Do you know that exhausted feeling you get after finishing a grueling 10-event decathlon in sweltering heat?
No? Well, what about that feeling you get after playing the first half of a soccer match, the one that makes you want to pour cold water over your head when you get to the sidelines?
Apparently, there are a lot of athletes that understand that feeling and firmly believe in the ‘water-dumping’ technique, including Olympic gold medalist, Ashton Eaton.
So, Eaton has started working with Nike on a ‘cooling hood’ (or ‘ice hat’) that will help athletes recover after events, so that they can feel brand new by the time they have to compete or train again.
Eaton won his gold medal in the 2012 Summer Olympics and explained his thought process regarding the ‘cooling hood’ in a press event.
He told the media that he began to inquire, “Why does it feel good, after running, to pour a bottle of water over your head? I don’t know the physiological answer, but the fact that it does feel better makes me perform better.”
Eaton and his wife, Brianne Theisen-Eaton, (who is a well known female hepathlon competitor) will both help Nike test the ‘ice hat’ prototype as they train towards the 2016 Olympics.
To give a better description of how this ‘ice hat’ is supposed to work, try to think of it as a helmet that you might see on a fencer or on a medieval knight.
It is an all white cap, made of a relatively soft, mesh material that surrounds the head, face and neck. It actually looks a little bit spooky at first, but what it is trying to achieve makes it much cooler (Ha! get it?).
This intense looking headpiece actually works to cool athletes down after events by keeping their heads surrounded by cool water. Since heat makes your muscles get tired, quicker and makes your heart have to work harder, Stanford biologist, Craig Heller, explains, “What you’re doing by taking heat out of the body is you’re maintaining your muscle in a state where it can perform optimally.”
Plus, it doesn’t interfere with an athlete’s psychological strategies! Nike actually put special mesh over the ears so that Eaton can still hear the audience cheer at his events, according to Sandy Bodecker, Nike’s VP of special projects.
So, do you think that this could be Nike’s next big product for professional athletes? Let us know, in the comments!