Mild overcooling increases energy expenditure during endurance exercise

Scand J Med Sci Sports. 1996 Feb;6(1):22-5. doi: 10.1111/j.1600-0838.1996.tb00065.x.


Intensive cooling has been shown to increase energy expenditure (EE) during work as well as to decrease physical performance. Two different levels of moderate cooling (10 degrees C vs 15 degrees C) were studied during light endurance exercise in order to examine the effect of the increased heat loss on EE. Twelve subjects performed a 90-min low intensity exercise (100 W) on a cycle ergometer, wearing a water-cooled calorimeter suit for controlled cooling. The lower temperature resulted in a 4.3 +/- 3.8% (mean +/- SD) higher EE, increased total heat loss and lowered skin temperatures. No differences in central core body temperature, heart rate or respiratory quotient (RQ) were recorded. There was a relation between differences in the rate of heat loss and the corresponding increase in EE. Even a small increase in cooling during endurance exercise increased EE which may be a relevant problem in winter sports.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Body Temperature
  • Energy Metabolism*
  • Exercise / physiology*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Oxygen Consumption
  • Physical Endurance / physiology*
  • Skin Temperature