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Physical Performance And Peak Aerobic Power At Different Body Temperatures

U. Bergh, B. Ekblom

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In eight male subjects we studied the effect of different core (esophageal, (Tes 34.9--38.4 degrees C) and muscle (Tm 35.1--39.3 degrees C) temperature on 1) physical performance (time to exhaustion at a standard maximal rate of work, WT), 2) aerobic power (VO2), 3) heart rate (HR), and 4) blood lactate (LA) concentration during exhaustive combined arm and leg exercise. In three subjects the effects at different mean skin temperatures (Tsk 27 and 31 degrees C, respectively) were also studied. Peak VO2 was positively correlated to both Tes (r = 0.88) and Tm (r = 0.91). None of the subjects attained control VO2max at Tes and Tm lower than 37.5 and 38.0 degrees C, respectively. HR was correlated to both Tes (r = 0.97) and Tm (r = 0.95). Different Tsk did not affect peak VO2 and HR at subnormal body temperatures. Pulmonary ventilation was independent of Tes and Tm in all experimental situations. LA was significantly higher at Tes 37.5 degrees C compared to both Tes 34.9 and 38.5 degrees C, respectively. At Tes less than 37.5 degrees C and Tm less than 38.0 degrees C, there was a linear reduction in WT (20%.degrees C-1), peak VO2 (5--6%.degrees C-1), and HR (8 beats.min-1.degrees C-1) with lowered Tes and Tm.