Taking it to the next level is not always a plus for athletic performance. When it comes to higher temperatures, the results can be fatal. Killer heat waves are giving intense heat waves like the one gripping South India this week much more serious scrutiny within the sports community. At least one thousand people in the region have died directly as a result of temperatures reaching 120 degrees Fahrenheit. And many more withered from the effects of aggravating pre-existing injuries or illnesses. Top athletes who must travel to international competitions to maintain their rankings often have no choice but to try their best in scorching heat. Qatar, host of the 2022 World Cup, has recorded temperatures as high as 50 degrees Celsius – over 120 degrees Fahrenheit.
The Italian sports equipment and software company TechnoGym is working together with sports organizations to develop more scientific regimens to condition athletes to adapt to more extreme heat conditions when they train or compete. Preparations for the 2014 World Cup in Brazil included training in a custom built sauna where small incremental increases in temperatures were used to help athletes’ bodies adapt to higher temperature levels on the playing field.
This June, sports scientists will meet to share the latest research on the subject of heat stress and sports performance. The two day program will be hosted by INSEP, a high performance sports research institute in Paris, France. The speaker program will share investigations of complex questions about heat and sports performance which continue to challenge the leaders in high performance:
- How is the cardiovascular system affected by higher heat levels during athletic exertion?
- How can hydration be better managed in high temperature sports venues?
- Can sports nutrition help lessen heat fatigue?
- How can training regimens be adapted to accommodate extreme heat competition conditions?
The sports business community is beginning to address these important challenges with new products and will present highlights to conference attendees. Thermo Training Room has developed a custom training cabin which can be progressively heated to a maximum of 37 degrees Celsius, the level of normal body temperature. Cryo Control is promoting a portable version of its ice bath cooling and recovery equipment, which is designed to stimulate faster repair of muscle damage and inflammation following athletic competitions.