Effects of a New Evaporative Cooling Solution During Rowing in a Warm Environment

in International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance
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Energicer is a new solution which purportedly increases evaporative cooling during exercise in the heat.

Purpose:

To evaluate the effect of Energicer on performance during indoor rowing in a warm environment.

Methods:

Eighteen highly trained rowers (age 23.3 ± 6.7 y, height 181.3 ± 6.0 cm, mass 76.7 ± 5.0 kg, peak aerobic power (PAP) 322.1 ± 24.3 W; mean ± SD) performed two indoor rowing trials at 25.0°C and 65.0% relative humidity. Each trial consisted of 10 min at 55% PAP, 5 min of rest, 10 min at 70% PAP, 10 min of rest, and 2000 m time trial. Subjects were randomly assigned to an experimental (COOL) or a placebo (PLA) condition, using a double-blind, crossover design. During COOL, subjects wore sweatbands soaked in Energicer on both forearms; during PLA, they wore identical sweatbands soaked in cool water. Physiological measures and rowing performance were analyzed in a post-test-only crossover design. Magnitude of the difference between treatments was interpreted using the Cohen’s effect statistic.

Results:

No substantial differences were observed in heart rate, blood lactate and RPE between treatments during the submaximal row (COOL 163 ± 10 bpm, 4.3 ± 1.0 mM, 14.5 ± 1.8; PLA 165 ± 11 bpm, 4.8 ± 1.4 mM, 14.6 ± 1.6) and the time trial (COOL 179 ± 9 bpm, 10.7 ± 2.3 mM, 20 ± 0; PLA 179 ± 10 bpm, 11.1 ± 2.2 mM, 20 ± 0). Time (419 ± 11 vs 420 ± 12 s), mean power (305 ± 24 vs 304 ± 26 W), sweat loss (1013 ± 186 vs 981 ± 161 mL) and pacing strategy during the time trial were similar in COOL and PLA. The magnitude of differences between treatments was trivial for all measured variables.

Conclusion:

Energicer failed to provide a substantial benefit during indoor rowing in a warm environment. Whether Energicer is beneficial during more prolonged exercise and/or under more stressful environmental conditions remains to be elucidated.

Iñigo Mujika is with USP Araba Sport Clinic, Vitoria-Gasteiz, Basque Country, and with the Department of Physiology, Faculty of Medicine and Odontology, University of the Basque Country.Rafa González De Txabarri is with Orio Arraunketa Elkartea, Orio, Basque Country.David Pyne is with the Department of Physiology, Australian Institute of Sport, Canberra, Australia.