“Stanford researchers’ cooling glove ‘better than steroids…”
Yes I realize that the article I am referring too is from 2012, but still, that headline definitely got my attention! Ok, I will admit that when you first see this headline it sounds completely ridiculous, or as Max McClure author of said article put it, “it sounds like the subject line of a spam email”. But after a little research there definitely seems to be some truth to this claim.
Here’s how it works:
We (humans) have 3 areas on our body that our very efficient heat exchangers. These areas are the palms of our hands, the soles of our feet, and our face…
According to the researchers at Stanford University our muscles use a temperature-sensitive enzyme, called MPK to help generate energy. As our body temperature starts to rise, the MPK starts to become inactive. This should come as no surprise as overheating can be fatal. So in order to prevent us from overheating our body will start to “shut down”.
So the idea is that we can cool our body fairly quickly through the palm of our hand, thus keeping the MPK enzyme active.
Here is a video made by Stanford University explaining their results
After a short google research “project” on this topic I have found the “internet verdict” to be split down the middle. However, most people do seem to agree that “cooling” ones core temperature can definitely increase overall performance (got to get hot, to be hot?). The real debate seems to be if this glove can cool the body as quickly as it claims (or if it is any better than cool water on the face or hands).
I tried a one day half-ass experiment using water that was chilled to 50-degrees F. The workout I did was:
- 10 Bench press at 185-lbs
- 10 Ring Dips
- 10 Pull-ups
- 6 Rounds total
I would rest about 2-mins between each round. After rounds 2 and 4, I would put my hands in the cool water for 2-mins.
The verdict: My performance on rounds 3 and 5, (the rounds right after the 2-min cooling session) were significantly better than rounds 2 and 4. Of course this was by no means a proper experiment but it is definitely interesting.
However, at a cost of nearly $1000 I am not sure the cooling glove is worth the money. Although I did stumble across a DIY version and it looks like you can make a similar device for about $150. So for a few hours of my time and about $150 I think there maybe some worth in experimenting.