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Heat alleviation strategies for athletic performance: A review and practitioner guidelines

Gibson, O.R., James, C.A., Mee, Jessica, Willmott, A.G.B., Turner, G., Hayes, M. and Maxwell, N.S. (2019) Heat alleviation strategies for athletic performance: A review and practitioner guidelines. Temperature. ISSN Print: 2332-8940, Online: 2332-8959 (In Press)

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Abstract

International competition inevitably presents logistical challenges for athletes. Events such as the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games require further consideration given historical climate data suggest athletes will experience significant heat stress. Given the expected climate, athletes face major challenges to health and performance. With this in mind, heat alleviation strategies should be a fundamental consideration. This review provides a focused perspective of the relevant literature describing how practitioners can structure male and female athlete preparations for performance in hot, humid conditions. Whilst scientific literature commonly describes experimental work, with a primary focus on maximizing magnitudes of adaptive responses, this may sacrifice ecological validity, particularly for athletes whom must balance logistical considerations aligned with integrating environmental preparation around training, tapering and travel plans. Additionally, opportunities for sophisticated interventions may not be possible in the constrained environment of the athlete village or event arenas. This review therefore takes knowledge gained from robust experimental work, interprets it and provides direction on how practitioners/coaches can optimize their athletes’ heat alleviation strategies. This review identifies two distinct heat alleviation themes that should be considered to form an individualized strategy for the athlete to enhance thermoregulatory/performance physiology. First, chronic heat alleviation techniques are outlined, these describe interventions such as heat acclimation, which are implemented pre, during and posttraining to prepare for the increased heat stress. Second, acute heat alleviation techniques that are implemented immediately prior to, and sometimes during the event are discussed.

Item Type: Article
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The full-text of the online published article can be accessed via the official URL.

Uncontrolled Keywords: heat acclimation, heat acclimitization, thermoregulation, cooling, adaptation, athlete
Divisions: Divisions (2019 onwards) > College of Business, Psychology and Sport > School of Sport and Exercise Science
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Copyright Info: Open access article
Depositing User: Jessica Mee
Date Deposited: 23 Oct 2019 10:20
Last Modified: 23 Oct 2019 10:20
URI: https://eprints.worc.ac.uk/id/eprint/8802

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