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Hot and Hypoxic Environments Inhibit Simulated Soccer Performance and Exacerbate Performance Decrements When Combined

Aldous, Jeffrey W. F.; Chrismas, Bryna C. R.; Akubat, Ibrahim; Dascombe, Ben; Abt, Grant; Taylor, Lee


The effects of heat and/or hypoxia have been well-documented in match-play data. However, large match-to-match variation for key physical performance measures makes environmental inferences difficult to ascertain from soccer match-play. Therefore, the present study aims to investigate the hot (HOT), hypoxic (HYP), and hot-hypoxic (HH) mediated-decrements during a non-motorized treadmill based soccer-specific simulation. Twelve male University soccer players completed three familiarization sessions and four randomized crossover experimental trials of the intermittent Soccer Performance Test (iSPT) in normoxic-temperate (CON: 18°C 50% rH), HOT (30°C; 50% rH), HYP (1000 m; 18°C 50% rH), and HH (1000 m; 30°C; 50% rH). Physical performance and its performance decrements, body temperatures (rectal, skin, and estimated muscle temperature), heart rate (HR), arterial blood oxygen saturation (SaO2), perceived exertion, thermal sensation (TS), body mass changes, blood lactate, and plasma volume were all measured. Performance decrements were similar in HOT and HYP [Total Distance (−4%), High-speed distance (~−8%), and variable run distance (~−12%) covered] and exacerbated in HH [total distance (−9%), high-speed distance (−15%), and variable run distance (−15%)] compared to CON. Peak sprint speed, was 4% greater in HOT compared with CON and HYP and 7% greater in HH. Sprint distance covered was unchanged (p > 0.05) in HOT and HYP and only decreased in HH (−8%) compared with CON. Body mass (−2%), temperatures (+2–5%), and TS (+18%) were altered in HOT. Furthermore, SaO2 (−8%) and HR (+3%) were changed in HYP. Similar changes in body mass and temperatures, HR, TS, and SaO2 were evident in HH to HOT and HYP, however, blood lactate (p < 0.001) and plasma volume (p < 0.001) were only significantly altered in HH. Perceived exertion was elevated (p < 0.05) by 7% in all conditions compared with CON. Regression analysis identified that absolute TS and absolute rise in skin and estimated muscle temperature (r = 0.82, r = 0.84 r = 0.82, respectively; p < 0.05) predicted the hot-mediated-decrements in HOT. The hot, hypoxic, and hot-hypoxic environments impaired physical performance during iSPT. Future interventions should address the increases in TS and body temperatures, to attenuate these decrements on soccer performance.

Journal Article Type Article
Publication Date Jan 12, 2016
Journal Frontiers in physiology
Electronic ISSN 1664-042X
Publisher Frontiers Media
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Volume 6
Issue 185
Article Number ARTN 421
Pages 1-14
Keywords Decrements, Football, Hot, Hypoxia, Physical, Physiological
Publisher URL
Copyright Statement © 2016 Aldous, Chrismas, Akubat, Dascombe, Abt and Taylor. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY). The use, distribution or reproduction in other forums is permitted, provided the original author(s) or licensor are credited and that the original publication in this journal is cited, in accordance with accepted academic practice. No use, distribution or reproduction is permitted which does not comply with these terms.
Additional Information This is a copy of an open access article published in Frontiers in physiology, 2016, v.6


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