Friday, November 16, 2012

Drinking cold water for better workout performance

An article published in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition presents interesting information about a study conducted by Athletes’ Performance in Phoenix, Arizona. The upshot is that there are significant benefits to drinking cold water during an intense workout compared to room-temperature water.

One example of superior workout results in the study: nearly 50% of participants who drank cold water  improved in the broad jump test and 51% in the bicycle time-to-exhaustion test. 

If you're not familiar with Athletes' Performance, it's a go-to facility for elite professional athletes from the NBA, NFL, MLB, Olympians etc. 

Using hydration bottles from Thermos with vacuum insulation technology,  the results of the study showed that drinking cold water (40° F) significantly mediates and delays the increase in core body temperature during exercise.

If I understand the abstract correctly, as we work out, and the body temperature rises, we are more likely to get dehydrated, which affects performance.  Drinking cold water delays that rise in body temperature.  Hence, performance is not hampered by heat-related stress that leads to fatigue and other negative effects.

Some other highlights from the study:

  • A rise in body temperature was delayed 45 minutes while drinking cold water as opposed to just 15 minutes for those drinking room temperature water (75° F)
  • The longer you work out, the more important drinking cold water becomes. The study results strongly demonstrate that the benefits of cold water hydration for core temperature increase as the length of the workout session increases (reaching its highest difference at 60 minutes).
To keep water at the recommended 40°F during workouts, start with cold water from the refrigerator (or tap water with ice) and keep it cold in a hydration bottle with Thermos brand vacuum insulation technology, which will keep drinks cold for up to 12 hours.  

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