Four-month operational heat acclimatization positively affects the level of heat tolerance 6 months later

Alexandra Malgoyre, Julien Siracusa, Pierre Emmanuel Tardo-Dino, Sebastian Garcia-Vicencio, Nathalie Koulmann, Yoram Epstein, Keyne Charlot*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Benefits obtained after heat acclimation/acclimatization should be completely lost after an estimated period of 6 weeks. However, this estimate is still hypothetical. We evaluate the long-term effects of heat acclimatization on the level of heat tolerance. Physiological and subjective markers of heat tolerance were assessed during a heat stress test (HST: 3 × 8-min runs outdoors [~ 40 °C and 20% RH] at 50% of their estimated speed at VO2max) performed on the 2nd day upon arrival to the desert military base in the United Arab Emirates after a first day of mostly passive exposure to heat. Among the 50 male French soldiers, 25 partook in a 4-month military mission in countries characterized by a hot environment ~ 6 months prior to the study (HA). The other 25 participants were never heat acclimatized (CT). Rectal temperature (p = 0.023), heart rate (p = 0.033), and perceived exertion (p = 0.043) were lower in the HA than CT group at the end of HST. Soldiers who experienced a former 4-month period of natural heat acclimatization very likely had a higher level of heat tolerance during exercise in the heat, even 6 months after returning from the previous desert mission, than that of their non-acclimatized counterparts.

Original languageEnglish
Article number20260
JournalScientific Reports
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2020
Externally publishedYes


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