Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
ISSN: 1303 - 2968   
Ios-APP Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
Androit-APP Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
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©Journal of Sports Science and Medicine (2022) 21, 23 - 32   DOI: https://doi.org/10.52082/jssm.2022.23

Research article
A Combination of Ice Ingestion and Head Cooling Enhances Cognitive Performance during Endurance Exercise in the Heat
Nur Shakila Mazalan1,3, , Grant Justin Landers1, Karen Elizabeth Wallman1, Ullrich Ecker2
Author Information
1 School of Human Sciences (Exercise and Sports Science), The University of Western Australia, Crawley, WA, Australia
2 School of Psychological Science, The University of Western Australia, Crawley, WA, Australia
3 Faculty of Education, National University of Malaysia, Bangi, Selangor, Malaysia

Nur Shakila Mazalan
✉ School of Human Sciences (Exercise and Sports Science), The University of Western Australia, Crawley, WA, Australia
Email: nurshakila.mazalan@research.uwa.edu.au
Publish Date
Received: 29-07-2021
Accepted: 20-10-2021
Published (online): 08-11-2021
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ABSTRACT

This study assessed the effectiveness of head cooling during exercise in the heat on cognitive performance, either alone or with ice ingestion. Ten healthy males, non-acclimatized to heat, ran (70% V̇O2peak) for 2×30 min in heat (35 ± 0.9°C, 68.2 ± 6.9% RH). Participants completed 3 trials: 10 min of head cooling during exercise (HC); precooling with crushed ice (7gikg-1) and head cooling during exercise (MIX); or no-cooling/control (CON). Working memory was assessed using the automated operation span task (OSPAN) and serial seven test (S7). Following MIX, S7 scores were improved compared to CON (12 ± 9.5, p = 0.004, d = 1.42, 0.34-2.28) and HC (4 ± 5.5, p = 0.048, d = 0.45, -0.47 to 1.3) during exercise. Moderate to large effect sizes were recorded for S7 and OSPAN following MIX and HC compared to CON, suggesting a tendency for improved cognitive performance during exercise in heat. Following precooling (MIX), core body temperature (Tc) and forehead temperature (Th) were lower compared to baseline (-0.75 ± 0.37°C, p < 0.001; -0.31 ± 0.29°C, p = 0.008, respectively) but not in HC or CON (p > 0.05). Thermal sensation (TS) was lower in MIX and HC compared to CON during exercise (p < 0.05). The reduction in Tc, Th and TS with MIX may have attenuated the effect of heat and subsequently improved working memory during exercise in heat.

Key words: Cooling, forehead temperature, cognitive function


           Key Points
  • The combination of crushed ice ingestion (precooling) and head cooling cap (percooling) significantly improved cognitive performance (working memory) on endurance exercise in the heat and this effect is attributed to the reduction in reduced core temperature, forehead temperature and thermal sensation.
  • Single cooling method during exercise via head cooling cap effective for attenuating impairment of working memory by providing maintenance during endurance exercise in the heat and this associated with reduced forehead temperature and thermal sensation following cooling.
  • Decrement in forehead temperature and thermal sensation with head cooling during exercise may benefit cognitive performance although with the absence of core body temperature.
 
 
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