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#Ice #slush #results #advantages #proof

Ice slush, or slurry, is a really low temperature (0-1 °C) drink made with blended ice and liquids. Though in style as ‘slushies’ and obtainable in numerous brilliant colors in locations like festivals, arcades or cinemas, ice slush is used for its sports activities diet advantages in scorching climate sporting settings. We’ve seen lots of slush use on the highly regarded Tokyo Olympic Video games and we now have seen it in occasions just like the Tour de France. It may be used for pre-cooling earlier than a race or competitors, throughout train or breaks and post-race to cut back and preserve core temperature.

Effect of ice slush on performance in the heat

A excessive physique temperature is clearly a contributor to fatigue and stopping very excessive temperatures has been proven to enhance efficiency. This may be finished by numerous methods of pre-cooling and maybe additionally by cooling throughout train, though that is far more diffiocult from a sensible standpoint. In circumstances resembling these on the Tokyo Olympics with excessive temperature and little alternative for evaporative cooling (cooling by sweating) due to the excessive humidity, cooling the bod utilizing different strategies is particularly efficient.

Jones Vingegaard, winner of the Tour de France 2022, consumes an "ice gel" (slush)

Picture by Bram Berkien – Jumbo Visma

Results on physiology

Ice slush can cool an athlete far more and sooner than consuming a chilly drink. The power (warmth) required to show ice into fluid is over 80 occasions as excessive because the power required to easily warmth up cool water (primarily based on the speculation of enthalpy). Due to this fact, ice slush is a really efficient approach of decreasing physique temperature and is a course of that happens contained in the physique (and doesn’t depend on environmental components like sweating).

One potential downside with each ingestion of ice slush and chilly fluids is that they activate particular thermoreceptors (receptors within the physique designed to detect modifications in temperature) within the stomach. Activating these thermoreceptors with chilly publicity results in a discount in sweating, regardless of the temperature of the pores and skin or the atmosphere. That is problematic as a result of sweating is the best methodology of eradicating warmth when core temperature rises. Due to this fact, there are considerations that though consuming ice slush would possibly make the athlete really feel cooler, there could also be no total profit to consuming it if it reduces sweating.

Pre-cooling with slush

Though consuming ice slush/chilly fluids throughout train does cut back sweating, consuming these earlier than train begins (when there is no such thing as a sweating happening), seems to be efficient at reducing physique temperature. Though completely different research have used completely different quantities and beneath completely different circumstances, ice slush can cut back core temperature by roughly 0.5°C. In quite a lot of research, this discount in core temperature results in the power to train for longer (elevated train capability). Most of the research utilizing ice slush have used endurance train, resembling operating or biking, however some have additionally used intermittent, interval train, and ice slush seems to be efficient at bettering capability and efficiency for each. That is considered as a result of delaying in reaching a ‘vital’ core temperature, at which exhaustion happens. Though sweating could also be lowered within the early levels of train if ice slush is consumed beforehand, that is shortly overridden when no extra slush is consumed, and the lowered core temperature stays. Nonetheless, it could be doable to devour an excessive amount of slush. Not solely has this the potential to trigger gastro-intestinal misery, if core temperature drops an excessive amount of this may have unfavorable results aswell. Due to this fact, care needs to be taken to not use an excessive amount of ice slush or use it when the environmental circumstances are cool.

Advantages of slush throughout train

As a result of consuming ice slush throughout train reduces sweating, slush doesn’t result in a lot of a discount in core temperature when consumed throughout train. Nonetheless, lots of the research which have used ice slush have used reasonable temperatures (~25°C) which might be thought of heat, however don’t signify competitions or races in scorching international locations, or in the summertime of temperate international locations, the place >30°C circumstances are widespread. Most of the research which have checked out ice slush in excessive temperatures (32-35°C) have proven a discount in core temperature, and even improved efficiency. Above these temperatures, management of physique temperature turns into increasingly more tough, because the effectiveness of sweating reduces. Sweating is more practical at eradicating physique warmth when it may possibly evaporate shortly. When temperatures are very excessive, sweat could also be produced sooner than it may possibly evaporate, and it drips from the pores and skin. This additionally happens in humid circumstances, the place sweat doesn’t evaporate shortly. In these circumstances, ice slush seems to be simplest. Though consuming the slush might cut back sweating, in these circumstances (excessive temperature and/or excessive humidity), extra sweating just isn’t essentially efficient at controlling core temperature. Due to this fact, the results of slush on core temperature could be massive.

Sensible implications

Ice slush could also be much less efficient for cyclists than runners or different athletes as a result of it’s most helpful when sweating effectivity is low. When biking, air motion previous the physique may be very excessive, which might enhance sweating effectivity even when the temperature and humidity are excessive. By the identical token, it could be notably helpful for sports activities the place the athletes are lined in clothes or protecting gear (e.g. hockey, American soccer) and sweating effectivity is poor. Ice slush might be helpful when temperature and/or humidity is excessive, and sweat drips or swimming pools, quite than evaporates. Though slush could be very helpful, it’s fairly impractical in lots of instances. A blender or ice slush machine is often wanted to make it, which might make consuming it earlier than or throughout a race tough.

In a future weblog we are going to look in additional detailed at a number of the printed research. Keep tuned!


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