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Article

Does Cold-Water Endurance Swimming Affect Pulmonary Function in Healthy Adults?

1
Department of Sports Medicine, Norwegian School of Sport Sciences, 0863 Oslo, Norway
2
Prehospital Division, Vestfold Hospital Trust, 3103 Tønsberg, Norway
3
Department of Clinical Medicine, University of Oslo, 0315 Oslo, Norway
4
Department of Vascular Surgery, Oslo University Hospital, University of Oslo, 0586 Oslo, Norway
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Current Address: Centre for Human Performance, Exercise and Rehabilitation, College of Health, Medicine and Life Sciences, Brunel University London, London UB8 3PH, UK.
Received: 3 December 2020 / Revised: 26 December 2020 / Accepted: 6 January 2021 / Published: 10 January 2021
The acute effects of cold-water endurance swimming on the respiratory system have received little attention. We investigated pulmonary responses to cold-water endurance swimming in healthy recreational triathletes. Pulmonary function, alveolar diffusing capacity (DLCO), fractional exhaled nitric oxide (FENO) and arterial oxygen saturation by pulse oximetry (SpO2) were assessed in 19 healthy adults one hour before and 2.5 h after a cold-water (mean ± SD, 10 ± 0.9 °C) swim trial (62 ± 27 min). In addition, 12 out of the 19 participants measured pulmonary function, forced vital capacity (FVC) and forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV1) 3, 10, 20 and 45 min post-swim by maximal expiratory flow volume loops and DLCO by the single breath technique. FVC and FEV1 were significantly reduced 3 min post-swim (p = 0.02) (p = 0.04), respectively, and five of 12 participants (42%) experienced exercise-induced bronchoconstriction (EIB), defined as a ≥ 10% drop in FEV1. No significant changes were observed in pulmonary function 2.5 h post-swim. However, mean FENO and DLCO were significantly reduced by 7.1% and 8.1% (p = 0.01) and (p < 0.001), respectively, 2.5 h post-swim, accompanied by a 2.5% drop (p < 0.001) in SpO2. The absolute change in DLCO correlated significantly with the absolute decline in core temperature (r = 0.52; p = 0.02). Conclusion: Cold-water endurance swimming may affect the lungs in healthy recreational triathletes lasting up to 2.5 h post-swim. Some individuals appear to be more susceptible to pulmonary impairments than others, although these mechanisms need to be studied further. View Full-Text
Keywords: cold-water swim; pulmonary function; alveolar diffusion capacity; oxygen saturation; expired nitric oxide; recreational triathletes cold-water swim; pulmonary function; alveolar diffusion capacity; oxygen saturation; expired nitric oxide; recreational triathletes
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MDPI and ACS Style

Illidi, C.R.; Stang, J.; Melau, J.; Hisdal, J.; Stensrud, T. Does Cold-Water Endurance Swimming Affect Pulmonary Function in Healthy Adults? Sports 2021, 9, 7. https://doi.org/10.3390/sports9010007

AMA Style

Illidi CR, Stang J, Melau J, Hisdal J, Stensrud T. Does Cold-Water Endurance Swimming Affect Pulmonary Function in Healthy Adults? Sports. 2021; 9(1):7. https://doi.org/10.3390/sports9010007

Chicago/Turabian Style

Illidi, Camilla R., Julie Stang, Jørgen Melau, Jonny Hisdal, and Trine Stensrud. 2021. "Does Cold-Water Endurance Swimming Affect Pulmonary Function in Healthy Adults?" Sports 9, no. 1: 7. https://doi.org/10.3390/sports9010007

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