Oct 10, 2019
Endurance athletes swallow capsules to study heat effects

Nearly 200 runners at this year’s IAAF world championships in Doha, Qatar, volunteered to swallow capsules equipped with transmitters to help researchers study how heat affects the body. 

Roughly two hours before they compete, runners will swallow a red and white capsule that contains a transmitter and a battery. By the time the race begins, the capsule will have made its way to the intestines where it will record body-core temperatures, according to the Associated Press. The medical staff will use its equipment to sync with the transmitter when the race is over.

In other research efforts, thermal cameras throughout the course will calculate heat emission through high-definition photos. Athletes also are weighed before and after the race to gauge hydration levels.

From the AP:

“We’re learning a lot from these elite athletes with this technology,” said Paolo Emilio Adami, the health and science department medical manager for the track federation.

“Our body is the most perfect machine that exists,” Adami said. “We are learning with this technology device and interpreting the messages that we normally feel and that we would not be paying enough attention to.”

The majority of the athletes are competing in 10,000-meter marathon and race walks. Temperatures in Doha have hovered around 90 degrees with 70% humidity.

Read more from the Associated Press.

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