Effects of marked hyperthermia with and without dehydration on VO(2) kinetics during intense exercise

L Nybo, T Jensen, B Nielsen, J González-Alonso
Journal of Applied Physiology 2001, 90 (3): 1057-64
This study determined whether marked hyperthermia alone or in combination with dehydration reduces the initial rate of rise in O(2) consumption (VO(2) on-kinetics) and the maximal rate of O(2) uptake (VO(2 max)) during intense cycling exercise. Six endurance-trained male cyclists completed four maximal cycle ergometer exercise tests (402 +/- 4 W) when euhydrated or dehydrated (4% body wt) with normal (starting esophageal temperature, 37.5 +/- 0.2 degrees C; mean skin temperature, approximately 31 degrees C) or elevated (+1 and +6 degrees C, respectively) thermal strain. In the euhydrated and normal condition, subjects reached VO(2 max) (4.7 +/- 0.2 l/min) in 228 +/- 34 s, with a mean response time of 42 +/- 2 s, and fatigued after 353 +/- 39 s. Hyperthermia alone or in combination with dehydration reduced mean response time (17-23%), VO(2 max) (16%), and performance time (51-53%) (all P < 0.01) but did not alter the absolute response time (i.e., the time to reach 63% response in the control trial, 3.2 +/- 0.1 l/min, 42 s). Reduction in VO(2 max) was accompanied by proportional decline in O(2) pulse and significantly elevated maximal heart rate (195 vs. 190 beats/min for hyperthermia vs. normal). Preventing hyperthermia in dehydrated subjects restored VO(2 max) and performance time by 65 and 50%, respectively. These results demonstrate that impaired high-intensity exercise performance with marked skin and internal body hyperthermia alone or in combination with dehydration is not associated with a diminished rate of rise in VO(2) but decreased VO(2 max).

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