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Can Fabric Technology Help Athletes Achieve Peak Performance?

Apparel may be the solution for improved athletic performance.

Technology company Cocona has announced results from a blind university study that showed wearing its 37.5 product (patented active particles found at the fiber level that release moisture vapor) may improve thermoregulation during workouts, as well as impact an athlete’s performance at their lactate threshold, or the point in which the athlete reaches 85 percent of their maximum heart rate.

The study also found that 37.5 fabric technology lowers core temperature and decreases the rate of core temperature buildup during exercise. In addition, athletes can improve their efficiency by using less energy to do the same amount of work.

The University of Colorado at Boulder study, titled “Beneficial Effects of Cooling during Constant Power Non-steady State Cycling,” was authored by physiologists Eric Homestead, Benjamin Ryan, Jesse Goodrich and Professor William Byrnes. The study’s results were presented by Homestead at the American College of Sports Medicine’s 63rd annual meeting in Boston on June 5.

“Now that the study is public we’re excited to be able to talk about the results. When we see data that shows you can improve an athlete’s performance by 26 percent at their lactate threshold, it’s pretty remarkable. To get that kind of increase in efficiency just by changing your shirt fabric is unprecedented,” said Dr. Gregory Haggquist, Cocona’s founder and chief technology officer and the inventor of the patented 37.5 technology.

Core temperature is an important factor in an athlete’s efficiency and performance. Maximizing the body’s evaporation of sweat (built-in cooling mechanisms) helps reduce core temperature buildup during exercise. 37.5 technology acts similar to wearing a cooling vest that circulates cold water. It enables a cooling effect at an athlete’s lactate threshold, which allows them to conserve energy at the same output when they wear 37.5 apparel.

Jeff Bowman, chief executive officer at Cocona, said, “We know the results of this study will be of great interest to athletes, trainers, coaches, soldiers and anyone looking to increase their performance by just changing what they wear.”