Eight men were heat acclimated (39.6 degrees C and 29.2% rh) for 8 days to examine changes in substrate utilization. A heat exercise test (HET), (cycling for 60 min; 50% maximal O2 consumption) was performed before (UN-HET) and after (ACC-HET) the acclimation period. Muscle glycogen utilization (67.0 vs. 37.6 mmol/kg wet wt), respiratory exchange ratio (0.85 +/- 0.002 vs. 0.83 +/- 0.001), and calculated rate of carbohydrate oxidation (75.15 +/- 1.38 vs. 64.80 +/- 1.52 g/h) were significantly reduced (P less than 0.05) during the ACC-HET. Significantly lower (P less than 0.05) femoral venous glucose (15, 30, and 45 min) and lactate (15 min) levels were observed during the ACC-HET. No differences were observed in plasma free fatty acid (FFA) and glycerol concentrations or glucose, lactate and glycerol arteriovenous uptake/release between tests. A small but significant increase (P less than 0.05) above resting levels in FFA uptake was observed during the ACC-HET. Leg blood flow was slightly greater (P greater than 0.05) during the ACC-HET (4.64 +/- 0.13 vs. 4.80 +/- 0.13 l/min). These findings indicate a reduced use of muscle glycogen following heat acclimation. However, the decrease is not completely explained by a shift toward greater lipid oxidation or increased blood flow.