This text was written by a TecMundo columnist; Learn more at the end.

In order to exercise, we need muscle contractions controlled by central commands that activate motor neurons in the brain. As the prefrontal region of the brain becomes more active during exercise, Blood supply is needed to maintain adequate oxygen levels in the brain.

But something can disrupt this blood flow: The enteric region, which extends from the gastrointestinal tract to the anal canal. Therefore, it makes sense to examine whether defecation can save blood to the brain, so that the brain can devote itself to strengthening muscles.. A recent study found this.

Understand the work

The study, conducted by researchers from Italy, Taiwan and China, tested whether pre-exercise defecation contributed to the performance of athletes. In the study, 13 young elite triathletes (7 males and 6 females) aged around 20 years voluntarily participated and were physically tested on 2 occasions with a week difference between each: 90 minutes after defecation and another without defecation.

The researchers checked tissue oxygenation and blood distribution in the triathletes’ brain and gut regions in real time. They used a technique called NIRS – near-infrared spectroscopy – to detect changes in hemoglobin concentrations both in the forehead area (prefrontal cortex) and below the belly button. Athletes had to pedal until they were exhausted in a laboratory.

What results were obtained?

Pre-exercise defecation caused more blood to accumulate in the prefrontal region of the brain during exercise than not defecating. Pre-exercise evacuation significantly improved high-intensity endurance performance in the athletes tested. In the test, the time to exhaustion was 1624 seconds for those who had not evacuated before and 1902 seconds for those who evacuated, meaning they were more resistant.

According to research, pre-training evacuation can improve athletes' performance.

Those who defecated before exercise performed better as they progressed through the test. Nine of the 13 participants showed improvement after defecation (17%), two showed worsening, and the other two showed no difference. Two athletes who had difficulty passing stool before the cycling tests withdrew from the race.

Defecation moderately reduced systolic blood pressure, indicating a relief in autonomic nerve activity. The results of the study show that the increased endurance performance of elite triathletes after defecation is associated with a blood-protective effect in the prefrontal region of the brain. The brain gets more oxygen and reduces fatigue.

Exercising with fecal storage in the rectum can lead to competition for blood between the motor center in the central nervous system and the autonomic nervous system in the brain.

This is a competition for blood in your body, which can lead to decreased exercise performance. Blood distribution in the central nervous system and enteric nervous system was decisive in the athletes’ performance.

Defecation improved cerebral perfusion and delayed fatigue in elite triathletes. Some even question whether a study is necessary to confirm this idea since it is common for people to do this and feel good when exercising. In this case, we confirm the words of the British writer Aldous Huxley: “Science is nothing but common sense applied and organized.”

Stomach and intestinal disorders are common in endurance sports such as triathlon, which consists of swimming, cycling and running. It may be consistent to go to the bathroom beforehand as a preventive measure to avoid problems that disrupt your training or race rhythm or even cause discomfort. Moreover, it seems that it can even increase performance. A cheap and natural pre-workout.

Fábio Dominski
He holds a PhD in Human Movement Sciences and a degree in Physical Education from Santa Catarina State University (UDESC). He is a university professor and researcher at the Laboratory of Sport and Exercise Psychology (LAPE/CEFID/UDESC). He is the author of the book Exercising Físico e Ciência – Fatos e Mitos and hosts the program Exercising Físico e Ciência on UDESC joinville radio (91.9 FM); The program is also available at:
Podcast on Spotify.

Source: Tec Mundo

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I'm Blaine Morgan, an experienced journalist and writer with over 8 years of experience in the tech industry. My expertise lies in writing about technology news and trends, covering everything from cutting-edge gadgets to emerging software developments. I've written for several leading publications including Gadget Onus where I am an author.


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