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Sportverletz Sportschaden. 2014 Mar;28(1):17-23. doi: 10.1055/s-0034-1366055. Epub 2014 Mar 24.

[Adaptive mechanisms and behavioural recommendations: playing football in heat, cold and high altitude conditions].

[Article in German]

Author information

Integrative und Experimentelle Trainingswissenschaft, Institut für Sportwissenschaft, Julius-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg.
Arbeitsbereich Bewegungswissenschaft, Sportwissenschaft, Bergische Universität Wuppertal.
Swedish Winter Sports Research Centre, Department of Health Sciences, Mid Sweden University, 83125 Östersund, Sweden.


Football is played worldwide and players often have to cope with hot and cold temperatures as well as high altitude conditions. The upcoming and past world championships in Brazil, Qatar and South Africa illustrate the necessity for behavioural strategies and adaptation to extreme environmental conditions. When playing football in the heat or cold, special clothing, hydration and nutritional and acclimatisation strategies are vital for high-level performance. When playing at high altitude, the reduced oxygen partial pressure impairs endurance performance and alters the technical and tactical requirements. Special high-altitude adaptation and preparation strategies are essential for football teams based at sea-level in order to perform well and compete successfully. Therefore, the aim of the underlying review is: 1) to highlight the difficulties and needs of football teams competing in extreme environmental conditions, 2) to summarise the thermoregulatory, physiological, neuronal and psychological mechanism, and 3) to provide recommendations for coping with extreme environmental conditions in order to perform at a high level when playing football in the heat, cold and at high altitude.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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