Body temperature is a critical element for a healthy and well functional body since our body needs to maintain a specific range of temperature.
Core body temperature fluctuates daily following circadian rhythms. Body temperature also varies in relation to several environmental and biological factors, such as time of day, site of temperature measurements, level of physical activity, age, and sex, among others. Body temperature is kept in the normal range by thermoregulation, a set of complicated mechanisms orchestrated by the hypothalamus, a subconscious part of our brain that partly controls our central nervous system.
The human thermoregulation also has a defense mechanism, which fights against many kinds of diseases, infections, and other unwanted foreign invaders called the febrile response.
However, physical activities can also severely affect body temperature, producing deviations that could be misinterpreted without adequate medical knowledge. Therefore, continuously monitoring the body temperature during the entire day, is a good method for understanding and enhancing knowledge about our health and wellbeing.
It is also important to note that corebody temperature is different from skin surface temperature: the later changes due to environmental factor, such as win, sun or rain. Therefore, it is not a reliable indicator for human wellness and healthbeing.
Core body temperature and sports performance
The effects of core body temperature on physical performance have been under research for a long time. As a result, we have a pretty good idea of how the body reacts to heat while doing sport, especially in terms of cardiac output and energy creation.
There is plenty of scientific research about this topic, so we will just quote some relevant papers to make our point. First of all, the body needs to divert cardiac output under hot conditions to dissipate heat through the skin. As explained by Périard and Racinais (Périard and Racinais, 2019: page 5): “While resting in a thermoneutral environment, about 0.5 L/min of blood (5–10% of cardiac output) is supplying the cutaneous circulation, but during heat stress the cutaneous circulation receives up to 8 L/min (50–70% of cardiac output)”. That means that if we are under heat stress most of our energy will go to try to compensate for the core body temperature. Obviously, that will affect sports performance! In fact, aerobic exercise performed in the heat is impaired compared to cool conditions.
However, it is possible to use several strategies to minimize this impairment, as explained by Périard:
- Aerobic fitness.
- Heat acclimatization.
- Hydration. Gradual dehydration has been shown to exacerbate the rise in thermal and cardiovascular strain during heat-stress exercise in proportion to the extent of body water loss.
- Cooling during the event.
How could these scientific facts help us to improve our training and overall physical status? Controlling our core body temperature fluctuations might be useful to prevent in advance heat stress situations where our performance could be seriously undermined. That is what CORE is about! By getting core body temperature monitoring to everybody we want to help athletes to better understand their bodies, improving training and getting better results.
Up to now, core body temperature could only be measured continuosly using invasive methods, like thermometers, probes and electronic pills, and under very specific circumstances, such a lab or a hospital. CORE is the first wearable device that allows to continuosly and accurately measure the core body temperature under living conditions.
If you want to learn more about CORE, core body temperature and its benefits for sports training and performance, check our blog.
(1) Périard, Julien D., Racinais, Sebastien (Eds.) (2019): Heat Stress in Sport and Exercise, Thermophysiology of Health and Performance, Springer.