The Development of a Menthol Solution for Use during Sport and Exercise

Russell Best, Iain Spears, Philip Hurst, Nicolas Berger

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Abstract: Menthol mouth-swilling has been shown to improve performance across differing exercise modalities, yet no work has been conducted to ascertain the preferred concentration of menthol within a swill. Colour has also been shown to influence psychophysiological outcomes, and may influence the efficacy of ergogenic aids. We conducted two experiments: one to ascertain preferred menthol concentration (0.005–0.105% menthol), the second to assess colour preference (Light Blue, Dark Blue, Light Green, Dark Green, Red). Participants rated swills for Smell, Taste, Freshness, Mouth Feel and Irritation (plus Appearance in the second trial) via 15 cm Visual Analogue Scales (VAS), having swilled and expectorated 25 mL of fluid. Both trials employed a crossover design, with tasting order assigned by Latin squares. Differences were assessed for statistical significance (p < 0.05) using one-way repeated measures ANOVAs. Standardised mean differences ±90% confidence intervals were calculated to assess the magnitude of any observed differences. No significant differences were found between concentrations for total VAS score, but higher concentrations demonstrated a greater number of small effects. Similarly, no significant differences between colours were found. Small effects were found when Light Green was compared to Dark Green and Red. Effects were trivial when Light Green was compared to Light Blue (0.05 ± 0.20) and Dark Blue (0.19 ± 0.32). We recommend athletes employ a Light Green or Light Blue 0.1% menthol mouth-swill. Keywords: menthol; exercise; ergogenic aid; mouth swilling
Original languageEnglish
Article number4
Pages (from-to)44-54
Number of pages10
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 11 Jun 2018


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