New study: Topical application of menthol and combined menthol-capsaicin creams during exercise in heat

Our latest study published in the European Journal of Sport Science on 10th May 2023. Furthers our work using menthol in hot environments by using topical creams to explore the effect on exercise tolerance, thermal perception, pain, attentional focus and thermoregulation. The study Led by Jenny Peel, a PhD student in Dr Mark Waldron’s team in Swansea, found that menthol cream demonstrated benefits in thermal perception and played an analgesic function during exercise in the heat despite no change in performance.

The article can be found here: 10.1080/17461391.2023.2211966

New study: Factors contributing to the change in thermoneutral maximal oxygen consumption after iso-intensity heat acclimation programmes

In this new study published in the European Journal of Sport Sciences we brought together a large dataset (71 participants) using historical data to explore the factors that contribute to changes in thermoneutral VO2max following heat acclimation protocols.

Eight variables were identified, however from a practical perspective reporting of thermal sensation and monitoring changes in body mass are easily accessible measures that can be used by practitioners.

The article can be found here: 10.1080/17461391.2022.2160278

New study: Meta-analysis exploring effects of heat acclimation on VO2max in thermoneutral and hot environments

In our latest study published in Sports Medicine on the 3rd April 2021 led by Dr Mark Waldron (Swansea University), we meta-analysed 28 studies to explore how heat acclimation or acclimatisation can modify maximal oxygen consumption. This is an area of some heated discussion in the literature (see for example the point-counterpoint in J.Physiol here).

To summarise our findings, we found that heat acclimation can enhance VO2max adaptation in thermoneutral or hot environments by at least a small and up to a moderate–large amounts, with larger improvements occurring in the heat.

The article can be found here: 10.1007/s40279-021-01445-6

New study: Sex differences to L-menthol during exercise in a hot environment

Our latest study has been accepted for publication in the journal Physiology & Behaviour on 1st February 2021. The project was led by a student in our laboratory Miss Abbie Parton.

The work expanded on some of our early work first characterising the effect of non-thermal cooling strategies by applying L-menthol (which is perceived as a cooling flavour) mouthrinse and recording beneficial effects in exercise regulation in hot environments (Flood et al. 2017). In this new study we report a sex-specific difference in how females perceive the application of this “non-thermally” cooling L-menthol rinse during exercise in a hot environment. The impact of such findings are crucial for the exploration of ergogenic supplements for use in hot climates particularly when considering the differences between male and female populations.

The article can be found here: 10.1016/j.physbeh.2020.113250

New study: Expert-led consensus statement on the use of Menthol for Tokyo 2021 Olympic games

Dr Owen Jeffries (Newcastle University) along with Dr Martin Barwood (Leeds Trinity University) and Dr Russ Best (Waikato Institute of Technology) led a 14-strong global team of experts in the creation of a consensus statement on the use of menthol in sport. The article was developed following a collaborative meeting at the recent ICEE conference (July 2019) in Amsterdam, in the context of the forthcoming Tokyo 2021 Olympic Games. The article was published in Sports Medicine on 4th July 2020.

The article can be found here (open access): 10.1007/s40279-020-01313-9

New study: Explores the time course of adaptations in thermoneutral VO2max following heat acclimation

In our latest study published in the European Journal of Applied Physiology in September 2019, we report that VO2max in thermoneutral environments can be enhanced following a bout of heat acclimation. Crucially we report that future research should take care when testing athlete post HA as residual fatigue may blunt the maximal responses that can be achieved and that on average confirmatory tests should be performed at least 96hr following the final bout.

This article can be found here: 10.1007/s00421-019-04218-2