Effectiveness of Short-Term Heat Acclimation on Intermittent Sprint Performance With Moderately Trained Females Controlling for Menstrual Cycle Phase

Andrew Garrett, Edward Dodd, Victoria Biddlecombe, Damien Gleadall-Siddall, Rachel Burke, Jake Shaw, James Bray, Huw Jones, Grant Abt, Jarrod Gritt

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Introduction: Investigate the effectiveness of short-term heat acclimation (STHA), over 5-days (permissive dehydration), on an intermittent sprint exercise protocol (HST) with females. Controlling for menstrual cycle phase. Materials and Methods: Ten, moderately trained, females (Mean [SD]; age 22.6 [2.7] y; stature 165.3 [6.2] cm; body mass 61.5 [8.7] kg; V.O2peak 43.9 [8.6] mL⋅kg–1⋅min–1) participated. The HST (31.0°C; 50%RH) was 9 × 5 min (45-min) of intermittent exercise, based on exercise intensities of female soccer players, using a motorized treadmill and Wattbike. Participants completed HST1 vs. HST2 as a control (C) trial. Followed by 90 min, STHA (no fluid intake), for five consecutive days in 39.5°C; 60%RH, using controlled-hyperthermia (∼rectal temperature [Tre] 38.5°C). The HST3 occurred within 1 week after STHA. The HST2 vs HST3 trials were in the luteal phase, using self-reported menstrual questionnaire and plasma 17β-estradiol. Results: Pre (HST2) vs post (HST3) STHA there was a reduction at 45-min in Tre by 0.20°C (95%CI −0.30 to −0.10°C; d = 0.77); T¯¯¯sk (−0.50; −0.90 to −0.10°C; d = 0.80); and T¯¯¯b (−0.25; −0.35 to −0.15°C; d = 0.92). Cardiac frequency reduced at 45-min (−8; −16 to −1 b⋅min–1; d = 1.11) and %PV increased (7.0; −0.4 to 14.5%: d = 1.27). Mean power output increased across all nine maximal sprints by 56W (−26 to 139W; d = 0.69; n = 9). There was limited difference (P > 0.05) for these measures in HST1 vs HST2 C trial. Discussion: Short-term heat acclimation (5-days) using controlled-hyperthermia, leads to physiological adaptation during intermittent exercise in the heat, in moderately trained females when controlling for menstrual cycle phase.
Original languageEnglish
Article number1458
Number of pages11
JournalFrontiers in Physiology
Publication statusPublished - 29 Nov 2019
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Copyright © 2019 Garrett, Dodd, Biddlecombe, Gleadall-Siddall, Burke, Shaw, Bray, Jones, Abt and Gritt. 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) and the copyright owner(s) 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.


  • female
  • menstrual cycle
  • dehydration
  • fluid-regulation
  • plasma volume


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