Tramadol does not improve performance or impair motor function in trained cyclists

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Purpose: To investigate the hypothesis that a therapeutic oral dose of Tramadol improves cycling time trial performance and compromises motor-cognitive performance in highly trained cyclists.

Methods: Following two familiarization trials, 16 highly trained cyclists completed a preloaded time trial (1 hour at 60 % of peak power followed by a 15 km time trial) after ingestion of 100 mg Tramadol or placebo in a double-blind placebo-controlled counterbalanced cross-over design separated by at least 4 days wash-out. Visuo-motor tracking and math tasks were completed during the preload (n=10) to evaluate effects on cognition and fine motor performance.

Results: Time trial mean power output (298±42 W vs. 294±44 W) and performance (1474±77 s vs. 1483±85 s) were similar with Tramadol and placebo treatment, respectively. In addition, there were no differences in perceived exertion, reported pain, blood pH, lactate or HCO3 concentrations across trials. Heart rate was higher (P<0.001) during the Tramadol time trial (171±8 bpm) compared to placebo (167±9 bpm). None of the combined motor-cognitive tasks were impaired by Tramadol ingestion, in fact fine motor performance was slightly improved (P<0.05) in the Tramadol trial compared to placebo.

Conclusion: In highly trained cyclists, ingestion of 100 mg Tramadol does not improve performance in a 15 km cycling time trial that was completed after a one hour preload at 60 % peak power. Additionally, a therapeutic dose of Tramadol does not compromise complex motor-cognitive or simple fine motor performances.

TidsskriftMedicine and Science in Sports and Exercise
Udgave nummer5
Sider (fra-til)1169-1175
Antal sider7
StatusUdgivet - 2020

Bibliografisk note

CURIS 2020 NEXS 118

ID: 231553587