2020 Volume 58 Issue 2 Pages 91-106
This study investigated the separate and combined effects of skin cooling and cold fluid ingestion on the alleviation of heat strain when wearing protective firefighting clothing at an air temperature of 30°C with 50%RH. A vest with the dual functions of cooling and providing sports drink supply (1.2% body mass) was developed. Eight males participated in the following four conditions: control [CON], drinking only [DO], cooling only [CO], and both cooling and drinking [CD]. The results showed that rectal (Tre), mean skin temperature (Tsk) and heart rate (HR) during recovery were lower for CD than for CON (p<0.05), while no significant differences between the four conditions were found during exercise. CO significantly reduced mean Tsk and HR and improved thermal sensation, whereas DO was effective for relieving thirst and lowering HR in recovery. In summary, the combined effect of skin cooling and fluid ingestion was synergistically manifested in Tre, Tsk and thermal sensation in recovery.Practitioner Summary: The present results provide data on a novel vest that contributes to alleviating firefighters’ heat strain. Because a cooling vest after melting may be a burden for firefighters, this study indicates a practical way to reduce the additional weight load of the vest by drinking the melted fluid of the cooling packs.