School of Sport & Exercise Sciences

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Dr Lex Mauger

Director for BSc Sports Science / Senior Lecturer


Dr Lex Mauger is the Programme Director for Sports Science and specialises in Physiology.


Lex completed his BSc in Sport and Exercise Science at Exeter University and graduated with First Class honours in 2006. He then went on to complete his PhD at Exeter University in 2010. During this time he worked as a Graduate Teaching Assistant and completed his BASES supervised experience programme in exercise physiology scientific support.

Lex attained his first Lectureship at the University of Bedfordshire in September 2009, and was there for 2 years before joining the University of Kent in 2011. He is currently a Senior Lecturer and Director of Studies for the Sport and Exercise Science Programme. Lex has over 30 peer-reviewed publications and has won external grant income from Maxinutrition, UEFA, The Arthritic Association and East Kent NHS Foundation Trust, totalling over £250,000.

His current research interests are in the role of exercise-induced pain on fatigue and pacing, and the use of self-pacing in testing for maximal oxygen uptake and exercise performance. In his spare time Lex enjoys training for, and competing in triathlon (from sprint to half-ironman distances), is a keen cook and a ‘foodie’!

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Also view these in the Kent Academic Repository

    Mauger, Lex and Taylor, Lee and Harding, Christopher et al. (2014) Acute acetaminophen (paracetamol) ingestion improves time to exhaustion during exercise in the heat. Experimental Physiology, 99. pp. 164-171. ISSN 0958-0670.


    Acetaminophen (paracetamol) is a commonly used over-the-counter analgesic and antipyretic and has previously been shown to improve exercise performance through a reduction in perceived pain. This study sought to establish whether its antipyretic action may also improve exercise capacity in the heat by moderating the increase in core temperature. On separate days, 11 recreationally active participants completed a graded exercise test, a familiarisation time to exhaustion and two experimental time to exhaustion trials on a cycle ergometer in hot conditions (30 °C, 50% rh) after ingesting a placebo control or an oral dose of acetaminophen in a randomised, double-blind design. Following acetaminophen ingestion, participants cycled for a significantly longer period of time (acetaminophen = 23 ± 15 min vs. placebo = 19 ± 13 min, p = 0.005) (95% CI = 90-379 s), and this was accompanied by significantly lower core (-0.15 °C), skin (-0.47 °C) and body temperatures (0.19 °C) (p < 0.05). In the acetaminophen condition, participants also reported significantly lower ratings of thermal sensation (-0.39, p = 0.015), but no significant change in heart rate was observed (p > 0.05). This is the first study to demonstrate that an acute dose of acetaminophen can improve cycling capacity in hot conditions, and that this may be due to the observed reduction in core, skin and body temperature, and the subjective perception of thermal comfort. These findings suggest that ACT may reduce the thermoregulatory strain elicited from exercise, thus improving time to exhaustion.

    Foster, Josh and Taylor, Lee and Chrismas, Bryna C. R. et al. (2014) The influence of acetaminophen on repeated sprint cycling performance. European Journal of Applied Physiology, 114 (1). pp. 41-48. ISSN 1439-6319.


    INTRODUCTION: The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of acetaminophen on repeated sprint cycling performance. METHODS: Nine recreationally active male participants completed a graded exercise test, a familiarisation set of Wingate Anaerobic Tests (WAnTs) and two experimental sets of WAnTs (8 × 30 s sprints, 2 min active rest intervals). In the experimental WAnTs, participants ingested either 1.5 g acetaminophen or a placebo in a double-blind, randomised, crossover design. During the WAnT trials, participants provided ratings of perceived pain 20 s into each sprint. Mean and peak power output and heart rate were recorded immediately following each sprint, and percentage decrement in mean power output was subsequently calculated. RESULTS: Participants cycled at a significantly greater mean power output over the course of 8 WAnTs (p < 0.05) following the ingestion of acetaminophen (391 ± 74 vs. 372 ± 90 W), due to a significantly greater mean power output during sprints 6, 7 and 8 (p < 0.05). Percentage decrements in mean power output were also significantly reduced (p < 0.05) following acetaminophen ingestion (17 ± 14 vs. 24 ± 17 %). No significant differences in peak power output, perceived pain or heart rate were observed between conditions. CONCLUSION: Acetaminophen may have improved performance through the reduction of pain for a given work rate, thereby enabling participants to exercise closer to a true physiological limit. These results suggest that exercise may be regulated by pain perception, and that an increased pain tolerance can improve exercise performance.

    Castle, Paul C. and Kularatne, B. Pasan and Brewer, John et al. (2013) Partial heat acclimation of athletes with spinal cord lesion. European Journal of Applied Physiology, 113 (1). pp. 109-115. ISSN 1439-6319.


    Heat acclimation (HA) can improve thermoregulatory stability in able-bodied athletes in part by an enhanced sweat response. Athletes with spinal cord lesion are unable to sweat below the lesion and it is unknown if they can HA. Five paralympic shooting athletes with spinal cord lesion completed seven consecutive days HA in hot conditions (33.4 ± 0.6 °C, 64.8 ± 3.7 %rh). Each HA session consisted of 20 min arm crank exercise at 50 % [Formula: see text] followed by 40 min rest, or simulated shooting. Aural temperature (T (aur)) was recorded throughout. Body mass was assessed before and after each session and a sweat collection swab was fixed to T12 of the spine. Fingertip whole blood was sampled at rest on days 1 and 7 for estimation of the change in plasma volume. Resting T (aur) declined from 36.3 ± 0.2 °C on day 1 to 36.0 ± 0.2 °C by day 6 (P < 0.05). During the HA sessions mean, T (aur) declined from 37.2 ± 0.2 °C on day 1, to 36.7 ± 0.3 °C on day 7 (P < 0.05). Plasma volume increased from day 1 by 1.5 ± 0.6 % on day 7 (P < 0.05). No sweat secretion was detected or changes in body mass observed from any participant. Repeated hyperthermia combined with limited evaporative heat loss was sufficient to increase plasma volume, probably by alterations in fluid regulatory hormones. In conclusion, we found that although no sweat response was observed, athletes with spinal cord lesion could partially HA.

    Mauger, Lex (2013) VO2max is altered by self-pacing during incremental exercise. European Journal of Applied Physiology, 113 (2). pp. 541-542. ISSN 1439-6319.

    Mauger, Lex and Hopker, James G. (2013) The effect of acetaminophen ingestion on cortico-spinal excitability. Canadian Journal of Physiology and Pharmacology, 91 (2). pp. 187-189. ISSN 0008-4212.


    Acetaminophen (ACT) facilitates the inhibition of voltage-gated calcium and sodium currents, which may effect cortico-spinal excitability. Twelve subjects ingested acetaminophen or a placebo and underwent transcranial magnetic stimulation to assess the motor evoked potential (MEP), and cortical silent period (CSP). ACT significantly increased MEP response (P > 0.05) but had no effect on CSP (P > 0.05). This indicates that ACT increases MEP and should be controlled for in studies where these measures are of interest.

Total publications in KAR: 17 [See all in KAR]

For more information about my publications, please visit my Google Scholar or Research Gate profiles.

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Lex's principal research interests are focused on how the body, as an integrative system, maintains a relative homeostasis during intense exercise through the anticipatory regulation of work rate. This has led to work looking at the role of exercise-induced pain and how this effects decisions to change work-rate during performance, and as a cause of fatigue. He also continues to develop the ‘self-paced VO2max’, examining the mechanisms underpinning the physiological response to this test, and it’s application in athletic and clinical populations. Lex currently supervises several PhD students, who are working on the above areas, and is an active member for the School’s Endurance Research Group (ERG) and Health Research Group.

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Last Updated: 28/01/2015