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Centre for Human Performance

Acclimation Interventions for Olympic Competitions in Hot & Humid Environments

High level endurance performances are likely to be severely impacted in the hot and humid conditions that are anticipated at the 2021 Tokyo Olympic Games. This project has developed and validated a novel Heat Acclimatisation Stress Test specifically for Triathlon and has mapped the efficacy and blood biomarker responses to relevant acclimation strategies.

Acclimation Interventions for Olympic Competitions in Hot & Humid Environments

The Challenge

Exercise in hot and humid conditions creates a scenario where the body must maximise exercise capacity while maintaining core temperature within safe limits. To maximise performance, effective and practical acclimatisation strategies are required to maximise heat adaptation, which must be monitored on an individual basis. 

The Approach

A specific Heat Acclimatisation Stress Test was developed and validated, and several practical heat acclimation interventions and protocols are being trialled and assessed. A number of novel blood biomarkers will be monitored and evaluated to help understand the effects of heat adaptation along with physiological and perceptual measures.

The Impact

The key outcomes of the project will be used and implemented by British Triathlon in preparing their athletes for Tokyo 2021. While the Olympic Games has been postponed to 2021 this provides a greater opportunity to trial interventions at an athlete level.

Output

  • Snape D., Wainwright B., Woods D.R., Needham L., O’Hara J. (2020). Reliability of blood biomarkers of physiological stress at rest and in response to exercise under hot-humid conditions. Future Physiology Conference 2020.

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