According to a new study ,this is what runners might see being handed out to them on the side of the road during a race, a slushy.

     In an article written by the New York Times slushies are the new gatorade.  Looking to increase your performance in a 5 or 10K race on a hot summer day?  Drink a slushy just prior to running.  These will go over great for residents in Arizona and Texas and other warm weather climate states.  Performing endurance exercise in the heat is more challenging than performing endurance exercise in the cold weather.  During the winter months blood will go to working muscles to create warmth and prevent hypothermia.  During the heat, blood is diverted away from muscles to the skin for cooling.  The lower the blood supply for muscles the less endurance the athlete will have.

     The results of the study were as follows:

  • The men who drank a slushy just prior to running in a heated room on a treadmill ran for 50 minutes.     
  • The men who drank cold water with the same syrupy ingredients included in a slushy ran for 40 minutes before having to stop.

     Both groups reached exhaustion at the same heart rate level.  (Subjects were of the same age group)  185 beats per minute.  The slushy group reached that heart rate 10 minutes after the cold water group.

     What can we take away from this?  Endurance athletes looking to increase performance in events that last less than an hour in the heat can benefit from pre-race slushy consumption.  If you are worried about  weight loss, then consuming high sugar beverages isn’t the best way to go.  Focus more on interval style conditioning with a shorter duration and a higher intensity.

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