could be due to the typically low intensity and volume of stretching routines used in the studies, indicating that static stretching by itself does not provide a strong enough stimulus for substantial improvements in these fast-paced, strength-dependent sports activities.

Our thoughts: While stretching didn’t lead to much performance benefit, consider its importance for recovery and preventing injury before you give it up altogether.


That’s all for this week. We hope you learned something new that you can incorporate into your training!

— Train hard!


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