Effects of the exercise in the cerebral blood flow and metabolism: A review


  • Ángel Gabriel Lucas-Cuevas University of Valencia, Spain
  • Jose Ignacio Priego Quesada University of Valencia, Spain
  • Pedro Pérez-Soriano University of Valencia, Spain
  • Salvador Llana-Belloch University of Valencia, Spain




Brain, Blood circulation, Oxygen consumption, Hyperthermia, Glucose uptake, Lactate


In recent years it has been shown that cerebral blood flow is affected by intense exercise, what may even lead to a reduction in the cognitive capacity. This statement is contrary to the traditional belief that cerebral blood flood remains constant and unaltered even when exercise is performed. During physical exercise of moderate intensity, cerebral blood flow increases in the cerebral areas responsible for movement. Moreover, recent studies have observed that cerebral blood flow decreases during high-intensity exercise as a consequence of a local hyperventilation and vasoconstriction of the areas with lower cerebral activity. Traditionally, the glucose has been considered as the main and unique source of energy for the brain. However, new studies are suggesting that as the intensity of exercise increases, the glucose uptake decreases in favour of an increase in the lactate uptake. Finally, Hyperthermia may also play a major role in the cerebral regulation system, since it can provoke central fatigue as well as hypoglycaemia.


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Lucas-Cuevas, Ángel G., Priego Quesada, J. I., Pérez-Soriano, P., & Llana-Belloch, S. (2015). Effects of the exercise in the cerebral blood flow and metabolism: A review. Journal of Human Sport and Exercise, 10(1), 150–160. https://doi.org/10.14198/jhse.2015.101.13



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