Taylor Phelps

Document Type

Honors Thesis

Degree Name

Bachelor in Human Performance

Date of Award

Spring 4-11-2014


Cryotherapy is commonly used in sport and performance applications however primarily as a means for improved recovery. Intermittent cooling during competition may contribute to improved performance by modifying perceptual or physiological stress. PURPOSE: The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of intermittent cooling (IC) versus no cooling (NC) through the course of a collegiate basketball game in a thermoneutral environment. METHODS: Eight healthy, (age, 22 ± 1 year, height, 186.7 ± 7.1 cm, weight 93.4 ± 10.1 kg) competitively-trained collegiate basketball players participated in a randomized and counterbalanced repeated measures protocol. Participants performed in 3 simulated games. Each trial was separated by a 24-hour recovery period to best simulate tournament-style play. Measurements of heart rate (HR), core temperature (Tc), rating of perceived recovery (RPR), and rating of perceived exertion (RPE) were recorded every 4 minutes in a thermoneutral environment (20.9 ± 0.7 C°). Data was collected every 4 minutes to simulate the current NCAA collegiate basketball game play. Tc data were analyzed using a two-way repeated measures analysis of variance (ANOVA, treatment x time) to test the significance of mean differences after each 4-minute interval. As non-parametric data, frequency distributions were analyzed for subjective measures (RPR RPE). Both subjective measures were re-coded and evaluated by a related-samples Wilcoxon signed-rank test. RESULTS: The results demonstrated that cooling decreased HR during IC when compared to NC but were not significantly different (NC = 126 ± 7 bpm, C = 123 ± 9 bpm, p = 0.26), Tc (IC = 38.1 C°, ± 0.5, NC = 38.2 C° ± 0.6, p = 0.23). However, RPR was the only measurement significantly improved with IC when compared to NC. PRACTICAL APPLICATIONS: Though intermittent cooling did not significantly attenuate a rise in core temperature or working heart rate, results suggest cooling could aid subjective recovery and decrease perceived exertion during collegiate basketball performance in a thermoneutral environment.


ice, cryotherapy, sports, termoneutral