Cable, N. T., & Weston, M. (1999). Pre-cooling reduces thermoregulatory strain and skin blood flow during exercise. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 31(5), Supplement abstract 1515.

This study examined the thermoregulatory response of skin blood flow during exercise with and without precooling. Males (N = 6) cycled intermittently at 65% VO2max for 45 minutes in an ambient temperature of 22 degrees Celsius on two occasions. A control and precooling (60-minute shower of 28 degrees Celsius, reduced by a further 2 degrees every 20 minutes) preceded one exercise bout.

There were no significant differences in heart rate, lactate, core temperature of skin bloodflow between trials. Precooling significantly reduced skin temperatures, while core temperatures rose significantly more in the control condition.

These responses suggest that following precooling, central blood volume is increased reducing thermoregulatory competition for muscle blood supply.

Implication. Precooling reduces blood flow to the skin making more blood available for muscular work.

Return to Table of Contents for this issue.