Spray Bottle: Feeling Cooled Off Is Almost As Good As Being Cooled Off
I’ll cut to the chase on this one. Spraying water on your face intermittently throughout physical activity will improve athletic performance in hot temperature conditions. It’s simple, affordable and fairly convenient. I’ve added a link at the end of this article to the study that inspired me as well as an Infographic from Sport Scientist Yann Le Meur. Just a quick aside, he is a wealth of information and is great at creating easy to understand visuals to explain some pretty high minded athletic performance studies. For more on the actual experiment backing up this practice give both a read.
Easy on the Stomach
Now why does this particular trick apply to the everyday athlete? Because I’ve used it and I have to say it’s well worth the small amount of effort. Drinking cool water sounds like a better alternative, at first. But I’ve been on long runs, longer marches, and on the platform lifting some very heavy things. Drinking a bunch of cold water doesn’t always sit well. It can weigh you down and start making you feel a little nauseous. If you’re looking for high performance as well as relief from the heat then a quick spritz of cool water is the way to go. This is almost doubly true for high intensity effort. Filling up on water just doesn’t make sense. Whether it’s food or liquid, trying to lift on a full stomach can end terribly. And no one wants to be cleaning up a mess instead of training.
Now, you want to drink water when you’re thirsty of course but like I said before don’t drink water because you’re hot. Exertion at high intensity or exertion under two hours leaves re-hydration as unnecessary during the actual event. For any type of training under two hours your hydration needs should be met before starting. When you’re performing at high intensity, water intake should be minimized so that gastrointestinal discomfort is not an issue. Again, we circle back to spraying water on your face intermittently throughout training.
Great Application By the NFL
Have you seen the NFL sidelines when the temperatures are high? They’ve got giant fans with a mist running through them. Think of them as giant spray bottles. So if it’s good enough for the highest paid athletes in the US then I think it’s something worth implementing.
A great way to increase the effectiveness of the cooling spray is to add some eucalyptus oil to the bottle of water (4 drops) and some peppermint oil (one drop). Both have a cooling effect on the skin and smell fresh and clean.
Learn more about oils here and how they can improve your health and athletic performance.
If you don’t have a spray bottle you can order some on Amazon here.
Article From Research Gate by C.J. Stevens et al on Running Performance in the Heat
Now, go out there and enjoy the heat, stay cool, stay safe, train hard, and improve performance.
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