Effect of Pre-Exercise Ice Slurry Ingestion on Physiological and Perceptual Measures in Athletes with Spinal Cord Injuries

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Department or Administrative Unit

Nutrition Exercise and Health Sciences

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Athletes with cervical level spinal cord injuries (SCI) have an impaired ability to thermoregulate during exercise, leading to an increased core temperature (Tcore) due to a decrease in sweat response. Elevated Tcore may result in premature onset of fatigue and decreased athletic performance. Therefore, precooling techniques that decrease Tcore before exercise may increase the storage capacity for metabolic heat production, thereby delaying the time before reaching a critically high Tcore. The purpose of this study was to investigate the effects of pre-exercise ice slurry ingestion as a precooling method in elite athletes with SCI during a wheelchair rugby match simulation. Employing a field-based, counterbalanced-design, participants were administered 6.8 g/kg of room temperature (PLB) or ice slurry (IS) beverage during a 20-minute precooling period, before engaging in a 50 and 60 minute on-court training session on day 1 and 2, respectively. Physiological measures, including Tcore and heart rate, and perceptual measures including gastrointestinal and thermal comfort, and rating of perceived exertion, were monitored throughout precooling (minutes 10, 20) and exercise (minutes 10-60). IS had a large effect on Tcore at the midpoint of exercise on day 1 (minute 30) (ES=0.73) and 2 (minute 40) (ES=1.17). Independent samples T-tests revealed significant differences in the perception of thermal comfort between IS and PLB at the midpoint of exercise on day 1 (minute 30) (p=0.04), but not day 2 (minute 40) (p=0.05), indicating that IS may help participants to feel cooler during exercise. Although further research is warranted, pre-exercise ice slurry ingestion may provide an effective means for delaying an increase in Tcore in some athletes with SCI during a wheelchair rugby match.


This article was originally published in International Journal of Exercise Science. The full-text article from the publisher can be found here.


International Journal of Exercise Science

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Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 4.0 International License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-No Derivative Works 4.0 International License.