Developing an Improved Understanding of the Biophysical and Physiological Determinants of Steady-State Sweating During Exercise in the Heat

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Title: Developing an Improved Understanding of the Biophysical and Physiological Determinants of Steady-State Sweating During Exercise in the Heat
Authors: Ravanelli, Nicholas Morris
Date: 2019-01-16
Abstract: Four studies were performed to evaluate the independent influence of core temperature and heat acclimation on sweating responses when exercise is fixed for a given evaporative heat balance requirement (Ereq) during compensable and uncompensable heat stress. By using circadian rhythm to modulate absolute core temperature, study 1 investigated whether absolute core temperature altered the steady-state sweat rate during compensable heat stress at a fixed Ereq. Study 2 compared the influence of partial and complete heat acclimation on core temperature and sweating responses between a compensable and uncompensable heat stress condition. Study 3 quantified how maximum skin wettedness is altered with partial or complete heat acclimation. Study 4 determined whether aerobic fitness (i.e. maximum rate of oxygen consumption; VO2max) per se independently alters the sweating and core temperature responses to uncompensable heat stress or if the frequent bouts of exercise-induced heat stress that accompany aerobic training are required to augment thermoregulatory capacity. Study 1 demonstrated that when absolute core temperature is different between AM and PM by ~0.2°C, steady-state sweat rates were the same for a fixed Ereq. Only when a different level of Ereq was attained, were differences in steady-state sweating observed. Moreover, steady-state sweat rates were similar despite differences in skin and core temperature when exercise intensity was matched to elicit a fixed Ereq in two different ambient temperatures (23°C and 33°C). In study 2, neither partial nor complete heat acclimation altered the core temperature response to compensable heat stress despite a marginally greater sweat rate compared to an unacclimated state. However, the sudomotor adaptations associated with heat acclimation were evident during uncompensable heat stress and mitigated the rise in core temperature during 60 minutes of exercise compared to an unacclimated state. Study 3 determined that the biophysical parameter that defines the upper limit for evaporative heat loss, that is the maximum skin wettedness achievable, increased following partial (0.84±0.08) and complete heat acclimation (0.95±0.05) compared to unacclimated (0.72±0.06) which directly explains the reduced change in core temperature reported in study 2 during uncompensable heat stress. Lastly, study 4 demonstrated that VO2max per se does not alter the sudomotor responses to uncompensable heat stress. Rather, it is the repetitive exercise-induced heat stress experienced during aerobic training that induces a partial heat acclimation thereby mitigating the rise in core temperature during uncompensable heat stress. Taken together, when exercise is prescribed in a compensable environment, the steady-state sweat rate observed will be primarily determined by Ereq independent of absolute core temperature, while heat acclimation will slightly increase the sweat rate despite providing no additional reduction in the change in core temperature. However, progressive heat acclimation increases the upper limit of compensability via a greater maximum skin wettedness thereby mitigating the rise in core temperature during uncompensable heat stress.
URL: http://hdl.handle.net/10393/38705
http://dx.doi.org/10.20381/ruor-22957
CollectionThèses, 2011 - // Theses, 2011 -
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