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Matthew Zimmermann, Grant Landers, Karen Wallman, and Georgina Kent

This study compared the effects of precooling (ice ingestion) and heat-acclimation training on cycling time-trial (CTT) performance in the heat. Fifteen male cyclists/triathletes completed two 800-kJ CTTs in the heat, with a 12-d training program in between. Initially, all participants consumed 7 g/kg of water (22°C) in 30 min before completing an 800-kJ CTT in hot, humid conditions (pre-CTT) (35°C, 50% relative humidity [RH]). Participants were then split into 2 groups, with the precooling group (n = 7) training in thermoneutral conditions and then undergoing precooling with ice ingestion (7 g/kg, 1°C) prior to the final CTT (post-CTT) and the heat-acclimation group (n = 8) training in hot conditions (35°C, 50% RH) and consuming water (7 g/kg) prior to post-CTT. After training in both conditions, improvement in CTT time was deemed a likely positive benefit (precooling −166 ± 133 s, heat acclimation −105 ± 62 s), with this result being similar between conditions (d = 0.22, −0.68–1.08 90% confidence interval [CI]). Core temperature for post-CTT was lower in precooling than in heat acclimation from 20 min into the precooling period until the 100-kJ mark of the CTT (d > 0.98). Sweat onset occurred later in precooling (250 ± 100 s) than in heat acclimation (180 ± 80 s) for post-CTT (d = 0.65, −0.30–1.50 90% CI). Thermal sensation was lower at the end of the precooling period prior to post-CTT for the precooling trial than with heat acclimation (d = 1.24, 0.90–1.58 90% CI). Precooling with ice ingestion offers an alternative method of improving endurance-cycling performance in hot conditions if heat acclimation cannot be attained.

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Matthew Zimmermann, Grant Justin Landers, and Karen Elizabeth Wallman

This study examined the effects of precooling via ice ingestion on female cycling performance in hot, humid conditions. Ten female endurance athletes, mean age (28 ± 6 y), height (167.6 ± 6.5 cm) and body-mass (68.0 ± 11.5 kg) participated in the study. Participants completed an 800 kJ cycle time-trial in hot, humid conditions (34.9 ± 0.3 °C, 49.8 ± 3.5% RH). This was preceded by the consumption of 7 g∙kg-1 of crushed ice (ICE) or water (CON). There was no difference in performance time (CON 3851 ± 449 s; ICE 3767 ± 465 s), oxygen consumption (CON 41.6 ± 7.0 ml∙kg∙min-1; ICE 42.4 ± 6.0 ml∙kg∙min-1) or respiratory exchange ratio (CON 0.88 ± 0.05; ICE 0.90 ± 0.06) between conditions (p > .05, d < 0.5). Core and skin temperature following the precooling period were lower in ICE (Tc 36.4 ± 0.4 °C; Tsk 31.6 ± 1.2 °C) compared with CON (Tc 37.1 ± 0.4 °C; Tsk 32.4 ± 0.7 °C) and remained lower until the 100 kJ mark of the cycle time-trial (p < .05, d > 1.0). Sweat onset occurred earlier in CON (228 ± 113 s) compared with ICE (411 ± 156 s) (p < .05, d = 1.63). Mean thermal sensation (CON 1.8 ± 2.0; ICE 1.2 ± 2.5, p < .05, d = 2.51), perceived exertion (CON 15.3 ± 2.9; ICE 14.9 ± 3.0, p < .05, d = 0.38) and perceived thirst (CON 5.6 ± 2.2; ICE 4.6 ± 2.4, p < .05, d = 0.98) were lower in ICE compared with CON. Crushed ice ingestion did not improve cycling performance in females, although perceptual responses were reduced.

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Matthew Zimmermann, Grant Landers, Karen E. Wallman, and Jacinta Saldaris

This study examined the physiological effects of crushed ice ingestion before steady state exercise in the heat. Ten healthy males with age (23 ± 3 y), height (176.9 ± 8.7 cm), body-mass (73.5 ± 8.0 kg), VO2peak (48.5 ± 3.6 mL∙kg∙min-1) participated in the study. Participants completed 60 min of cycling at 55% of their VO2peak preceded by 30 min of precooling whereby 7 g∙kg-1 of thermoneutral water (CON) or crushed ice (ICE) was ingested. The reduction in Tc at the conclusion of precooling was greater in ICE (-0.9 ± 0.3 °C) compared with CON (-0.2 ± 0.2 °C) (p ≤ .05). Heat storage capacity was greater in ICE compared with CON after precooling (ICE -29.3 ± 4.8 W∙m-2; CON -11.1 ± 7.3 W∙m-2, p < .05). Total heat storage was greater in ICE compared with CON at the end of the steady state cycle (ICE 62.0 ± 12.5 W∙m-2; CON 49.9 ± 13.4 W∙m-2, p < .05). Gross efficiency was higher in ICE compared with CON throughout the steady state cycle (ICE 21.4 ± 1.8%; CON 20.4 ± 1.9%, p < .05). Ice ingestion resulted in a lower thermal sensation at the end of precooling and a lower sweat rate during the initial stages of cycling (p < .05). Sweat loss, respiratory exchange ratio, heart rate and ratings of perceived exertion and thirst were similar between conditions (p > .05). Precooling with crushed ice led to improved gross efficiency while cycling due to an increased heat storage capacity, which was the result of a lower core temperature.