HUMIDITY DOES NOT AFFECT MAXIMAL OXYGEN UPTAKE OR ANAEROBIC PERFORMANCE

Zhao, J., Lorenzo, S., An, N., Feng, W., Lail, L., & Cui, S. (2013). Effects of heat and different humidities on aerobic and anaerobic exercise performance in athletes. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, 45(5), Supplement abstract number 350.

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"Previous studies suggested that maximal oxygen uptake (VO2max) and Wingate Anaerobic Test performances are decreased in hot environments, but more research is needed to investigate whether humidity changes in hot environments further affect VO2max and the Wingate Anaerobic Test." Trained males (N = 9) performed VO2max and Wingate Anaerobic Tests in three different environmental conditions: i) a control condition of 21C/20% RH, ii) 33C/20% RH (Hot-dry), and iii) 33C/80% RH (Hot-wet).

Compared to control condition, Hot-dry and Hot-wet conditions had lower VO2max values. There was no difference in VO2max between Hot-dry and Hot-wet conditions. A decrease in oral-to-skin temperature gradient of post-exercise was strongly correlated with decrease of VO2max in all conditions (r = 0.835). There was no significant difference between conditions in peak power, anaerobic capacity, or blood lactate maximum during the Wingate Anaerobic Test.

Implication. Maximal oxygen uptake was impaired in Hot-dry and Hot-wet conditions compared to a mild-climate control. There was no difference between Hot-dry and Hot-wet conditions indicating it is not affected by humidity. The oral-to-skin temperature gradient of post-exercise may explain approximately 70% of the variance in VO2max in all three different environmental conditions. Wingate Anaerobic Test performance was not affected by either hot-dry or how-wet conditions when compared with a control environment indicating it is not affected by humidity.

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