Cooling Vests Worn During Active Warm-Ups

This study, in the Journal of Applied Physiology from 2004, explored whether a cooling vest worn during an active warm-up enhances 5-km run time in the heat. Seventeen competitive runners (9 men and 8 women) completed two simulated 5-km runs in a hot, humid environment (32°C, 50% relative humidity). The athletes completed active warm-ups during which they wore either a T-shirt or a cooling vest. Results showed the 5-km run time was significantly lower (by 13 second) for those who warmed up in a cooling vest, with a faster pace most evident during the last two-thirds of the run.

You can access the study here.

Effects of Pre-Cooling Procedures

How can cooling garments help athletes perform at the top of their games?

This study, from the European Journal of Applied Physiology in 2007, explored whether pre-cooling procedures improved both maximal sprint and sub-maximal work during exercise. In the tests, nine male rugby players performed a familiarization session and three testing sessions of a 2 × 30-min intermittent sprint protocol. This protocol consisted of a 15-m sprint every min separated by free-paced hard-running, jogging and walking in 32°C and 30% humidity.

The study found that over greater distances covered in workouts, participants who used ice baths or cooling vests had increasingly lower heart rates, lower sweat loss, and more thermal comfort overall during their activities.

The study can be accessed here.