Effect of cold acclimatization on exercise economy in the cold

Matthew D. Muller, Chul Ho Kim, David M. Bellar, Edward J. Ryan, Yongsuk Seo, Sarah M. Muller, Ellen L. Glickman

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


We sought to determine if cold acclimatized men display higher economy (i.e. lower oxygen consumption at a given workload) during graded cycle ergometry in the cold (5°C). After completing a familiarization trial 1 week prior, five cold weather athletes (CWA) and eight physically active men (NON) underwent graded exercise tests to volitional fatigue in 5°C. The protocol always started at 60 W and increased by 20 W each minute. Oxygen consumption (VO 2), respiration rate (RR), tidal volume (TV), and respiratory exchange ratio (RER) were determined via open circuit spirometry. Individuals were matched for body size and minutes of weekly physical activity. Repeated measures analyses of variance were conducted across time (workload) and cold acclimatization was entered as a between subjects factor. VO 2 peak was not different between groups but CWA had lower VO 2 at 60 and 240 W. CWA also had lower RR at 180 and 260 W as well as lower RER at 240 and 260 W. At submaximal workloads, cold acclimatized men have higher exercise economy than non-acclimatized men. This could have implications for those who work in this context.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)795-800
Number of pages6
JournalEuropean Journal of Applied Physiology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2012

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Orthopedics and Sports Medicine
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health
  • Physiology (medical)


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