CX Yawning Starts

Last few weeks I’ve watched a ton of CX races, one thing which stood out with consistency is the amount of racers – men and women – who are yawning in the starting grid.

Is this phenomena some kind of physiological/psychological/CNS reflex or are they all just that calm, cool, and collected to the point of boredom? Maybe too early of a start time? :man_shrugging:t2:


The science on yawning is so interesting to me, but not cause it answers anything or is in any way helpful. Yawning has to be among the most studied ‘simple’ things we still fundamentally know nothing about.

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I do it. I do it whenever I start to exercise. When I did spin classes, it became a joke as that is how folks knew it was time to ramp things up.

I think it is a “flight or fight” reaction, designed to try and keep the body calm when nervous. A sub-conscious reaction, IIRC.

when seratonin ramps up, it then triggers yawning.

fun fact, thinking about yawning makes you yawn. hence why when you see others yawn you yawn as well. the human body is hilarious.

Maybe one of the racers had a late night, has a sneaky yawn. The rest of the field are highly empathetic people, so it spreads like ummmnmmm… a rumour.

There’s mention of Olympic athletes yawning before competition and paratroopers yawning before jumping, but I couldn’t find a solid reference…

I feel like yawning when reading about all this yawning.

I definitely yawn a bunch before races. Simply a nervous reaction thing.

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From this article

Another theory is that yawning is another way for bodies to thermoregulate, via the action of neurotransmitters. Serotonin is an important neurotransmitter in the regulation of skin blood flow, and the thermoregulation this blood flow does. Increases of serotonin have been shown to increase body and brain temperatures, a change that causes the body to trigger more yawns, in an attempt to cool itself. The effects of serotonin on thermoregulation are especially obvious in the case of patients who suffer from serotonin syndrome, a condition caused by an excess of serotonin in their systems, usually from taking several serotonin-affecting drugs in tandem. Some of the biggest signs of serotonin syndrome are hyperthermia, shivering, sweating and vasoconstriction. This process is also obvious to SSRI (selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor) or SNRI (selective serotonin and norepinephrine reuptake inhibitor) users who experience a relatively (~11%) common side effect of the medications- excessive yawning. While the users may not be aware of it, the increased serotonin levels in their body increases its temperature, and therefore its yawn rate.

Harvard has a similiar theory but this is more related to brain cooling One novel theory is that yawning cools the brain, helping keep it at the right temperature for optimal function. In an old study in the journal Evolutionary Psychology, researchers reported that subjects who cooled their brains by breathing through their noses or holding cold packs to their foreheads — proven brain-cooling strategies — were less likely to yawn when shown videos of other people yawning.

This is what I had always read. I use to yawn a lot during hot gym workouts. So I would guess that the pros warm up and then start to cool down waiting for the start, so the brain/body thinks it’s time to cool down and hence a yawn. But that’s just a guess.

This thread made me yawn:
  • Once
  • More than once
  • Not at all

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Apologies for creating this thread. In the harmonious words of the Bee Gee’s:

I started a topic which started the whole world yawning.

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Its infectious.

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I have a tendency to yawn when nervous, so a start line may cause that for some folks. It seems that tendency has declined as my age has increased…

This is the most yawning conversation