Are there any benefits on running soaked in water?
I've been to a half-marathon length race recently. Temperature was high, above 25 ºC. There were runners who, in the provisioning sites (I'm not sure about the correct word, sorry, I mean the intermediate points where the organization offers you liquid or solid refreshments), took several bottles of water, emptying the first ones on themselves and drinking from the last one, looking like they just fell in the pool.
I was wondering if doing that provides a real benefit (like improved refrigeration, less sweating and minor loss of hydration).
I'm more likely to think it is abusive and can lead to running out of water for the other racers, but I'm interested in the physiologic and performance parts rather than in the ethics.
Probable benefits are the cooling "sensation" and some extra help with thermoregulation. But, does it provide a lasting thermoregulation or is it counterproductive soon? I'm thinking of water nebulization in fire fighting, which is more effective than drenching for dropping the room temperature.
After the discussion and rethinking what words to use in searches I've found some contradictory related information:
- Dehydration prevention tips: Change into dry clothing as soon as you can if your clothes get soaked with sweat.
- Dehydration and Heat Injury: Clothing that is dry slows down evaporation of sweat, but once wet, cooling continues. Thus, changing into dry clothes during transitions is not a good idea.