The impact of heat acclimation on physiological response to exercise and performance at hot and temperate conditions

  • Ben Reid

Student thesis: Masters ThesisMasters by Research


Heat acclimation training programmes induces physiological adaptations to improve thermoregulatory, cardiovascular, sudomotor and metabolic responses during exercise in hot conditions. Such adaptations include increased sweat rate, improved maximal oxygen uptake, lowered resting and exercising core temperatures and heart rate in the heat. It is argued that these adaptations can also promote an ergogenic effect. The aim of this study is to analyse the effectiveness of a 3-week intermittent exercise heat acclimation intervention on performance and physiological response during exercise at both temperate and hot environmental conditions. 8 physically active males (age: 24 ± 4 years, height: 183 ± 6cm, body mass: 91 ± 17kg, body fat %: 17.6 ± 9.0%) were recruited. A 15-minute cycling time trial in hot (35°C, 30% RH) and temperate (~13°C, ~30% RH) as well as the Yo-Yo IRL1 in temperate conditions were performed. Following heat acclimation, significant improvements were observed within time trial performance (heat; +1.02km, P < 0.001, temperate; +0.775km, P = 0.006), local sweat rate (heat; +1.083mgs/cm2min-1, P = 0.002) and estimated V ̇O2 max (temperate;, P = 0.035). An intermittent 3-week heat acclimation protocol proved beneficial to performance in hot and temperate conditions. ~45 minutes of heat exposure comprising of repeated sprints and steady-paced cycling demonstrates that traditional high volume training is not essential to drive thermophysiological adaptations.
Date of Award23 Jun 2022
Original languageEnglish
Awarding Institution
  • Abertay University
SupervisorJohn Babraj (Supervisor) & Marie Clare Grant (Supervisor)


  • Heat
  • Acclimation
  • Acclimatisation
  • Exercise
  • Temperature
  • Temperate
  • Physiology
  • Adaptation

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