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Lower-Limb Passive Heat Maintenance Combined With Pre-cooling Improves Repeated Sprint Ability

Pre-conditioning strategies to potentiate performance are a common feature of pre-competition routines. The elevation of muscle temperature is seen as a vital component of preparing for physical performance, while pre-cooling strategies have been adopted to offset fatigue during repeated efforts. We investigated the individual and combined effects of a passive heat maintenance strategy and the ingestion of an ice-water slurry on repeated sprint performance. In a random cross-over design, 12 professional male athletes performed 5 × 40 m maximal running sprints under one of four conditions following a standardized warm-up: 15-min passive rest (Control); wearing a lower-body survival garment (HEAT); consuming a 500 mL ice slushy (COLD); or wearing the survival garment and consuming the slushy (H+C). Measures of sprint speed, fatigue, heart rate, and rectal temperature were collected. Compared to COLD: HEAT improved Sprint 1 (ES: 0.84; p = 0.05), but negatively impacted Sprint 4 (ES: -0.87; p = 0.08), and Sprint 5 (ES: -1.57; p = 0.002). H+C was faster than Control for every sprint (ES: 0.28 to 0.66), clearly faster than COLD on Sprints 1–3 (ES: 0.73 to 0.54), and clearly faster than HEAT on Sprints 4 and 5 (ES: 1.31 and 1.87). Fatigue was greatest after the HEAT intervention with a large correlation between fatigue and rectal temperature (r = 0.66; p = 0.0204). While there are undoubtedly peripheral effects of cooling and heating on various aspects of muscle function and fatigue, understanding the integration of psychophysiological homeostatic feedback loops relating to a combined warming and cooling intervention may benefit sports in which repeat sprints are performed.
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Beaven, C. M., Kilduff, L. P., & Cook, C. J. (2018). Lower-Limb Passive Heat Maintenance Combined With Pre-cooling Improves Repeated Sprint Ability. Frontiers in Physiology, 9. https://doi.org/10.3389/fphys.2018.01064
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© 2018 Beaven, Kilduff and Cook. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) and the copyright owner(s) are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.