Your Brain Is Hotter Than Your Body - Don't Be A Hot Head!

Your brain needs a constant supply of blood and it doesn’t take kindly to periods of deprivation! Even small periods of blood starvation can cause brain cell death with the most common causes being a Cerebrovascular accident (CVA) aka stroke, and mercifully less frequent causes including Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) and suffocation or drowning. Anyway, off of this morbid subject, but the reason for me mentioning this is because blood flow to the brain is absolutely integral, and the constant flow in a relatively concentrated space is one of the reasons why the brain is hotter than the rest of your body. So the polarity and magnitude of temperature difference between the brain and body is effected by some of the traumatic events as mentioned above, but more pertinently the temperature of your brain significantly increases because of exercise.

Effect of exercise on brain temperature

When we exercise our bodies temperature rises, consequently our Blood Brain Barriers permeability changes resulting in leakage meaning toxins can enter the brain (this is also a risk of overtraining). So ultimately, exercise leads to elevated brain temperature which in turn causes central nervous fatigue, you might have noticed your veins protruding from your head during exercise, this is because of the preferential shift of arterial blood to the brain in order to help cool it down!

So avoid being a ‘hot head’ when training by bringing your brain temperature back down as efficiently as possible by having a cool shower or immersing yourself in cold water after exercise or between events.

References

Childs, C, et al. (2013). Clinical review: Brain-body temperature differences in adults with severe traumatic brain injury. Critical Care. 22;17(2)Retrieved 28th August, 2013, from Discount Supplements

About the Author

Job Role Qualified Dietitian and Sports Nutritionist Qualifications BSc (Hons) Sports Science | BSc (Hons) Dietetics Tom has always participated in sport both recreationally and competitively which led to an unquenchable thirst for information on anything health, nutrition and fitness. After leaving school Tom went on to play for a football academy during which time he studied Sport and Exercise Science. From here he went on to study a BSc (Hons) Sport Science at UEA followed by his second BSc (Hons) degree, this time at the University of Hertfordshire studying Dietetics. Tom has worked in the fitness, educational and clinical nutrition industry starting out at David Lloyd Health and Leisure Clubs. He then went on to work as a Dietitian (RD) in the NHS, during which time he conducted clinics for healthy eating, weight loss and weight gain, as well as specialised consultations on Diabetes, IBS and Coeliac disease to name a few. He has vast amounts of experience at devising diet plans and supplement regimens, as well as working in the community with schools and competitive athletes. As Head Nutritionist and Supplement expert at Discount Supplements Tom is here to provide current and evidence based health and nutrition information to help you reach your health and fitness goals!
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