Antihistamines May Block All of the Benefits of Exercise

By Tom Walker Apr 28, 2021

Many People Take Antihistamines Before Exercising Outdoors / Shutterstock / Maridav

Taking antihistamines before exercise can prevent the body from fully benefiting from exercise.

That’s the conclusion of a new study, which found that antihistamines reduce normal increases in blood flow to muscles by 35% during exercise.

Led by the University of Ghent and the University of Copenhagen and published in the Scientists progress newspaper, the study also found that antihistamines lowered aerobic capacity, blocking improvements in circulation and the body’s ability to tolerate glucose through exercise.

Antihistamines are a drug commonly used by people with hay fever – and many take them before exercising outside.

Lead author of the study, sports scientist Professor Wim Derave said HCM: “Physical training induces health-promoting adaptations to several organ systems, orchestrated by an interaction between various exercise factors and signaling events.

“In the present study, we show that histamine H1 / H2 signaling is an essential transducer of the response to adaptive exercise training, with broad clinical relevance: aerobic capacity, glycemic control and vascular function.

“These adverse effects of H1 / H2 blockade on functional outcome were caused by altered adaptations of key regulatory proteins, illustrating the integrative role of H1 / H2 receptors in mediating responses to exercise.

“A potential functional cause of blunt training adaptations with histamine receptor blockade is significantly reduced post-exercise muscle perfusion.”

To read the full research paper, titled Histamine H1 and H2 receptors are essential transducers of the integrative exercise training response in humans, Click here

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