Palm Cooling: The Performance Game-Changer? Discover Marlie Packer's Experience!

A few months ago, inspired by neurobiologist Andrew Huberman’s podcast, we delved into the palm cooling research of a Stanford University professor, uncovering its potential to radically enhance athletic performance. Dr. Craig Heller's findings—that cooling the palms can significantly reduce muscle temperature and fatigue—promised staggering performance gains.

Marlie Packer, England and Saracens Rugby Captain and World Rugby Player of the Year 2023, tested this theory with the YUYU Ice experiment. Over four weeks, Packer utilised different YUYU Ice configurations during strength training, aiming to discover the most effective method for leveraging palm cooling.

The method involved 3 sets of bench presses at 50KG (to failure), with varying temperatures provided by YUYU Ice products.

The best performance increase was seen using the YUYU Ice without a cover, which showed a 60% improvement in the final set's repetitions compared to the baseline.

Marlie's firsthand experience validates the research.

“The YUYU ICE was most beneficial was the unwoven cover version, balancing cold exposure and comfort, leading to tangible strength gains with a 60% improvement in the final set's repetitions compared to the baseline.,"

“My final set gave me a 60% gain over the baseline when using the unpadded cover. The surface temperature was recored at 8-12°C (46-54°F).

I found the YUYU ICE no cover too cold to use for 2 minutes between sets. Although it was refreshing I found myself not fully utilising the YUYU because it was too cold to hold. With that said, I still had 40% gain on my baseline in the 3rd set.

The results have supported the research behind the benefits of palm cooling on increased muscle strength. The YUYU allows me to cool both palms, neck and the top of my cheeks simultaneously. It’s now my new gym towel and always with me when I train.

Understanding the Science Behind Palm Cooling

At the core of palm cooling's efficacy is a discovery by Dr. Craig Heller, highlighting a unique approach to combating muscle fatigue and enhancing athletic performance. Heller's research reveals that muscle failure isn't solely a result of physical exertion or lack of strength but is closely tied to the overheating of muscles. As the body's core temperature escalates through intense physical activity and environmental heat, muscle functionality begins to decline.

The innovative aspect of Heller's findings lies in the strategic cooling of the palms, which house a dense vascular network capable of rapid heat exchange. By maintaining palm temperatures at a controlled 12 degrees Celsius (53.6F), Heller observed an astonishing 200-600% improvement in strength and athletic performance among elite athletes. This significant enhancement underscores the potential of palm cooling not just as a recovery tool but as a performance optimisation strategy.

The essence of this scientific breakthrough is simple yet profound: rapid cooling of the blood via the palms can quickly reduce muscle temperature. This cooling effect prevents muscles from overheating, allowing them to contract more efficiently and sustain performance levels. Thus, palm cooling emerges as a powerful hack for athletes, offering a way to unlock extra strength and endurance by sidestepping the limitations imposed by muscle overheating.

This deeper understanding of palm cooling's scientific foundations not only validates the anecdotal experiences of athletes like Marlie Packer but also opens new avenues for research and application in sports science. It highlights an exciting frontier in athletic training and recovery, promising a natural, accessible means to elevate performance and combat fatigue.


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