Comparison of thermoregulatory responses between men and women immersed in cold water


  1. Tikuisis, P.
  2. Jacobs, I.
  3. Moroz, D.
  4. Vallerand, A.L.
  5. Martineau, L.
Corporate Authors
Defence and Civil Inst of Environmental Medicine, Downsview ONT (CAN)
Comparison of thermoregulatory responses between men and women immersed in cold water. Eleven women (age = 24.4 + or - 6.3 yr, mass = 65.0 kg, height = + or - 8 cm, body fatness = 22.4 + or - 5.9%, mean + or - SD) were immersed to neck level in 19C water for up to 90 min for comparison of their thermal responses with those of men (n = 14) in a previous similarly conducted protocol. Metabolic rate increased about three times resting levels in men and women, whereas the rate of rectal temperature cooling (increment T re / increment t) in women (0.47C/h) was about one-half that in men. With use of all data, increment T re / increment t correlates with the ratio of body surface area to size and the metabolic rate of shivering correlates inversely to the square root of body fatness. No significant gender differences in total metabolic heat production normalized for body mass or surface area were found among subjects who completed 90 min of immersion (9 women and 7 men). Nor was there a gender difference in the overall percent contribution (difference 60%) fat oxidation to total heat production. TRUNCATED
Cold water immersion;Substrate utilization;Body cooling
Report Number
DCIEM-SL-1999-103 — Reprint
Date of publication
22 Nov 1999
Number of Pages
Reprinted from
J Appl Physiol, vol 89, 2000, p 1403-1411
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