BACKGROUND: Previous research has shown that taste can have ergogenic effects on exercise performance. Specifically, bitter and sweet tastes activate receptors on the tongue, resulting in activation of associated brain regions and thus increased power output and decreased fatigue during exercise. Sour taste has been poorly studied, but some evidence does suggest a rapid increase in heart rate and autonomic nervous system activation as result of exposure to sour taste. Therefore, the purpose of this study is to evaluate the effects of swishing a sour tastant at varying concentrations on anaerobic exercise performance. METHODS: Physically active adults (n=20) ages 18-25 years will be recruited for this study. Suitability for exercise will be determined by screening via the Physical Activity Readiness Questionnaire (PAR-Q+). Other exclusion criteria include history of upper or lower body injury within prior 6 months, known cardiovascular, metabolic, or musculoskeletal disease, or other known health conditions that might affect safety during maximal exercise. Participants will visit the laboratory on three occasions, separated by at least 48 hours. During each trial, participants will complete a 3x15 second Wingate anaerobic test (WAnT) and be fitted with a Polar heart rate monitor. A 5-min warm-up on the Monark mechanically braked cycle ergometer will be completed, at which time participants will rinse their mouth with 20 mL of one of the three solutions: very sour, sour, or control (water). The sour solutions will be made by dissolving food-grade citric acid anhydrous into 20 mL of water to form a 0.032 M solution (very sour) or 0.008 M solution (sour). Participants will then mount the Velotron electronically braked cycle ergometer and swish the prescribed solution in their mouth for 10-sec before expelling; the solution will not be swallowed. Immediately after, a 10-sec countdown phase with no resistance will be implemented, with the goal of achieving maximal pedal rate. Dropped weight for the 15-sec all out pedaling phase will be 7.5% of body weight. Each of the all-out sprints will be followed by a 2-min active recovery phase in which participant will pedal at a self-selected pace with no resistance. At the start of each active recovery set, RPE, heart rate, and fatigue index will be documented. Peak and mean power output will be obtained via Velotron software. Order of the three trials will be counterbalanced. ANTICIPATED RESULTS: Based upon previous literature examining the effects of other tastants (specifically bitter and sweet taste), we anticipate and increase in maximal and mean power output as well as a decrease in RPE in the very sour condition compared to sour and control. We also anticipate significantly better performance in sour vs control conditions.

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