Sip a Sports Drink to Keep the Electrolytes Flowing

Credit: iStock Most people know it’s important to stay hydrated (but not too much!) during an intense workout. A sports drink can be an ideal beverage choice, but do you know why? After working out for an hour or so on a hot summer day, you may begin to sweat, get muscle cramps and/or become … Continue reading Sip a Sports Drink to Keep the Electrolytes Flowing

Can Chili Peppers Improve Exercise Performance?

Credit: iStock Are you a fan of spicy foods? You might be in luck. Research presented at Experimental Biology 2021 suggests a specific compound found in fiery foods such as chili peppers may have the ability to help you improve your exercise performance. Capsaicin, the bioactive ingredient in chili peppers, stimulates our pain receptors. This … Continue reading Can Chili Peppers Improve Exercise Performance?

Spotlight On: The Muscular System

Many of us only think about our muscles when they are sore from being a “weekend warrior” or shoveling out after a snowstorm. However, without skeletal muscles we would not be able to breathe, stand upright, walk or run. The fact that our muscles make up between 40 and 50 percent of our body mass … Continue reading Spotlight On: The Muscular System

Maybe She’s Born with It: Genetics Give Competitive Swimmers Their Edge

Competitive swimming is a demanding sport that requires maintaining a high level of activity—while partially submerged in the water—without being able to breathe naturally. It’s a sport—like any form of exercise—that may not be suited to everyone. Years of research have shown that competitive swimmers have larger lungs and better lung function than non-swimmers. In … Continue reading Maybe She’s Born with It: Genetics Give Competitive Swimmers Their Edge

Halloween Musings on Mutations

The word “mutation” may conjure up images of fictional monsters, Marvel X-Men and creatures with non-human characteristics. It’s true that mutations are often associated with disease: something that has gone wrong in the body to produce an oddly shaped body part or sometimes cancer. However, mutations can’t be categorized as “good” or “bad” so easily. … Continue reading Halloween Musings on Mutations

Pregnancy, Altitude and Exercise: One Serious Set of Challenges

Frequent readers of the I Spy Physiology blog will know that topics such as altitude, pregnancy and exercise are some of our favorites to write about. All of these conditions provide a challenge to our body’s homeostasis, or ability of the body to regulate all of its systems and functions. Until recently, scientists did not … Continue reading Pregnancy, Altitude and Exercise: One Serious Set of Challenges

Four More Reasons Why You Should Exercise Regularly

You may know that being physically active can lower your risk of heart attack and stroke. Exercise also helps prevent age-related declines in muscle size and aerobic capacity. Aside from the well-known benefits of regular exercise on leading a long and healthy life (also known as the healthspan), there are other important advantages that may … Continue reading Four More Reasons Why You Should Exercise Regularly

Walk It Out: How Frequent Walking Breaks Help Your Brain

“Sit less, move more.” This message is being increasingly promoted in the world of health and fitness and in society at large and for good reason. The time we spend sitting is directly related to our health. In fact, too much sitting might even be harmful to people who exercise regularly. Sitting continuously for three … Continue reading Walk It Out: How Frequent Walking Breaks Help Your Brain