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1- Center for Global Health Research, Saveetha Medical College and Hospitals, Saveetha Institute of Medical and Technical Sciences, Saveetha University, India.
2- Department of Sports Management, Faculty of Sport Sciences, Kirikkale University, Kirikkale, Turkey.
3- Department of Microbiology, School of Medical Sciences, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Health Campus, Kubang Kerian, Kelantan, Malaysia.
4- Department of General Surgery, School of Medical Sciences, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Kubang Kerian, Kelantan, Malaysia.
5- Department of Physical Education and Sport Science, School of Physical Education, Sport Science and Dietetics, University of Thessaly, Trikala, Greece.
6- Department of Human Physiology, Federal University Dutse, Jigawa State, Dutse, Nigeria.
7- Department of Physiology, School of Medical Sciences, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Kubang Kerian, Kelantan, Malaysia. ,
8- Department of Physiology, School of Medical Sciences, Universiti Sains Malaysia, Kubang Kerian, Kelantan, Malaysia.
9- Department of Physical Education and Special Motricity, Faculty of Physical Education and Mountain Sports, Transilvania University of Braşov, Braşov, Romania.
Abstract:   (803 Views)
Background. The summer is a time for various sporting events, many of which take place in hot and humid environments. Heat exposure can have a significant impact on athletic performance and can even be fatal. Heat acclimatization (HA) is the process of gradually exposing the body to hot environments to improve its ability to regulate temperature and function in the heat.
Objectives. This paper reviews the physiological changes associated with heat exposure and the effects of HA on athletic performance. It also provides recommendations for minimizing heat-related illness and death in sports.
Methods. A literature search was conducted to identify relevant studies on HA and heat-related illness in sports. The search terms used included "heat acclimatization," "heat stress," "sport," and "performance".
Results. Heat acclimatization induces a series of beneficial physiological adaptations that contribute to enhanced athletic performance in hot conditions. These changes include increased sweating, heart rate, and blood flow to the skin. Enhances thermoregulatory mechanisms, allowing the body to better cope with heat stress and improving sweat rate and electrolyte balance, aiding in more efficient cooling. Acclimatization results in increased plasma volume, reducing the risk of dehydration. Additionally, it promotes cardiovascular adaptations, enhancing overall heat tolerance. HA can lead to improved exercise performance in hot conditions, making it a valuable strategy for athletes and workers in warm environments. Therefore, proper HA can reduce the risk of heat exhaustion, and heatstroke.
Conclusion. HA is an important tool for athletes who train and compete in hot environments. It can improve performance, reduce the risk of heat-related illness, and even save lives. Sports federations and coaches should encourage athletes to participate in HA programs. HA programs should include gradual exposure to hot environments, both with and without exercise
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  • Heat acclimatisation is an avenue for athletes in competitive sports in hot environments to understand and improve their performance, reduce the risk of heat-induced illness, and even improve better quality of athletes lives. Sports federations and trainers should encourage athletes to participate in HA programs to avail them of quality adaptation and know the dos and don'ts of the program. Hence, HA programs should include gradual exposure to hot environments, both with and without exercise.

Type of Study: Review Article | Subject: Sport Physiology and its related branches
Received: 2023/11/2 | Accepted: 2024/01/11

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