Does grunting improve workout intensity?

Cursing and swearing is an almost universal feature of human language. Luis Castellanos, author of “The language of happiness”, would consider it an unhappy language, with which you do not advance in life and that does not bring you closer to happiness, but a study published in the journal “Journal Psychology of Sport and Exercise », Carried out by researchers from the British University of Keele and Long Island in New York, says that dropping words that are unpleasant to the ear take effect if they are said while playing sports.

This study detected through a survey that saying swearing soothes pain and releases adrenaline. To prove this they resorted to a challenge: the participants had to endure submerged in ice water for 40 seconds. The result was not long in coming and it was confirmed that those people who expressed how they felt with bad words supported the cold better than those who remained silent. Carlos Rey, Co-founder of UPAD Psychology & Coaching, does not support this study: «There are no scientific studies in this regard and we should analyze what we are calling« motivation »in that case, and if for all athletes it would have the same effect» , says the psychologist.

But do insults and swear words make you release tensions or show anger? «In principle, expressing oneself in these terms tends to manifest more frustration than motivation. That is to say, it is due more to an increase in the pressure that the athlete self-induces in the face of what he considers a situation or poor performance, ”explains coach Carlos Rey. Another of the challenges that the participants had to carry out was that of pedaling on an exercise bike. While half of the group were asked to speak bad words for 30 seconds, the rest pedaled without saying anything. Those who said badly sounded words increased 4.6% more energy compared to their peers.

«I find limitations in this regard and they seem hasty conclusions. The exercise of ice water is related to the management of care. If in the exercise of the bicycle we consult our social networks, it is not the social networks themselves that distort the perception of the time variable, it is the attention placed on the pain source element. So in general terms, they seem to me to be rash conclusions, ”says Carlos Rey, who does not see this study as reliable as saying bad words.
Feeling physical pain motivates saying “tacos”

Not only does adrenaline motivate saying swear words, it seems, and according to the study, when you feel physical pain it also appears to say “tacos.” To prove it, the researchers had the study participants immerse their hands in icy water and analyzed the pain tolerance of all of them, checking how those who let out swear words handled the situation better. “Swear words can increase pain tolerance, increase heart rate and decrease painful sensation,” the experts concluded.

Supporting the theory of Carlos Rey is also Alberto García Bataller, doctor of Physical Activity and Sports Sciences, who does not find much explanation to the study. «Yes, it is true that when you do sports and you are at a certain level of intensity, there are times that swear words, louder expressions or shouts are said … In that sense it is possible. It is not that they help, but that it is ‘consequence of’. I think it is more a consequence of the activation and the adrenaline that you have to really release. Exclamations arise that generate more tension release than anything else, ”says Bataller.
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    Exercise Fitness Sports

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