COOLING THE ARMS AND TORSO DOES NOT IMPROVE ENDURANCE IN HOT HUMID CONDITIONS

Hohenauer, E., Clijsen, R., Cabri, J., & Clarys, P. (2009). Effect of different local cooling applications on endurance capacity during cycling. A paper presented at the 14th Annual Congress of the European College of Sport Science, Oslo, Norway, June 24-27.

red line

This study investigated the effects of local upper-arms cooling, upper-body cooling, and combined cooling of the upper arms and upper body on the endurance capacity during cycling. Young male healthy subjects (N = 7) were tested under four different conditions: without cooling; with cooling bands; with a cooling vest; and with cooling bands and avest. The cooling bands were placed on the left and right upper arm. Both vest and bands were saturated (bands 25 ml each, vest 225 ml) with a menthol-alcohol liquid. Ss underwent a standardized incremental bike ergometer test. Time-to-exhaustion was determined and used as the independent variable for endurance capacity. At the end of each incremental step, the following variables were measured: blood lactate, heart rate, body temperature and rating of perceived exhaustion (BORG scale).The four experiment manipulations were accomplished within one week to decrease the chance of exercise adaptation. Temperature (35C) and relative humidity (44%) were kept constant in the assessment environment.

Mean time-to-exhaustion did not differ between the four conditions. There were no significant differences for blood lactate, heart rate, or body temperature between the four conditions. All Ss reported feeling more comfortable when wearing the cooling vest.

Implication. Under hot and humid environmental conditions, local cooling of the upper arms and/or upper body by Energicer bands and/or vests does not enhance endurance capacity during cycling.

Return to Table of Contents for this issue.

red line