The impact of prior heat stress on subsequent aerobic exercise-heat performance has not been studied.
To determine whether prior heat stress degrades subsequent aerobic exercise performance in the heat.
Eighteen nonheat acclimated males were trained (four practice trials) on an aerobic exercise performance test in 22°C and then divided into two (n = 8) groups. One group (EUHPH; V˙O2peak = 44 ± 7 mL·kg−1·min−1) was tested after 90 min of recovery (in 22°C) from 3 h of intermittent light-intensity (<30% V˙O2peak) exercise-heat (50°C) stress, where sweat losses were matched with fluid intake (3.5 ± 0.5 L) to maintain euhydration. The other group (EUH; V˙O2peak = 45 ± 5 mL·kg−1·min−1) was tested while euhydrated without prior exercise-heat stress. Aerobic performance was determined from a 30-min cycling preload (50% V˙O2peak) followed by a 15-min time trial in 40°C. Total work during the 15-min performance time trial in EUH and EUHPH was compared, as were the percent changes from the best practice trials.
Volunteers were euhydrated (plasma osmolality <290 mOsm·kg−1) and normothermic before each exercise-heat trial. Heart rate and core temperature were not different (P > 0.05) between groups at any time point during exercise. Total work was not different (P > 0.05) at baseline or between EUH (150.5 ± 28.3 kJ; 2.0 ± 0.3 kJ·kg−1) and EUHPH (160.3 ± 24.0 kJ; 1.8 ± 0.2 kJ·kg−1). The percent change in total work relative to baseline was not different (P > 0.05) between EUH (−18.7% ± 9.2%) and EUHPH (−15.0% ± 7.8%).
If hydration and body temperatures recover, prior exercise-heat stress does not result in a greater degradation in aerobic time trial performance in the heat compared with heat exposure alone.
US Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine, Natick, MA
Address for correspondence: Robert W. Kenefick, Ph.D., FACSM, Thermal and Mountain Medicine Division, US Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine, Kansas Street, Natick, MA 01760; E-mail: Robert.Kenefick@us.army.mil.
Submitted for publication November 2008.
Accepted for publication December 2008.