The effect of climatic heat stress on intermittent supramaximal running performance in humans

N S Maxwell, T C Aitchison, M A Nimmo

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15 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

The purpose of this study was to test the hypothesis that intermittent supramaximal running would be negatively affected when performed in a hot humid environment. Twelve physically active, male volunteers took part in this study. The exercise model was performed under three environmental trial conditions, randomly assigned and separated by 1 week. This included performing: (a) a standardized warm-up in the cool environment and a repeated sprint test in the cool environment (CC); (b) a standardized warm-up in the cool environment and a repeated sprint test in a hot, humid environment (CH); and (c) a standardized warm-up in a hot, humid environment and a repeated sprint test in a hot, humid environment (HH). The repeated sprint test involved 20 s runs, each at increasing-intensity, with 100s passive recovery between successive sprints. Capillary blood samples were taken post-warm-up and at 1, 3 and 6 min post-repeated sprint test for the determination of plasma lactate, ammonia and glucose concentrations and the percentage change in plasma volume. Rectal, aural and mean skin temperature were measured continuously throughout each trial condition. Sweat loss was estimated from the change in body mass. Sweat loss was significantly greater in the HH trial than in the CH trial and in the CH trial than in the CC trial (P < 0.0001). Performance was significantly better in the CC trial than in the CH and HH trials (CC vs. CH and HH: 151 +/- 4 vs. 144 +/- 5 and 140 +/- 5 s, respectively, P = 0.02). For the post-exercise data, significant differences were found between the CC and the CH and HH trials in rectal (P = 0.007), aural (P < 0.001) and mean skin temperatures (P < 0.001). No significant differences were found in post-repeated sprint test lactate and ammonia concentrations, or in plasma volume among trial conditions, but glucose concentrations were higher in the CH and HH trials than in the CC trial (P = 0.005). No significant differences were found in performance, body temperature or any blood measurement between the CH and HH trials. Intermittent supramaximal running performance was detrimentally affected by a hot, humid environment, resulting in performance being significantly less in the CH and HH trials than in the CC trial.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)833-45
Number of pages13
JournalExperimental Physiology
Volume81
Issue number5
Publication statusPublished - Sep 1996

Keywords

  • Adult
  • Body Temperature
  • Heart Rate
  • Heat Stress Disorders
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Physical Endurance
  • Running
  • Sweating

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