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Core Body Sensors Could Be the Key to the Next Giant Leap in Sports

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Whether it’s during a competition, or a warm up or cool down period, monitoring core body temperature has been shown to increase performance and improve gains in training. But it hasn’t been easy to measure this metric in real time. Fortunately, the UCI has recently made core body temperature measurement legal in competition.

In 2020, a number of pro cycling teams will be using a new wearable sensor that measures core body temperature. The core temp sensor measures heart rate and the amount of heat leaving your body through the skin. The device has been used by two gold medal winning athletes in Olympic Road races.

A number of sports science researchers have found that tracking core temperature improves performance during training and competition. The ability to monitor core body temperature in real time provides an early warning sign that can prevent performance-impacting core temperature increases. In addition, a non-invasive sensor could be useful in clinical settings to monitor heat exposure for soldiers and workers who are exposed to high thermal loads.

Reliability of the CORE sensor

In the present study, the reliability of the CORE sensor was compared to that of a rectal sensor. In 12 males, two identical 60-min bouts of steady-state cycling were performed in the laboratory. The rectal MSR sensor was used as a reference. The acquisition frequency was 0.1 Hz. The rectal sensor was connected to a data logger, and later transferred to a personal computer via USB.

Means of Tc were calculated for each participant. The Wilcoxon signed-rank test showed a significant difference between mean Tc between participants. The mean difference in Tc between paired measurements was -0.38 degC for the warm up period, 0.59 degC for the cool down period, and -0.62 degC for the whole workout. In addition, the mean bias between identical trials of exercise was not statistically significant.

Reliability of the CORE sensor

The CORE sensor also measured the total temperature change during exercise. This data can be downloaded to the CORE app. It can also be viewed on a head unit screen. It comes with sticky pads that allow you to mount the sensor without strapping it to your body.

In addition, the CORE sensor measured the end temperature of the SS and warm up period earlier than the MSR rectal sensor. The mean difference in Tc between the two devices was -0.38 degC for warm up, 0.59 degC for the cooldown period, and -0.62 degC during the whole workout. The differences were greater than the acceptable level of 0.3 degC.

The present investigation also compared the reproducibility of the CORE sensor to that of a rectal sensor. The mean difference between the devices was greater than the acceptable level of 0.3 degC in 51% of the values. The limits of agreement for the whole workout were -0.38 degC and 0.72 degC. The range between LoA for the warm up period was the largest.

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