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Drinking cold water during strenuous exercise is a faster, more effective way to regulate internal body temperature and prevent dehydration than consuming water at room temperature, a study shows.
Inadequate water intake during exercise can cause the blood to thicken, making the heart work harder to maintain normal function.
Previous research on cold-water consumption has had conflicting results, a report in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition says.
The subjects in this study were 45 physically active men about 30 years old from Phoenix, Arizona.
They participated in two workouts about three weeks apart that included 60 minutes of strength and cardiovascular conditioning, followed by performance tests in broad jumping, weightlifting and stationary cycling.
During workouts, the subjects’ core body temperature increased 2.2% in the cold-water experiment and 3.1% in the warm-water experiment, sensors showed.
Cold water slowed the rise in temperature.
Performance results between the two sessions were not significantly different, though 50% of participants improved in the broad jump with cold water.