If you’re a parent, chances are good you’ve had at least one experience where your child or children have run you completely ragged. What’s worse, chances are very good that the kids didn’t seem to even break a sweat while doing so. It’s been suspected for quite some time that kids have a nearly infinite power source, but scientists went ahead and found proof anyway. It turns out that kids have more energy and recover that energy faster than even elite athletes.
Researchers at the Université Clermont Auvergne, France completed this study, and discovered basically nothing but bad news for parents. Not only does your child have significantly more energy than you do, they recover that energy very very quickly as well. Parents, you probably won’t want to read this next part…
To find out, the researchers recruited 12 youngsters aged between nine and 11, 12 untrained men and 13 male endurance athletes who were national-level triathlon competitors or long-distance runners and cyclists.
All were asked to perform two seven second resistance sprints, followed by one minute recovery while their aerobic energy output was measured. On a second visit they were asked to complete the Wingate Cycle Test, which measures anaerobic output by asking participants to cycle as fast as they can for 30 seconds.
Because anaerobic exercise does not use oxygen it produces acidosis and lactate (often referred to as, lactic acid), which causes muscle fatigue. The participants’ heart-rate, oxygen levels and lactate-removal rates were checked after the cycling tasks to see how quickly they recovered.
It was found that children not only have fatigue-resistant muscles, but recover very quickly from high-intensity exercise – even faster than the well-trained adult endurance athletes.
During the Wingate test untrained adult’s power output fell by 51.8 per cent, and athletes by 41.8 per cent, but children’s only decreased by 35.2 per cent.
So, sorry to say it, but we’ve got no chance here. Kids will both literally and figuratively run circles around us when it comes to energy. If there is any bit of good news for adults to come out of this study, researchers believe that they can use these results to help children better develop athletically as they grow up as well as learn more about what happens to our bodies as we age.
Last Updated on April 24, 2018.