Date of Completion


Embargo Period


Major Advisor

Douglas Casa

Associate Advisor

Carl Maresh

Associate Advisor

Lawrence Armstrong

Field of Study



Doctor of Philosophy

Open Access

Open Access


Purpose: Examine physiological and immune responses in triathletes during a competitive race and determine if cold water immersion (CWI) will attenuate these responses. Methods: 39 triathletes (age:44±11yrs; height:174±7cm; body mass:68.6±8.3kg; %body fat:10.7±4.2%) competing in the 2012 Ironman World Championships volunteered. Measurements of body mass (%BML), urine specific gravity (USG), salivary immunoglobulin A (SIgA), salivary cortisol (Scort), and salivary α-amylase (Sαam) were taken at baseline (BASE), prior to the race (PRE), following the race (POST), and one and two days after the race (+1 DAY and +2 DAY, respectively). Measurements of blood cortisol (CORT), creatine kinase (CK), and myoglobin (MYO) were taken at BASE, POST, +1 DAY, and, +2 DAY. Subjects were randomly assigned into a cooling group ((COOL) 12-minutes CWI following the race) or a control group ((CONT) 12-minutes of passive sitting following the race). Measurements of gastrointestinal temperature (ΔTgi) and heart rate (HR) were taken at 0-minutes (0MIN), 6-minutes (6MIN), and 12-minutes (12MIN) during the intervention. Results: USG was greater POST (p %BML POST was significant compared to PRE body mass (pConclusion: Despite resulting in lower Tgi and HR, 12-minutes of CWI did not attenuate the heightened immune, stress, and muscle damage responses, as measured in blood and saliva, following an Ironman Triathlon. Word Count: 332