The Impact of Wearing and Perceiving Colors on Hormonal, Physiological, and Psychological Parameters in Cycling

in Journal of Sport and Exercise Psychology
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  • 1 University of Münster
  • | 2 University of Vienna
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This study examines the influence of wearing and perceiving colors in a cycling setting while also examining cortisol, heart rate, estimated maximum oxygen consumption, and subjective performance ratings. A total of 99 individuals completed the study, consisting of cortisol measurements, which compared baseline values to those after changing into a red or blue outfit, and a maximum cycling task performed wearing the same outfit while competing against a video opponent in red or blue. Each participant completed the protocol twice on separate days. Wearing a colored outfit showed no influence on cortisol levels. Regarding the cycling task, the participants wearing red had higher maximum heart rate values than when wearing blue. In addition, the results revealed increased maximum heart rate and maximum oxygen consumption values when perceiving an opponent in blue, especially when the participant also wore blue. No differences were found for the median heart rate or performance ratings.

Mentzel, Dreiskaemper, and Strauss are is with the Dept. of Sport and Exercise Psychology, University of Münster, Münster, Germany. Krenn is with the University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria. 

Mentzel (stijn.mentzel@gmail.com) is corresponding author.

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