EFFECTS OF WATER TEMPERATURE ON SWIMMERS

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The focus of this paper is to review the current knowledge about the effects of water temperature on metabolism, ther- moregulation and performance in swimmers; to determine if the rules established by FINA (Federation Internazionale de Natation) and ITU (International Triathlon Union) on the water temperature, agree with the results of scientific works already published. The range of water temperatures betwe- en 25 and 28 °C, set by FINA, for swimming pool during international competitions is correct, but we suggest that it may be useful to increase the water temperature at 32 °C in competitions of short duration (50 and 100 meters) for better performance time. Furthermore, we believe that in open water competitions, the temperature limit established by FINA (16 °C) and by ITU (14 °C) are too low, and we consider important the two ITU rules on water temperature, in order to preserve the health of athletes. Hence, we sug- gest FINA to set the inferior limit to 20 °C and time limit to end the swimming.
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