The effect of different local cooling applications on the endurance capacity during cycling

Hohenauer, Erich and Clijsen, Ron and Cabri, Jan and Clarys, Peter (2009) The effect of different local cooling applications on the endurance capacity during cycling. In: 14th annual congress of the european college of sport sciences , Oslo , Norway .

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Abstract: INTRODUCTION: The production of heat during intense exercise causes an increase of muscle temperature and core temperature, which can amount up to 40°C. In order to avoid losing endurance capacity, the body adjusts by rapidly reducing temperature. Evaporation is the primary mechanism by which muscle heat is released during exercise (Nybo et al., 2007). AIM: The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of local upper arms cooling, upper body cooling and combined cooling of the upper arms and upper body on the endurance capacity during cycling. METHODS: Seven male young healthy subjects (n=7) volunteered in this study. A random, cross-over design was used. The subjects were tested under four different conditions: A= without cooling; B= Energicer cooling bands; C= Energicer cooling vest; D= Energicer cooling bands and vest. The cooling bands (7.5 x 5 x 0.5 cm) were placed on the left and right upper arm. Both vest and bands were saturated (bands 25ml each, vest 225ml) with a menthol-alcohol liquid (Liquid Ice Cosmedicals GmbH, Unterägeri, Switzerland). We conducted a standardized incremental bike ergometer test following the Swiss Olympic Guidelines. Time to exhaustion was determined and used as the independent variable for endurance capacity. At the end of each incremental step following variables were measured: blood lactate, heart rate, body temperature and perceived exhaustion (BORG scale).The 4 experiments were accomplished within one week to decrease the chance of adaptation. Environmental temperature (35°C) and relative humidity (44%) of the lab were kept constant. RESULTS: Mean age and BMI of the subjects were 39,11 y and 28,2 kg.m-2 respectively. Mean time to exhaustion didn’t differ between the four conditions (p>0,05). We observed no significant differences at blood lactate, heart rate and body temperature during examination between the four conditions. DISCUSSION: Our results are in line with Duffield et al. (2003). However all participants mentioned to feel more comfortable when wearing the cooling vest under the used environmental conditions. This effect might aggravate with the airflow when cycling under outdoor conditions which may lead to psychological advantages for the athlete. We didn’t observe any significant changes in body temperature, and endurance capacity if cooling bands and/or cooling vests were used. CONCLUSION: Under hot and humid environmental conditions local cooling of the upper arms and/or upper body by Energicer bands and/or vests don’t enhance endurance capacity during cycling. Further studies are needed to analyse the effects of Energicer bands and vests when simulating the airflow in hot and humid environmental conditions and the effects on the skin temperature. REFERENCES: Duffield R, Dawson B, Bishop D, Fitzsimons M, Lawrence S. (2003). Br J Sports Med, 37:164-169. Nybo L. (2007). J App. Physiol, 104:871-878.

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