Outperform steroids with this body-cooling glove

An improved, more compact version of Stanford's cooling glove is used in a lab test.

Steve Fyffe/Stanford University)

It looks like a hockey goalie’s blocker glove, and indeed this mitt might help stop more pucks when fatigue takes its toll.

Stanford University researchers are working to improve a device that can rapidly cool the body after an intense workout, allowing faster recovery and performance enhancement that’s “substantially better” than steroids.

The $3,000 CoreControl Glove has been on the market for some time. It uses a low-tech blood-cooling method to allow athletes to perform better and longer. Basically, cool water flows into a vacuum around the hand, cooling blood in the palm.

A new prototype of the device is more compact, resembling a flat plastic glove (attached to a cooler) instead of a bulky coffee pot. It’s said to be more effective than the earlier version.

Biologists Dennis Grahn and H. Craig Heller say palm-cooling technology works as well as or better than steroids. In a study in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, they report that palm-cooling improved bench-press and pull-up performance by 40 and 80-144 percent, respectively.

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