Mental fatigue does not affect heart rate recovery but impairs performance in handball players

Penna, Eduardo Macedo, Filho, Edson orcid iconORCID: 0000-0002-8548-4651, Campos, Bruno Teobaldo, Pires, Daniel Alvarez, Nakamura, Fabio Yuzo, Mendes, Thiago Teixeira, Lopes, Thiago Ribeiro, Smith, Mitchell and Prado, Luciano Sales (2018) Mental fatigue does not affect heart rate recovery but impairs performance in handball players. Revista Brasileira de Medicina do Esporte, 24 (5). pp. 347-351. ISSN 1517-8692

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ABSTRACT Introduction: This study involved an analysis of the impact of mental fatigue on heart rate recovery (HRR), subjective measures of fatigue and intermittent running performance in handball players. Objective: This study was aimed at (1) examining the effects of an induced state of mental fatigue on the aerobic performance of handball players, as measured by the Yo-Yo IR1 test, and (2) exploring possible changes in heart rate regulation through HRR analysis. Methods: Twelve handball players (age: 17.50 ± 3.63 years; 5 ± 2.2 years of practice) undertook a Yo-Yo IR1 test on two occasions, separated by an interval of at least 72 hours. The Yo-Yo IR1 test was preceded by a 30-min treatment, consisting of the Stroop Color-Word Test, to induce mental fatigue. Participants in the control condition watched an emotionally neutral video. Results: Higher ratings of mental fatigue and mental effort following the Stroop Test were observed for the experimental group. No differences in motivation were observed between conditions. Moreover, the induction of mental fatigue impaired running performance and led to a higher RPE during the Yo-Yo IR1 test. Notwithstanding, no changes in HRR or blood lactate levels were observed across conditions. Conclusion: Altogether, these results suggest that mental fatigue impairs intermittent running performance, without affecting HRR values. Level of Evidence III; Case-Control study.

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