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STUDY: Drinking cold liquids extends exercise capacity in MSers

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  • STUDY: Drinking cold liquids extends exercise capacity in MSers

    Cold fluid ingestion extends exercise capacity of heat-sensitive individuals with Multiple Sclerosis in a warm environment

    Georgia K Chaseling1,
    Davide Filingeri1,
    Phu Hoang2,
    Michael Barnett3,
    Scott L Davis4 and
    Ollie Jay1

    Author Affiliations
    1University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia
    2Neuroscience Research Australia, Randwick, Australia
    3Sydney Medical School, Brain and Mind Centre, Sydney, Australia
    4Department of Applied Physiology & Wellness, Southern Methodist University, Dallas, TX


    Exposure to a hot environment or heat gained during exercise can elicit a transient worsening of clinical symptoms in person with multiple sclerosis (MS), a demyelinating disease of the central nervous system). Heat-related fatigue has been reported in 6080% of individuals with MS, potentially limiting physical activity. Therefore, simple interventions that mitigate heat-related reductions in exercise capacity in persons with MS are needed. Our aim was to test the hypothesis that cold fluid ingestion prolongs exercise duration of individuals with relapsing-remitting MS cycling in a warm (30C, 35% RH) environment.

    On two randomized occasions, 7 participants (54 7 y; 76.1 10.9 kg; 1.71 0.09 m) diagnosed with relapsing-remitting MS exercised at a low intensity (heat production: 3.2 0.5 Wkg−1) for a maximum of 60 min (or until exhaustion), while ingesting a 3.2 mLkg−1 aliquot every 15 min of either cold (1.5C: CLD) or thermoneutral (37C: NEU) water. Rectal (Tre) and mean skin (Tsk) temperature was continuously measured. Exercise duration was significantly longer (P=0.05) in the CLD trial (54.3 11.0 min) compared to the NEU trial (46.4 14.1 min). Indeed, after 45-min of exercise, 3 of 7 participants remained in NEU, whereas 6 of 7 participants remained in CLD. All subjects were able to complete a minimum of 31 minutes of exercise. At this time point, absolute Tre (CLD: 37.08 0.34C, NEU: 36.99 0.26C; P = 0.59), the change in Tre (CLD: 0.25 0.30C, NEU: 0.25 0.15C; P =0.99), absolute Tsk (CLD: 34.41 0.45C, NEU: 34.31 0.30C; P = 0.57), and the change in Tsk (CLD: 1.35 0.54C, NEU: 1.41 0.53C; P = 0.63) were all similar between CLD and NEU. Additionally, at the termination end-point of exercise, absolute Tre (CLD: 37.23 0.30C, NEU: 37.20 0.26C; P = 0.82), the change in Tre (CLD: 0.32 0.30C, NEU: 0.45 0.18C; P =0.70), absolute Tsk (CLD: 34.81 0.27C, NEU: 34.61 0.35C; P = 0.15), and the change in Tsk (CLD: 1.75 0.85C, NEU: 1.68 0.88C; P = 0.72) were all similar between CLD and NEU.

    In conclusion, during physical activity in a warm environment, heat-sensitive individuals with MS exercised for longer before exhaustion with the ingestion of a cold compared to a thermoneutral fluid.
    Dave Bexfield