A Review of the Potential Implications of Hot and Humid Environmental Conditions on Soccer Match-Play Performance.

John Brewer, Lee Warren

Abstract


This paper identifies the physiological challenges faced by soccer players competing in hot and humid conditions. The metabolic demands of soccer, which consists of a combination of endurance activities and intermittent high intensity exercise, will cause a rise in core body temperature that has to be regulated through heat loss mechanisms. When conditions are hot and humid, these mechanisms may be compromised, resulting in high sweat rates, loss of electrolytes and the potential risk of dehydration and, in extreme cases, hyperthermia. When combined with a decrease in carbohydrate availability, which occurs when soccer is played in all environmental conditions, it is likely that players performances will suffer, particularly during the latter stages of a match, or if extra-time is required. This performance-decrement will be evidenced by a decrease in work rate, skill and cognitive function both individually, and collectively. Potential solutions include a hydration strategy that uses nutrition and carbohydrate-electrolyte solutions to replace fluid, electrolytes and fuel that are depleted during match-play.


Keywords


Soccer; hydration; heat; humidity; glycogen; dehydration; fatigue

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References


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