Induction and decay of short-term heat acclimation

A.T. Garrett, N.G. Goosens, N.G. Rehrer, M.J. Patterson, J.D. Cotter

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    The purpose of this work was to investigate adaptation and decay from short-term (5-day) heat acclimation (STHA). Ten moderately trained males (mean ± SD age 28 ± 7 years; body mass 74.6 ± 4.4 kg; 4.26 ± 0.37 l min−1) underwent heat acclimation (Acc) for 90-min on 5-days consecutively (T a = 39.5°C, 60% RH), under controlled hyperthermia (rectal temperature 38.5°C). Participants completed a heat stress test (HST) 1 week before acclimation (Acc), then on the 2nd and 8th day (1 week) following Acc (T a = 35°C, 60% RH). Seven participants completed HSTs 2 and 3 weeks after Acc. HST consisted of 90-min cycling at 40% peak power output before an incremental performance test. Rectal temperature at rest (37.1 ± 0.4°C) was not lowered by Acc (95% CI −0.3 to 0.2°C), after 90-min exercise (38.6 ± 0.5°C) it reduced 0.3°C (−0.5 to −0.1°C) and remained at this level 1 week later (−0.5 to −0.1°C), but not two (0.1°C −0.4 to 0.5°C; n = 7) or 3 weeks. Similarly, heart rate after 90-min exercise (146 ± 21 b min−1) was reduced (−13: −6 to −20 b min−1) and remained at this level after 1 week (−13: −6 to −20 b min−1) but not two (−9: 6 to −23 b min−1; n = 7) or 3 weeks. Performance (746 s) increased 106 s: 59 to 152 s after Acc and remained higher after one (76 s: 31 to 122) but not two (15 s: −88 to 142 s; n = 7) or 3 weeks. Therefore, STHA (5-day) induced adaptations permitting increased heat loss and this persisted 1 week but not 2 weeks following Acc.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)659-670
    JournalEuropean Journal of Applied Physiology
    Issue number6
    Publication statusPublished - 2009


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