Far infrared radiation (FIR) has been shown to have physiological effects when used as a treatment modality for certain medical conditions. Athletic apparel are currently commercially available that are constructed with fabrics that purportedly emit FIR. If apparel with this technology are capable of inducing positive physiological effects, then there may be important implications when worn by an athlete during exercise. The purpose of this study is to examine whether FIR apparel has an effect on oxygen consumption during exercise at submaximal intensities. Twelve male cyclists have completed submaximal incremental cycling tests. Each subject is tested on 4 separate days, twice while wearing a full body Control garment, and twice while wearing a similar garment made out of FIR fabric. Throughout each cycling test, the volume of oxygen uptake is monitored by using a breathing mask and metabolic analysis cart. At lower cycling intensities, the subjects consume statistically significantly less oxygen when wearing the FIR apparel compared to the Control garment, despite performing the same amount of mechanical work. Additional research is required to determine the implication of this effect for a training or competing athlete; however, the results indicate that this apparel technology does elicit a physiological effect.
Research Journal of Textile and Apparel – Emerald Publishing
Published: Aug 1, 2015