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Approaches in Poultry, Dairy & Veterinary Sciences

Pre-cooling of Human Top Athletes and Sport Horses Under Heat Stress: An Opportunity or Wishful Thinking? A Review

  • Open or CloseJos Noordhuizen*

    School of Agriculture & Veterinary Science, Australia

    *Corresponding author: Jos Noordhuizen, School of Agriculture & Veterinary Science, Wagga, NSW, Australia

Submission: November 02, 2021;Published: November 29, 2021

DOI: 10.31031/APDV.2021.08.000695

ISSN : 2576-9162
Volume8 Issue4


In this review paper attention is given to cooling methods applied in human top athletes and in sport horses under conditions of heat stress. Three cooling principles are addressed: pre-competition cooling, per-competition cooling and post-competition cooling. Each of these are elaborated with respect to practicality and to their advantages and disadvantages. Post-cooling is generally accepted in both species but should be executed in the best possible way. Pre-cooling has been subject of study in human top athletes. Effects have been determined but not each method is applicable or effective and even not in each discipline. The preferred method is cool-cold water immersion of endurance athletes. In sport horses, post-competition cooling is common use. However, several methods often applied in the field are not the most effective because they are too much time-consuming, labor-intensive, and inefficient. Pre-cooling in sport horses is hardly or not applied; scientifically justified studies are lacking. Nevertheless, precooling is sometimes proposed to improve welfare, health, and performance of these horses. The main conclusions are that human top athletes and sport horses are physiologically not comparable under heat stress conditions and cooling, that pre-cooling of horses should not be proposed as long as appropriate studies are not conducted, and finally that in sport horses the most appropriate post-cooling should be applied: rapidly after the finish; let-down of masses cool-cold water and at the same time low air-speed fanning in repeated cooling cycles, while checking clinical parameters to determine whether cooling can be stopped.

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