Tuesday, March 03, 2009

Bodybuilding: It's a blood sport - but what about your brain?

It’s well-known that a hard workout gets your circulation going. It gets your blood pumping and increases oxygen and nutrient-rich blood to your muscles, especially after a hard and heavy set of squats, bench press or deadlifts. Let’s face it: Blood flow to your muscles is critical for growth. You want blood – lots of it – and the pump is your surefire sign that your work is paying off.

But what about your brain? As much as bodybuilding is a blood sport for your muscles, so too is it a blood sport for your brain.

It used to be thought that your brain received a steady and constant volume of blood delivery, whether you were working out or not. Not so. A new study shows that your brain gets more blood during exercise, and that study participants reported a weakening of the mind-muscle connection near the end of their workouts – the point at which blood delivery to the brain began to decline, as measured by scientists.

So here’s your FUSION FACTOID: Bodybuilding is a blood sport – for both your muscles and your mind. To get your brain in the game, work for the pump. Not only will your muscles work better and will you be stronger, but you’ll get your mind into every last repetition.

- FUSION Research Team

Source: Querido JS, et al. Regulation of cerebral blood flow during exercise. Sports Med. 2007;37(9):765-782.

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