Effect of post-exercise hydrotherapy water temperature on subsequent exhaustive running performance in normothermic conditions


This study examined the effect of CWI (15min,temperatures of 8◦C and 15◦C) as a recovery strategy applied between two exhaustive submaximal performance in normothermic ambient conditions (∼22 ◦ C).


9 endurance-trained men completed two submaximal exhaustive running bouts on three separate occasions. The running bouts (Ex1 and Ex2) were separated by 15 min of

  • unimmersed seated rest (CON)
  • hip-level CWI at 8 ◦ C (CWI-8)
  • hip-level CWI at 15 ◦ C (CWI-15).

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temperature ,blood lactate and heart rate were recorded throughout, and VO2, running economy and exercise times were recorded during the running sessions.


Running time to failure (min) during Ex2 was significantly longer following CWI-8 than CON but not different between CWI-15 and CON or CWI-8 and CWI-15).

Time to failure (min) during Ex1 was not different among the three trials. However, time to failure during Ex2 was significantly longer in CWI-8 than CON and tended to be also longer in CWI-15 than CON while it was similar between CWI-8 and CWI-15.

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This outcome was supported by qualitative analyses showing a ‘likely’ beneficial effect of CWI-8 and CWI-15 compared with CON and a moderate ES. Skærmbillede 2015-12-11 kl. 13.53.50

Intestinal temperature responses are shown no differences in temperature among the three trials throughout Ex1 and the recovery period. However, intestinal temperature was significantly lower for CWI-8 and CWI-15 compared with CON for all time points apart from the point of failure during Ex2.

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Heart rate responses were significantly lower for most of Ex2 during CWI-8 and CWI-15 compared with CON (moderate ES) but they were similar at min 15 and at failure for the three conditions. Blood lactate was significantly higher in CWI-8 than in both CON and CWI-15 at the beginning of Ex2, but it was higher in CON compared with CWI-15 at the point of failure.

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These data indicate that a 15 min period of cold water immersion applied between repeated exhaustive exercise bouts significantly reduces intestinal temperature and enhances post-immersion running performance in normothermic conditions.


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