Physiological and perceptual responses to exercising in restrictive heat loss attire with use of an upper-body sauna suit in temperate and hot conditions

Temperature (Austin). 2018 Mar 13;5(2):162-174. doi: 10.1080/23328940.2018.1426949. eCollection 2018.


The aim of this experiment was to quantify physiological and perceptual responses to exercise with and without restrictive heat loss attire in hot and temperate conditions. Ten moderately-trained individuals (mass; 69.44±7.50 kg, body fat; 19.7±7.6%) cycled for 30-mins (15-mins at 2 then 15-mins at 1 under four experimental conditions; temperate (TEMP, 22°C/45%), hot (HOT, 45°C/20%) and, temperate (TEMPSUIT, 22°C/45%) and hot (HOTSUIT, 45°C/20%) whilst wearing an upper-body "sauna suit". Core temperature changes were higher (P<0.05) in TEMPSUIT (+1.7±0.4°, HOT (+1.9±0.5° and HOTSUIT (+2.3±0.5° than TEMP (+1.3±0.3° Skin temperature was higher (P<0.05) in HOT (36.53±0.93°C) and HOTSUIT (37.68±0.68°C) than TEMP (33.50±1.77°C) and TEMPSUIT (33.41±0.70°C). Sweat rate was greater (P<0.05) in TEMPSUIT (0.89±0.24, HOT (1.14±0.48 and HOTSUIT (1.51±0.52 than TEMP (0.56±0.27 Peak heart rate was higher (P<0.05) in TEMPSUIT (155±23 b.min-1), HOT (163±18 b.min-1) and HOTSUIT (171±18 b.min-1) than TEMP (151±20 b.min-1). Thermal sensation and perceived exertion were greater (P<0.05) in TEMPSUIT (5.8±0.5 and 14±1), HOT (6.4±0.5 and 15±1) and HOTSUIT (7.1±0.5 and 16±1) than TEMP (5.3±0.5 and 14±1). Exercising in an upper-body sauna suit within temperate conditions induces a greater physiological strain and evokes larger sweat losses compared to exercising in the same conditions, without restricting heat loss. In hot conditions, wearing a sauna suit increases physiological and perceptual strain further, which may accelerate the stimuli for heat adaptation and improve HA efficiency.

Keywords: Sauna suit; exercise; heat acclimation; heat stress; physiological strain; restrictive heat loss; thermoregulation; training.