Daily Chatter

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Frozen Hydration Experiment Edition

The Question:
Could fueling with frozen fluids during my run improve my performance?

The Equipment:

Nathan Quickdraw Plus Water Pack - Dick's Sporting Goods

 Nathan's handheld

Twelve freezer pops

Five ice cubes

The Experiment:
I partially broke up the freezer pops and put them in my Nathan's handheld with five ice cubes.  I added the ice cubes to help slow the melting of the freezer pops.  I put the handheld back in the freezer to allow everything to firm back up.  I got dressed in the same outfit I had use the previous evening to simulate the same conditions.  Although the temperature was up to mother nature and she had it set a few degrees hotter than the night before.  I grabbed my handheld and a few paper towels and headed out the door at 6 p.m.

The Results:
My hand frozen for the first mile and a half.
The freezer pops melted for the first mile and a half.
The resulting liquid stayed cold to cool through the entire run.
I drank nearly the entire bottle.
I ran 3 minutes faster than the night before.

My Conclusions:
It's hard to say if I was able to run faster simply by keeping my core temp down with colder fluids.  I may have simply been more willing to push through the heat knowing I was wanting to do better.
After attempting this I think an alternative solution might be to ice load my Camelbak and use it even though the run is under an hour that would free up my hand and probably allow for cooler fluids throughout the run. 
I now know that wrapping my handheld is a must if it has ice in it as one cold hand does not correlate to a cooler body just a frozen hand.
For me the jury is still out on my ability to maintain my effort in this kind of heat, frozen hydration or not.  I do think that the coolness and the sugar combine with my subconscious desire to "dig deeper" to allow me a faster pace. 
 I encourage you all to find creative ways to still get out there and run in all kinds of conditions.  Modification may be key with a dose of flexibility to allow you to beat the heat and if nothing else a good hot run is always a great reason to join your kids for another Popsicle.


  1. Mmmmmmmmmmm best way to beat the heat!!!!!!

  2. Awesome experiment and ironically I just read in Runners World the suggestion to eat a popsicle or other frozen treat before your run on a hot day to cool your body down before your run. Seems you are on the right track!

  3. I love this experiment! I often put ice in my bottle bottles or backpack. There is nothing good about warm fluids on a hot run.

  4. What a great experiment..very clever, not to mention yummy!

  5. That's a delicious experiment! I throw ice cubes in my Nathan and my hand gets so cold!

  6. i have a looonnnnggg run tomorrow am and am going to try the freeze pops in one of my bottles. what a great idea.

  7. FYI, I saw Nathan now has an insulated handheld. On my immediate must-have list.

  8. i just read article in runners world about this and he did say that cooling your core temp before the run will help...

  9. Great experiment! I usually just load mine up with ice, add a little water and go. Although, in this head I'm more apt to stay on the treadmill.

  10. Cool water is a must for me in the heat. The latest thing I read about this came I think from Tour de France research last year and was the best was drinking a slushie before and during your exercise. So crushed ice and something - or maybe crushed freezer pops and water in your case :-)

  11. Hm, interesting! I think 3 minutes is quite good! Perhaps I should try this at home.
    Mom's Home Run

  12. Interesting post. I made many experiments but the best solutions are 2:
    - workouts in early morning and if not possible to find a route with many fountains.
    Great header!

  13. I love this - what a great idea! My hand also gets frozen but I find that 2 minutes in, it's totally worth it :)

  14. Ok, I am loving this! I ♥ freezer pops and now I need to try your experiment.

    Maria @ Asphalt Tales

  15. I've done the frozen hand thing too, though I didn't enjoy it as much as I would have with freezer pops! I try to get out around 4-5am before the real heat kicks in, though here in the south it's still about 85 with 100% humidity at 4am. I have an idea for my next long run though....stashing coolers of pops and iced water along the route before the run...my running partners would love that!
    Great experiment!