Cardiovascular adjustments accompanying exercise in high ambient temperatures are likely responsible for diminished aerobic capacity and performance in such conditions. These adjustments include a phenomenon known as cardiovascular drift in which heart rate rises and stroke volume declines progressively over time during constant-rate exercise. A variety of factors modulate the magnitude of cardiovascular drift, e.g., elevated core and skin temperatures, dehydration, and exercise intensity. Regardless of the mode of manipulation, decreases in stroke volume associated with cardiovascular drift result in directionally and proportionally similar decreases in maximal aerobic capacity. Maximal aerobic capacity is determined by maximal heart rate, maximal tissue oxygen extraction, and maximal stroke volume. Because maximal heart rate and maximal tissue oxygen extraction are unaffected during exercise in the heat, decreased stroke volume associated with cardiovascular drift likely persists during maximal efforts and explains the decrease in maximal aerobic capacity. Decreased maximal aerobic capacity results in a greater perceptual and physiological strain accompanying any given level of work. Therefore, sustaining and enhancing performance involves sophisticated monitoring of physiological strain combined with development of countermeasures that mitigate the magnitude of deleterious phenomena like cardiovascular drift.