Thermoregulation during soccer specific intermittent exercise : the effects of clothing and environment.
Team sports such as soccer follow an intermittent pattern of exercise, which is known to
place greater demands on thermoregulation than continuous exercise of a similar
intensity. Time to exhaustion has been shown to be dependent upon environmental
temperature, while clothing is known to create a microenvironment at the surface of the
skin. The aim of this thesis was to determine the thermoregulatory response to
soccer-specific intermittent exercise during different conditions of clothing and
The thermal and physiological responses of the feet to continuous and soccer-specific
intermittent exercise were evaluated. Intermittent exercise was found to induce an
increase in foot skin temperature of a greater magnitude than during continuous exercise
of the same overall intensity- The findings indicate that the foot maintains an altered
thermoregulatory response not evident elsewhere on the human body.
The localised and whole-body physiological and thermal responses to soccer footwear
were examined during soccer-specific intermittent exercise. Soccer footwear does not
have a significantly detrimental effect on physiological responses compared to training
shoes. Nevertheless, there was evidence of increased thermal strain when wearing the
soccer boot, which may become significant ina hot environment.
Similarly, the localised and whole-body physiological and thermal responses of the hands
were evaluated when wearing goa1_keepinggl oves during simulated goalkeeper activity-
Goalkeepers' gloves restrict heat loss from the hand and in order to alleviate this problem,
phase control materials (PCM's) have been developed to reduce heat load and maintain a
comfortable skin temperature. All sites of skin measurement, except mean body skin
temperature, showed uniformly that a PCM glove caused a greater increase in_ skin
temperature than a glove with normal foam material. Therefore, the particular
specification of PCM used in this study promoted heat gain rather than the intended heat
loss and was therefore inappropriate to enhance thermal comfort when used in a
The effects of three different environmental conditions (10°C, 20°C and 30°C)_ on
soccer-specific intermittent exercise were examined, Results showed that the
physiological- strain-associated with soccer-specific inter_mi_ttente xercise is greatest in the
heat (30°C) with parameters such as heart rate, mean skin temperature, rating of perceived
exertion, thermal perception, change in body mass and skin blood flow all lowest during
exercise in the cool- Exercise in_ the cool- condition (] 0°C) may be the optimal
environment for performance of soccer-specific intermittent exercise,
A significant_ relation p was found between core temperature and prola. ctin (marker of
brain serotonin activity) suggesting that central serotinergic mechanisms of fatigue may
play a role in exercise performance during soccer-specific intermittent activity performed
in the heat.
The effects of traditional soccer fabrics and technical fabrics on the physiological and
thermoregulatory responses to soccer-specific intermittent exercise were evaluated.
Analysis revealed that slight differences between traditional and technical clothing
ensembles in physiological parameters, such- as heart rate, mean skin temperature, body
mass loss and rating of perceived exertion, were not significant. Therefore, wearing
technical fabric clothing gives no particular benefit over a traditional fabric ensemble.
The lack of differences between clothing materials lead to the conclusion that an elite
soccer team competing under extremes of temperature in international climates would be
best advised to concentrate on proper acclimatisations nutrition and fluid replacement
strategies prior to competition than on the specifics of clothing design