Can supine recovery mitigate the exercise intensity dependent attenuation of post-exercise heat loss responses?

Appl Physiol Nutr Metab. 2008 Aug;33(4):682-9. doi: 10.1139/H08-053.


Cutaneous vascular conductance (CVC) and sweat rate are subject to non-thermal baroreflex-mediated attenuation post-exercise. Various recovery modalities have been effective in attenuating these decreases in CVC and sweat rate post-exercise. However, the interaction of recovery posture and preceding exercise intensity on post-exercise thermoregulation remains unresolved. We evaluated the combined effect of supine recovery and exercise intensity on post-exercise cardiovascular and thermal responses relative to an upright seated posture. Seven females performed 15 min of cycling ergometry at low- (LIE, 55% maximal oxygen consumption) or high-(HIE, 85% maximal oxygen consumption) intensity followed by 60 min of recovery in either an upright seated or supine posture. Esophageal temperature, CVC, sweat rate, cardiac output, stroke volume, heart rate, total peripheral resistance, and mean arterial pressure (MAP) were measured at baseline, at end-exercise, and at 2, 5, 12, 20, and every 10 min thereafter until the end of recovery. MAP and stroke volume were maintained during supine recovery to a greater extent relative to an upright seated recovery following HIE (p <or= 0.05) and were paralleled by an elevated CVC and sweat rate response (p <or= 0.05). A significantly lower esophageal temperature was subsequently observed when supine throughout recovery (p <or= 0.05). Although we observed a reflex bradycardia and increased stoke volume with supine recovery following LIE, no differences were observed for MAP, CVC, sweat rate or esophageal temperature. Supine recovery attenuates the post-exercise reductions in MAP, CVC, and sweat rate in a manner dependent directly on exercise intensity. This effect is likely attributable to a non-thermal baroreceptor mechanism.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Baroreflex / physiology
  • Blood Pressure / physiology
  • Body Temperature Regulation / physiology*
  • Cardiac Output / physiology
  • Exercise / physiology*
  • Exercise Test / statistics & numerical data
  • Female
  • Heart Rate / physiology
  • Humans
  • Oxygen Consumption / physiology
  • Physical Endurance / physiology
  • Physical Exertion / physiology*
  • Posture / physiology
  • Reference Values
  • Skin Temperature / physiology
  • Stroke Volume / physiology
  • Supine Position / physiology*
  • Sweating / physiology
  • Time Factors