Managing Heat and Immune Stress in Athletes With Evidence-Based Strategies.
Heat and immune stress can affect athletes in a wide range of sports and environmental conditions. The classical thermoregulatory model of heat stress has been well characterised, as has a wide range of practical strategies largely centered on cooling and heat acclimation training. In the last decade evidence has emerged of an inflammatory pathway that can also contribute to heat stress. Studies are now addressing the complex and dynamic interplay between hyperthermia, the coagulation cascade and a systemic inflammatory response occurring after transient damage to the gastrointestinal tract. Damage to the intestinal mucosal membrane increases permeability resulting in leakage of endotoxins into the circulation. Practical strategies that target both thermoregulatory and inflammatory causes of heat stress include pre-cooling, short-term heat acclimation training, nutritional countermeasures including hydration, energy replacement and probiotic supplementation, pacing strategies during events, and post-event cooling measures. Cooperation between international, national and local sporting organisations is required to ensure that heat management policies and strategies are implemented effectively to promote the well-being and performance of athletes.
Pyne DB, Guy JH, Edwards AM. Managing Heat and Immune Stress in Athletes With Evidence-Based Strategies. Int J Sports Physiol Perform. 2014 June Physiology, Australian Institute of Sport, Canberra, Australia.