Body cooling between two bouts of exercise in the heat enhances subsequent performance

J Strength Cond Res. 2006 May;20(2):383-9. doi: 10.1519/R-18075.1.


The purpose was to assess whether body cooling between 2 bouts of exercise in the heat enhances performance during the second exercise session. Using a random, crossover design, 15 subjects (3 women, 12 men; 28 +/- 2 years, 180 +/- 2 cm, 69 +/- 2.3 kg) participated in all 3 trials. Subjects ran 90 minutes on hilly trails in a hot environment (approximately 27 degrees C) before 12 minutes of either cold water immersion (CWI; 13.98 degrees C), ice water immersion (IWI; 5.23 degrees C), or a mock treatment (MT) of sitting in a tub with no water (29.50 degrees C). After immersion, subjects ran a 2-mile race. CWI had faster (p < 0.05) performance time (725 seconds) than MT (769 seconds). CWI and IWI had significantly (p < 0.05) lower rectal temperatures postimmersion than MT as well as postrace (p < 0.05). Heart rate also remained significantly lower (p < 0.05) during the CWI and IWI trials for the first half of the race. In conclusion, CWI enhances performance (6% improvement in race time) in the second bout of exercise, supporting its potential role as an ergogenic aid in athletic performance.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Body Temperature / physiology*
  • Cross-Over Studies
  • Cryotherapy*
  • Female
  • Heart Rate / physiology
  • Hot Temperature*
  • Humans
  • Immersion*
  • Lactic Acid / blood
  • Male
  • Running / physiology*


  • Lactic Acid