Slushies May Improve Your Running Endurance

Slushies May Improve Your Running Endurance.

Today was one of those days in which I would have loved having an ice-cold slushie.  As I traveled from location to location, the heat and humidity causing the constant sweating was taking a toll on my 60 year(s) old body.

Now, I’m glad for the new research that has come from Down Under, but I was looking for something for the moment… health benefits weren’t even in my thoughts.  Don’t get me wrong.  Anytime the so-called experts come up with a good reason to consume something… it’s alright by me!

New research out of Australia has suggested  a simple method for increasing workout endurance (or just plain old work) on a hot day is to drink a slushie first.

The research noted that the prime factor thought to “decrease endurance in the heat is the faster rise in core body temperature. Once your core temperature reaches a certain point, your body protects against heat stroke, shutting down your exercise capacity. Precooling is a good way to extend the time it takes to reach such core temperatures, thus prolonging exercise.”

Sports drinks, energy drinks, or cold water are  good ways to hydrate and keep cool before/during exercise but the researchers found the runners who had the slushie were able to run 10 minutes more than those who drank cold water (50 and 40 minutes, respectively). Slushie drinkers also had lower core temperatures, both before exercise and through about 40 minutes after starting.

Two reasons. First, the ice made the slushies about 30-31 degrees F, lower than the 39-40 degree temperatures attained by drinks in your fridge. Second, as opposed to a cold drink with ice cubes, a slushie involves actually ingesting the ice. “The phase change of ice (solid) to water (liquid) requires a lot of energy. When this phase change happens in your stomach, it diverts that energy, or heat, into the stomach and away from your muscles. This further pre-cools your muscles before exercise.”

So next time you go for a run (or just go from work location to work location) on a really hot day, consider having a slushie or plain water with lots of finely-crushed ice about 30 minutes beforehand. And if the heat does get to you, always be safe- take a break and cool down before starting up again.