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Is a Slurpee a performance enhancer?

15 06 2012

Who would’ve thunk it…the humble Slurpee might just be the edge you need if you find yourself racing this summer on an especially hot day.

In a study that was reported on first in the New York Times,  researchers found:

young male recreational athletes who drank a syrup-flavored ice slurry [like a slurpee] just before running on a treadmill in hot room could keep going for an average of 50 minutes before they had to stop. When they drank only syrup-flavored cold water, they could run for an average of 40 minutes.

The senior investigator, Paul Laursen, said the effect is short-lived.  According to Laursen:

It would not even begin to last long enough to run a marathon or do a century (100-mile) bike ride, for example. But it would be perfect for a sport like tennis or for a 5- or 10-kilometer race.

Could it be effective then for a BMX racing then?

I think it might.

While not part of the study, the nature of BMX racing with it’s need for short-bursts of energy, recovery and then some more short-bursts of energy seems to make it a good fit for the kind of sport where the type of cooling provided by a Slurpee might pay off in increased performance.

Laursen found ice slurries were beneficial because  it lowered brain temperature more effectively than cold water. He also reasoned that:

 slurries might also effectively cool the body before exercise. The advantage… is that they are even colder than ice — 30 degrees Fahrenheit — an effect that occurs when sugary water is swirled with crushed ice.

Very interesting!

I’d love to test this out…if only there was a 7-11 close to my local track! Maybe I’ll throw a Freezie or two in the cooler and see if it has a similar effect.

Anybody racing this weekend with a 7-11 nearby?

I would love to hear whether or not it had an effect on your performance. And if anybody gives you  a hard time for gulping a Slurpee…tell ’em you’re doing it for science!

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2 responses

23 08 2012
chuckie

I’ve known this for years! You should see what the hotdogs can do for you! 😉

22 08 2014
Pro tip: use an umbrella in staging | cruiser revolution

[…] couple years back, we learned that drinking a slurpee could make the difference on a hot race […]

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