Wearing a cooling jacket during exercise reduces thermal strain and improves endurance exercise performance in a warm environment

J Strength Cond Res. 2005 Feb;19(1):122-8. doi: 10.1519/14503.1.


The aim of the present study was to investigate the effect of wearing a cooling jacket on thermoregulatory responses and endurance exercise performance in a warm environment. Nine untrained male subjects cycled for 60 minutes at 60% Vo(2)max (Ex1) and then immediately exercised to exhaustion at 80% Vo(2)max (Ex2) in 32.0 +/- 0.2 degrees C and 70-80% relative humidity. Four separate conditions were set during exercise: no water intake (NW), water intake (W), wearing a cooling jacket (C) and the combination of C and W (C+W). Rectal temperatures (T(re)) before Ex1 were not different between the 4 conditions, whereas at the end of Ex1 T(re) of C+W was significantly lower than the C and W (p < 0.05). Mean skin temperature (T(sk)) was significantly lower in C and C+W than the NW and W during Ex1. Heart rate of C and C+W were significantly lower than the NW and W, and rating of perceived exertion (RPE) in C+W was lower than in the other conditions. Exercise time to exhaustion was significantly longer in C+W than in the other conditions (NW < W, C < C+W; p < 0.05), whereas T(re) at exhaustion was not different. Our results indicate that the combination of wearing a cooling jacket and water intake enhances exercise endurance performance in a warm environment because of a widened temperature margin before the critical limiting temperature is reached and also because of decreased thermoregulatory and cardiovascular strain.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Body Temperature Regulation / physiology*
  • Cold Temperature*
  • Drinking / physiology
  • Ergometry*
  • Heart Rate / physiology
  • Heating*
  • Humans
  • Humidity
  • Male
  • Physical Endurance / physiology*
  • Physical Exertion / physiology
  • Skin Temperature / physiology
  • Sweating / physiology