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Br J Sports Med. 2015 Sep;49(18):1164-73. doi: 10.1136/bjsports-2015-094915. Epub 2015 Jun 11.

Consensus recommendations on training and competing in the heat.

Author information

Athlete Health and Performance Research Centre, Aspetar Orthopaedic and Sports Medicine Hospital, Doha, Qatar.
Sports Medicine Department, Aspetar Orthopaedic and Sports Medicine Hospital, Doha, Qatar Medical and Anti-doping Commission, International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), Montecarlo, Monaco.
Sport and Exercise Discipline Group, University of Technology Sydney (UTS), Australia.
FAME Laboratory, Department of Physical Education and Sport Science, University of Thessaly, Trikala, Greece.
Department of Physiology, Faculty of Biology and Medicine, ISSUL, Institute of Sport Sciences, University of Lausanne, Lausanne, Switzerland.
Department of Life Sciences, Centre for Sports Medicine and Human Performance, College of Health and Life Sciences, Brunel University London, Uxbridge, UK.
Research Department, Laboratory of Sport, Expertise and Performance, French National Institute of Sport (INSEP), Paris, France.
Discipline of Exercise and Sport Science, Faculty of Health Sciences, University of Sydney, Lidcombe, Australia.
Defence Medical and Environmental Research Institute, DSO National Laboratories, Singapore, Singapore Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine, National University of Singapore, Singapore, Singapore Lee Kong Chian School of Medicine, Nanyang Technological University, Singapore, Singapore.
British Cycling and 'Sky Pro Cycling', National Cycling Centre, Manchester, UK.
National Sports Medicine Programme, Excellence in Football Project, Aspetar, Qatar Orthopaedic and Sports Medicine Hospital, Doha, Qatar.
Department of Nutrition, Exercise and Sport, Section of Human Physiology, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark.
Medical Department, Royal Netherlands Lawn Tennis Association (KNLTB), Amersfoort, The Netherlands.
Department of Human Physiology, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Brussels, Belgium.
School of Applied Physiology, College of Science, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, Georgia, USA.
Department of Kinesiology, University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa, USA.


Exercising in the heat induces thermoregulatory and other physiological strain that can lead to impairments in endurance exercise capacity. The purpose of this consensus statement is to provide up-to-date recommendations to optimise performance during sporting activities undertaken in hot ambient conditions. The most important intervention one can adopt to reduce physiological strain and optimise performance is to heat acclimatise. Heat acclimatisation should comprise repeated exercise-heat exposures over 1-2 weeks. In addition, athletes should initiate competition and training in a euhydrated state and minimise dehydration during exercise. Following the development of commercial cooling systems (eg, cooling-vest), athletes can implement cooling strategies to facilitate heat loss or increase heat storage capacity before training or competing in the heat. Moreover, event organisers should plan for large shaded areas, along with cooling and rehydration facilities, and schedule events in accordance with minimising the health risks of athletes, especially in mass participation events and during the first hot days of the year. Following the recent examples of the 2008 Olympics and the 2014 FIFA World Cup, sport governing bodies should consider allowing additional (or longer) recovery periods between and during events, for hydration and body cooling opportunities, when competitions are held in the heat.


Heat acclimatisation; Heat stress; Hypohydration; Thermoregulation

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