A blast of rap music by Eminem can boost an athlete’s performance by 10%, scientists have discovered.
Tracks such as Lose Yourself, Not Afraid and Without Me were shown to “significantly” increase both power and endurance during prolonged and intense exercise.
Their tempo, rhythm and confrontational lyrics were found to have a “highly motivational edge” that are particularly effective over long distances.
Researchers at Hartpury University Centre, in Gloucestershire, studied the physiological effects of different types of music on British swimmer Ben Hooper, 36, ahead of a 2,000-mile Atlantic swim in December.
They found after listening to certain tracks, especially by Eminem, Hooper felt less tired and more alert.
His speed also increased by just under 10%. But lead researcher Richard Collins found lyrics with an “emotional resonance” were more important to Hooper than the tunes’ tempo and rhythm.
Mr Collins said: “Rhythm is important, in that athletes should listen to music that is a little bit faster than their usual pace.
“Our work with Ben, however, highlights the importance of emotional impact.
“The music still needs to be at a brisk pace, but we found tracks with an emotional resonance can boost performance and endurance as much as 10%. These songs may help Ben to push through the pain.
“This could be because these emotionally tied songs help Ben muscle down and push through the pain and monotony of swimming so many lengths.”