Chill out…drink up!

A recent systematic review revealed that athletes are more likely to drink a cold beverage than a warm one while exercising. Further, the negative effects of dehydration were held at bay when cooler beverages were offered versus when not.

Being an avid cyclist and spending hours upon end surfing, I can vividly remember times when having that chilled drink reignited energy levels and quenched what seemed to be an unending pit of thirst.

Kyle Flack, a graduate student and colleague in the Laboratory for Eating Behaviors and Weight Management…who is conducting some research if you are interested…is someone who can also relate. Let’s call Kyle an “extreme” athlete: he was a collegiate football player a few years back, but recently changed his habits and is now an endurance “freak.” Its not surprising to see Kyle with running shoes on training for another marathon or riding his bike to and from Roanoke (where another one of our labs is) on a daily basis. Oh, by the way…Kyle is a couple inches over six feet and weighs in at about 220 pounds on a “good day.” I asked him about his thoughts on this article and here is what he had to say:

Interesting article,  I know the research shows that ice water, or water that is too cold isn’t optimal for absorption and can cause cramping and nausea, especially if consumed too quickly.  [When exercising in warm/hot conditions] cold drinks taste better than warm ones both during and after exercise; however, it may be interesting to look at this issue during exercise in the cold.  A couple of falls ago I ran the Philadelphia marathon held the week before Thanksgiving.  It was a rather chilly day, maybe low 40’s, but felt good while running.  After I finished and took a cool down walk, I was absolutely freezing (!), but this is when I had the greatest tasting post-run beverage of my life: hot chicken broth.  So it makes me think that there may be a time where hot or warm beverages may be helpful, but if your body temperature is elevated (as often the case with exercise) cold is the way to go, as long as it isn’t too cold to cause stomach upset.

How about you…have you experienced any times where a cold beverage was just what you needed during or after a workout? What about the opposite; has there been a time where, like Kyle, you needed a warm beverage?

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