central fatigue hypothesis

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A hypothesis that postulates that biochemical changes in the brain cause a person to stop exercising or reduce exercise intensity under certain circumstances, for example, when body temperature becomes high during endurance activities. The biochemical changes are believed to include a reduction of glycogen stores, decreased branched-chain amino acid (BCAA) concentrations, and increased blood levels of free fatty acids, free tryptophan, and serotonin (tryptophan is the precursor to serotonin). The stoppage or reduction of exercise is probably an adaptation to protect the vital organs from the harmful effects associated with continuing exercise under these circumstances.

Subjects: Sports and Exercise Medicine.

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