This month, I highlight three stimulating articles from MSSE’s current issue. Recently, some have argued that temperate water immersion (e.g., 26°C) is preferable to cold water immersion (<10°C) for the treatment of exertional heat stroke (EHS). However, Friesen et al. revealed that this is clearly not the case and that body size matters. They showed that hyperthermic individuals with a high body surface area-to-lean body mass ratio had a greater core cooling rate in both cold (2°C) and temperate (26°C) water baths than those with a low ratio. However, immersion in cold water dramatically reduced the differences between groups such that the effects of the physical differences on core cooling rates, and therefore immersion times, were markedly reduced. This study shows that cold water immersion achieves rapid reduction of core temperature irrespective of physical differences between individuals. In association with this report, we are making freely available an article by Casa et al. [Immersion Treatment for Exertional Hyperthermia: Cold or Temperate Water? Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2010;42(7):1246-1252].
Although combined training is widely used, fitness enthusiasts of all age groups often struggle with the same question: Does the order of cardiovascular and resistance training influence the effectiveness of a training program? However, there has been little investigation of the order effect within the same training session. Schumann et al. found that the within-session order of combined cardiovascular and resistance exercise over 6 months of training did not seem to have an effect on biological adaptations, leaving the exercise order up to personal preference for moderate volume training. To compliment this report, we are making freely available a highly cited article by McCarthy et al. [Compatibility of Adaptive Responses with Combining Strength and Endurance Training. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 1995;27(3):429-436].
Finally, Stadheim and colleagues reported that, in a placebo-controlled double-blinded trial, caffeine ingestion prior to an exercise performance test on two consecutive days gave similar improvements compared to placebo on both days. The improved performance after caffeine intake on day 1 was associated with higher plasma creatine kinase activity and muscular pain the following day, indicating larger muscular damage. Furthermore the improved time-trial performance after caffeine ingestion was associated with higher heart rate and oxygen consumption on both days, indicating improved aerobic ability. For historical perspective, we are making freely available a highly cited article (> 300 times) by Costill et al. [Effects of Caffeine Ingestion on Metabolism and Exercise Performance. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 1978;10(3):155-158].
L. Bruce Gladden