Cooling during exercise in temperate conditions: impact on performance and thermoregulation

Int J Sports Med. 2014 Sep;35(10):840-6. doi: 10.1055/s-0034-1368723. Epub 2014 Apr 25.


Exercise-induced increase in core body temperature may lead to the development of hyperthermia (>40.0°C) and/or decreased performance levels. This study examined the effects of wearing a cooling vest during a 5-km time trial on thermoregulatory responses and performance. 10 male masters athletes (42±10 years) performed a 5-km time trial on a motorized treadmill in a climate chamber (25°C, 55% relative humidity) with and without a cooling vest. Split times, heart rate, core-, skin- and cooling vest temperature were measured every 500 m. Subjects also rated thermal comfort and level of perceived exertion. The cooling vest significantly decreased heart rate (p<0.05), decreased skin temperature (p<0.001) and improved thermal comfort (p<0.005) during the time trial. Time to finish the 5-km time trial and pacing strategy did not differ between the control (1 246±96 s) and cooling vest condition (1 254±98 s, p=0.85). Additionally, thermoregulatory responses, maximum core body temperature and level of perceived exertion were not different across conditions (p=0.85, p=0.49, p=0.11, respectively). In conclusion, we demonstrated that wearing a cooling vest during exercise improves thermal comfort but does not enhance performance or decrease core body temperature in male masters athletes under temperate ambient conditions.

Publication types

  • Randomized Controlled Trial
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Athletic Performance / physiology*
  • Body Temperature Regulation / physiology*
  • Clothing*
  • Cross-Over Studies
  • Exercise / physiology*
  • Heart Rate
  • Humans
  • Lactic Acid / blood
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Skin Temperature
  • Temperature


  • Lactic Acid