Cool Hands- the Key to Sport Performance?

Stanford scientists Craig Heller and Dennis Grahn have created a device based on their research on temperature regulation, which rapidly lowers core body temperature by systematically cooling an athlete’s hands.

It turns out that in the same way that Dogs dissipate heat well through their tongues,  dense networks of veins in the soles of our  feet, the palms of tour e hands, and our  faces act like the radiators of our body to help us cool off.

By creating a special cooling glove which creates a small vacuum seal around the hand and then circulates cool water over the palm, the researchers were able to significantly improve recovery time for both endurance based exercises, such as running, as well as strength based exercises, such as weight lifting or pull ups.

The glove’s effects on athletic performance didn’t become apparent until the researchers began using the glove to cool a member of the lab – the confessed “gym rat” and frequent coauthor Vinh Cao – between sets of pull-ups. The glove seemed to nearly erase his muscle fatigue; after multiple rounds, cooling allowed him to do just as many pull-ups as he did the first time around. “

It’s way too early to tell since the device is far fromcommercialization, but the ramifications of the research – that core body temperature could be a major influence on muscular recovery are extremely significant for rock climbing.

For details about the research, we highly recommend reading the original article published in the Stanford University News

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