Brains And Brawn: Elite Athletes Also Excel In Cognitive Tasks

For all those who think that you can’t have both brains and brawn, the latest research is showing that the two are in fact linked and elite athletes are able to out-perform the general population in both sport and cognitive tasks! The study found that an athlete’s brain is able to take in and respond to new information at a rapid rate...and that is not all!

Being an athlete also minimises performance differences that usually occur between males and females. Female athletes were found to be more like their male peers when it came to speed of calculations and reaction times during a study conducted by the University of Illinois.

Athletes also appear more able to inhibit behaviour and discontinue activity quickly when necessary which is important for sport and daily life. They are able to respond to stimuli, pick up new information at a glance and switch between tasks more quickly and efficiently than non-athletes.

A muscular physique, good health and better memory, focus, concentration and peripheral vision are all a result of hard training and dedication to sport!


Alves H, Voss MW, Boot WR, Deslandes A, Cossich V, Salles JI, Kramer AF, Perceptual-Cognitive Expertise in Elite Volleyball Players, Frontiers in Psychology, 2013;4.

About the Author

Job Role Sports Nutritionist and Social Media Coordinator Qualifications Bsc Sport and Exercise Science Steph has a competitive athletic background which spans 19 years. As a child she performed with the English Youth Ballet and had performed on the West End stage by the age of 10. Her enthusiasm for sport and fitness continued to grow as she did, encouraging her to learn more about nutrition and training. She began using her knowledge and personal experience to help others when she began coaching at the age of 16. From here, she went on to study Sport and Exercise Science at the University of Essex during which time she also received the Most Promising Newcomer Award from her University to mark her outstanding contribution to sport. During her first year of study she was introduced to partner stunt acrobatics and artistic gymnastics. After one year of dedicating herself to a lifestyle revolving around her sport, she was training with the best team in the UK who are currently ranked fifth in the world. Steph has worked in both the private and public sector coaching children and adults from grassroot to elite level as well as providing them with cutting edge advice on how to reach their goals. Steph has received awards for her choreography and has competed nationally and internationally meaning that she can back up her scientific knowledge with a wealth of experience. As our resident Sports Nutritionist, Steph is here to provide the most current and evidence based fitness, health and nutrition information to help you reach your health and fitness goals.
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