Effect of sportswear on performance and physiological heat strain during prolonged running in moderately hot conditions

Leonidas G Ioannou, Lydia Tsoutsoubi, Paraskevi Gkiata, Harry A Brown, Julien D Periard, Igor B Mekjavic, Glen P Kenny, Lars Nybo, Andreas D Flouris

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Abstract

INTRODUCTION: This study examined the impact of different upper-torso sportswear technologies on the performance and physiological heat strain of well-trained and national-level athletes during prolonged running in moderately hot conditions.

METHODS: A randomized crossover design was employed in which 20 well-trained (n = 16) and national-level (n = 4) athletes completed four experimental trials in moderately hot conditions (35°C, 30% relative humidity). In each trial, participants ran at 70% of their peak oxygen uptake (70% V̇O 2peak ) for 60 min, while wearing a different upper-body garment: cotton t-shirt, t-shirt with sweat-wicking fabric, compression t-shirt, and t-shirt with aluminum dots lining the inside of the upper back of the garment. Running speed was adjusted to elicit the predetermined oxygen consumption associated with 70% V̇O 2peak . Physiological (core and skin temperatures, total body water loss, and urine specific gravity) and perceptual (thermal comfort and sensation, ratings of perceived exertion, and garment cooling functionality) parameters along with running speed at 70% V̇O 2peak were continuously recorded.

RESULTS: No significant differences were observed between the four garments for running speed at 70% V̇O 2peak , physiological heat strain, and perceptual responses (all p > 0.05). The tested athletes reported larger areas of perceived suboptimal cooling functionality in the cotton t-shirt and the t-shirt with aluminum dots relative to the sweat-wicking and compression t-shirts (d: 0.43-0.52).

CONCLUSION: There were not differences among the tested garments regarding running speed at 70% V̇O 2peak , physiological heat strain, and perceptual responses in well-trained and national-level endurance athletes exercising in moderate heat.

Original languageEnglish
Article numbere14520
Pages (from-to)1-13
Number of pages13
JournalScandinavian journal of medicine & science in sports
Volume34
Issue number1
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jan 2024

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