“Cool Glove” Enhances Performance Better Than Steroids
It started with two Stanford University biologists trying to get excess heat out of human bodies by exploiting a group of “heat transfer veins” in the palms of our hands. No, it’s not that strange–rabbits have them in their ears, rats have them in their tails, dogs have them in their tongues, and humans also have them in their face and feet. A Stanford news release reports that the researchers fashioned a rigid plastic mitt, attached by a hose to what looks like a portable cooler. When an athlete sticks his hand in the airtight glove, the device creates a slight vacuum. The veins in the palm expand, and they are rapidly cooled by water circulating through the glove’s plastic lining. Stanford reports that the glove’s effects on athletic performance didn’t become apparent until the researchers began using the glove to cool a member of the lab between sets of pull-ups. The glove seemed to nearly erase his muscle fatigue; after multiple rounds, cooling allowed him to do just as many pull-ups as he did the first time around. So the researchers started cooling him after every other set of pull-ups, and they found that in the next six weeks he went from doing 180 pull-ups total to over 620. Yes, 620. The researchers then applied the cooling method to other types of exercise – bench press, running, cycling. In every case, rates of gain in recovery were dramatic, without any evidence of the body being damaged by overwork. Versions of the glove have since been adopted by the Stanford football and track and field teams, as well as other college athletics programs, the San Francisco 49ers, the Oakland Raiders and Manchester United soccer club. No, you can’t buy it anywhere, yet, but the researchers are working on a commercial version. Read more about “cool glove” from Stanford University.