Adaptations and mechanisms of human heat acclimation

Applications for competitive athletes and sports

J. D. Périard, Sebastien Racinais, Michael N. Sawka

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

98 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Exercise heat acclimation induces physiological adaptations that improve thermoregulation, attenuate physiological strain, reduce the risk of serious heat illness, and improve aerobic performance in warm-hot environments and potentially in temperate environments. The adaptations include improved sweating, improved skin blood flow, lowered body temperatures, reduced cardiovascular strain, improved fluid balance, altered metabolism, and enhanced cellular protection. The magnitudes of adaptations are determined by the intensity, duration, frequency, and number of heat exposures, as well as the environmental conditions (i.e., dry or humid heat). Evidence is emerging that controlled hyperthermia regimens where a target core temperature is maintained, enable more rapid and complete adaptations relative to the traditional constant work rate exercise heat acclimation regimens. Furthermore, inducing heat acclimation outdoors in a natural field setting may provide more specific adaptations based on direct exposure to the exact environmental and exercise conditions to be encountered during competition. This review initially examines the physiological adaptations associated with heat acclimation induction regimens, and subsequently emphasizes their application to competitive athletes and sports.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)20-38
Number of pages19
JournalScandinavian Journal of Medicine and Science in Sports
Volume25
Issue numberS1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2015
Externally publishedYes

Fingerprint

Acclimatization
Athletes
Sports
Hot Temperature
Physiological Adaptation
Exercise
Sweating
Water-Electrolyte Balance
Body Temperature Regulation
Body Temperature
Fever
Skin
Temperature

Cite this

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Adaptations and mechanisms of human heat acclimation : Applications for competitive athletes and sports. / Périard, J. D.; Racinais, Sebastien; Sawka, Michael N.

In: Scandinavian Journal of Medicine and Science in Sports, Vol. 25, No. S1, 01.06.2015, p. 20-38.

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

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T2 - Applications for competitive athletes and sports

AU - Périard, J. D.

AU - Racinais, Sebastien

AU - Sawka, Michael N.

PY - 2015/6/1

Y1 - 2015/6/1

N2 - Exercise heat acclimation induces physiological adaptations that improve thermoregulation, attenuate physiological strain, reduce the risk of serious heat illness, and improve aerobic performance in warm-hot environments and potentially in temperate environments. The adaptations include improved sweating, improved skin blood flow, lowered body temperatures, reduced cardiovascular strain, improved fluid balance, altered metabolism, and enhanced cellular protection. The magnitudes of adaptations are determined by the intensity, duration, frequency, and number of heat exposures, as well as the environmental conditions (i.e., dry or humid heat). Evidence is emerging that controlled hyperthermia regimens where a target core temperature is maintained, enable more rapid and complete adaptations relative to the traditional constant work rate exercise heat acclimation regimens. Furthermore, inducing heat acclimation outdoors in a natural field setting may provide more specific adaptations based on direct exposure to the exact environmental and exercise conditions to be encountered during competition. This review initially examines the physiological adaptations associated with heat acclimation induction regimens, and subsequently emphasizes their application to competitive athletes and sports.

AB - Exercise heat acclimation induces physiological adaptations that improve thermoregulation, attenuate physiological strain, reduce the risk of serious heat illness, and improve aerobic performance in warm-hot environments and potentially in temperate environments. The adaptations include improved sweating, improved skin blood flow, lowered body temperatures, reduced cardiovascular strain, improved fluid balance, altered metabolism, and enhanced cellular protection. The magnitudes of adaptations are determined by the intensity, duration, frequency, and number of heat exposures, as well as the environmental conditions (i.e., dry or humid heat). Evidence is emerging that controlled hyperthermia regimens where a target core temperature is maintained, enable more rapid and complete adaptations relative to the traditional constant work rate exercise heat acclimation regimens. Furthermore, inducing heat acclimation outdoors in a natural field setting may provide more specific adaptations based on direct exposure to the exact environmental and exercise conditions to be encountered during competition. This review initially examines the physiological adaptations associated with heat acclimation induction regimens, and subsequently emphasizes their application to competitive athletes and sports.

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KW - Fluid balance

KW - Heat acclimatization

KW - Thermal tolerance

KW - Thermoregulation

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U2 - 10.1111/sms.12408

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