Textile innovator Devan Chemicals and Triathlon & Performance-brand HUUB announce their partnership at the upcoming Performance Days show in Munich. The two companies have been working on a project around Devan’s cool comfort technology ‘Moov&Cool’. The unique formulation, applied to HUUB’s trisuits, was tested and examined by Dr Steve Faulkner, Head of Sports Engineering at Nottingham Trent University, who has now put forward his first findings. Competing in triathlons in hot and humid conditions is often challenging due to the additional environmental stress placed on the athlete. When you compete in triathlon you produce heat as a result of the increase in metabolic rate required to meet the elevated energy demand due to swimming, cycling and running. This heat needs to be removed from the body, because, when too much heat builds up inside your body, it can have a dramatic effect on your performance.
At the very least it will cause you to feel uncomfortable and to slow down, or worse; think of Jonny Brownlee, who collapsed from dehydration at the end of the World Triathlon Series race in Cozumel in 2016.
In races that are frequently very hot, such as Ironman Hawaii and races in Asia, optimising your heat tolerance is critical to performance. Most people will know about the impact of acclimatising to the heat before race day, but one often overlooked component is an athlete’s clothing, and the technology within that fabric that can help to keep you cool.
Evaporative cooling effect
This is why HUUB recently teamed up with Devan, who has developed a unique multisport formulation with the Moov&Cool technology at its core. It helps to maximise the evaporative cooling effect of sweating during exercise. One of the key mechanisms through which we can lose heat during sport is via sweating. When sweat is evaporated, heat will be drawn from the body to cool you down, which will help to prevent you from overheating and slowing down. The Moov&Cool technology contains a continuous heat absorption capacity that can assist in the heat withdrawal process. This heat absorption capacity also continues to work in wet environments, thus also ideal for triathlon.
In collaboration with Dr Faulkner, HUUB conducted an independent study to test the impact of the formulation on triathlete’ responses to exercise in warm conditions (25°C) whilst wearing either a standard Huub Anemoi tri-suit compared to a coated Anemoi suit.
HUUB now states that they have found some really exciting results allowing the company to continue to improve the athlete’s performance. As claimed by Devan, they saw a positive impact on body core temperature as well as on heart rate. Athletes reported feeling less hot and more comfortable during exercise whilst wearing a coated suit. Even more importantly, athletes experienced a reduction in the overall physiological strain during the 60-minute ride. In turn, this could lead to a faster finish time on race day.
“I was not expecting to see such benefits to athletes’ perceptions and physiological function”, says Dr Faulkner. “There are many coatings that claim to have ‘performance gains’ which are often unsubstantiated so I was somewhat skeptical at first. However, the data we have collected point to a measurable benefit of having your trisuit coated with the Moov&Cool technology that could lead to significant improvement to your race-day performance.”
HUUB will do further research with Dr Faulkner and Devan to have more insight on how this polymer treatment can impact sports performance. They will look at some of the underlying physiological mechanism that could be affected such as alterations to blood flow, heat storage in the body and the effectiveness of athletes’ sweating.