A mixed-method approach of pre-cooling enhances high-intensity running performance in the heat

Minxiao Xu, Zhaozhao Wu, Yanan Dong, Chaoyi Qu, Yaoduo Xu, Fei Qin, Zhongwei Wang, George P. Nassis, Jiexiu Zhao

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

10 Citations (Scopus)


We investigated whether single or combined methods of precooling could affect high-intensity exercise performance in a hot environment. Seven male athletes were subjected to four experimental conditions for 30 min in a randomised order. The four experimental conditions were: 1) wearing a vest cooled to a temperature of 4 ℃ (Vest), 2) consuming a beverage cooled to a temperature of 4 ℃ (Beverage), 3) simultaneous usage of vest and consumption of beverage (Mix), and 4) the control trial without precooling (CON). Following those experimental conditions, they exercised at a speed of 80% VO2max until exhaustion in the heat (38.1 ± 0.6 ℃, 55.3 ± 0.3% RH). Heart rate (HR), rectal temperature (Tcore), skin temperature (Tskin), sweat loss (SL), urine specific gravity (USG), levels of sodium (Na+) and potassium (K+), rating of perceived exertion (RPE), thermal sensation (TS), and levels of blood lactic acid ([Bla]) were monitored. Performance was improved using the mixed pre-cooling strategy (648.43 ± 77.53 s, p = 0.016) compared to CON (509.14 ± 54.57 s). Tcore after pre-cooling was not different (Mix: 37.01 ± 0.27 ℃, Vest: 37.19 ± 0.33 ℃, Beverage: 37.03 ± 0.35 ℃) in all cooling conditions compared to those of CON (37.31 ±0.29 ℃). A similar Tcore values was achieved at exhaustion in all trials (from 38.10 ℃ to 39.00 ℃). No difference in the level of USG was observed between the conditions. Our findings suggest that pre-cooling with a combination of cold vest usage and cold fluid intake can improve performance in the heat.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)26-34
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Sports Science and Medicine
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2021


  • Cooling prior to exercise
  • External and internal cooling
  • High-intensity aerobic exercise
  • Hyperthermia
  • Thermoregulation

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation


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