Performance and thermoregulation of Dutch Olympic and Paralympic athletes exercising in the heat: Rationale and design of the Thermo Tokyo study: The journal Temperature toolbox
de Korte, J.Q.
van Dijk, J.W.
The environmental conditions during the Tokyo Olympic and Paralympic Games are expected to be challenging, which increases the risk for participating athletes to develop heat-related illnesses and experience performance loss. To allow safe and optimal exercise performance of Dutch elite athletes, the Thermo Tokyo study aimed to determine thermoregulatory responses and performance loss among elite athletes during exercise in the heat, and to identify personal, sports-related, and environmental factors that contribute to the magnitude of these outcomes. For this purpose, Dutch Olympic and Paralympic athletes performed two personalized incremental exercise tests in simulated control (15°C, relative humidity (RH) 50%) and Tokyo (32°C, RH 75%) conditions, during which exercise performance and (thermo)physiological parameters were obtained. Thereafter, athletes were invited for an additional visit to conduct anthropometric, dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA), and 3D scan measurements. Collected data also served as input for a thermophysiological computer simulation model to estimate the impact of a wider range of environmental conditions on thermoregulatory responses. Findings of this study can be used to inform elite athletes and their coaches on how heat impacts their individual (thermo)physiological responses and, based on these data, advise which personalized countermeasures (i.e. heat acclimation, cooling interventions, rehydration plan) can be taken to allow safe and maximal performance in the challenging environmental conditions of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic and Paralympic Games.
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Temperature, 8 (8), 209-222