Cardiovascular drift

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Cardiovascular drift (CVD, CVdrift) is the phenomenon where some cardiovascular responses begin a time dependent change, or "drift" after around 5-10 minutes of exercise in a warm or neutral environment (90 Fahrenheit+) without an increase in workload[citation needed]. It is characterised by decreases in mean arterial pressure and stroke volume and a parallel increase in heart rate[citation needed]. It has been shown that a reduction in stroke volume due to dehydration is almost always due to the increase in internal temperature[citation needed]. It is influenced by many factors, most notably the ambient temperature, internal temperature, hydration and the amount of muscle tissue activated during exercise[citation needed]. To promote cooling, blood flow to the skin is increased, resulting in a shift in fluids from blood plasma to the skin tissue[citation needed]. This results in a decrease in pulmonary arterial pressure and reduced stroke volume in the heart[citation needed]. To maintain cardiac output at reduced pressure, the heart rate must be increased.

Effects of cardiovascular drift are mainly focused around a higher RPE (Rate of Perceived Effort); that is, a person will feel like they are expending more energy when they are not[citation needed]. This creates a mental block that can inhibit performance greatly[citation needed].

Prevention or minimization of cardiovascular drift includes consistently replacing fluids and maintaining electrolyte balance during exercise, acclimatization to the environment in which one is performing, and weight training[citation needed] to supplement cardiovascular efforts.


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