Physical and perceptual cooling: Improving cognitive function, mood disturbance and time to fatigue in the heat

Jacinta M. Saldaris, Grant J. Landers, Brendan S. Lay

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

This study investigated the effects of menthol swilling and crushed ice ingestion on cognitive function, total mood disturbance (TMD), and time to fatigue (TTF). Twelve male long-distance runners completed three counterbalanced running trials (3 × 30 minutes at 65% VO2peak and a TTF run at 100% VO2peak) in hot, humid conditions (35.3 ± 0.3°C, 59.2 ± 2.5% relative humidity). Trials consisted of precooling with crushed ice ingestion and mid-cooling by menthol swilling (MIX), precooling with water ingestion and mid-cooling by menthol swilling (MENTH), and control (CON). Swilling with either 25 mL of menthol solution or placebo occurred upon entry to the heat, at 15-minute intervals during the run and prior to the TTF run. Core temperature, forehead skin temperature, tympanic temperature, perceived thermal sensation, and TMD were significantly lower with MIX compared with MENTH and CON (P <.05). Thirst was satiated in MIX compared with CON; however, MENTH did not have a significant effect. After 90 minutes of running and post-TTF run, fewer errors occurred in the executive control task (P <.05), as well as decision-making and working memory (P >.05; d = 0.5-0.79) between MIX and CON; however, MENTH had no effect compared with CON. The TTF run was significantly longer with MENTH (34.38%; P =.02) and MIX (39.06%; P =.001) compared with CON, with no difference between MENTH and MIX (P =.618). The physical reduction in core and internal head temperature seen with crushed ice ingestion may lead to improvements in cognitive function; however, both MENTH and MIX were sufficient for improving exercise performance.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)801-811
Number of pages11
JournalScandinavian Journal of Medicine and Science in Sports
Volume30
Issue number4
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2020

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