Can Drinking Cold Water Improve Performance?

  • August 19, 2013
  • Tim Hutton

A recent study from the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition has found that drinking cold water as opposed to room temperature water can have a positive influence on players' performance.

Many players might think that water is simply water, and it makes no difference whether the water comes from a bottle in the fridge or from the dressing room tap. However, this research says otherwise, and encourages the use of cold water, both to improve performance and reduce fatigue.

The study found that during strenuous activity the increase in athletes' body temperature was delayed by up to 30 minutes when drinking cold water (4.4°C) as opposed to 15 minutes when drinking room temperature water (22°C).

The Study:

To find these results the researchers asked 45 physically fit adult males to take part in two 60-minute exercise sessions. The subjects consumed either cold (4°C) or room temperature (22°C). Core temperature was then measured every 15 minutes, before three performance tests were performed after the exercise session. These tests were bench press to fatigue, standing broad jump and bicycle time to exhaustion.

During the study, it was found that those who drank cold water could delay the rise in body temperature by at least 30 minutes, as opposed to 15 minutes when room temperature water was drank. It was also found that performance improved for 49% and 51% of the participants in the broad jump and bicycle performance tests.

What can you do?

To ensure your water is at the recommended temperature before and during your game or training session, start by having cold water in the refrigerator, or you can have tap water with ice. It is important to keep your water cold in a hydration bottle that has vacuum insulation technology, helping your drink stay cold for up to 12 hours.

Share this research with your teams - any advantage gained could make the difference to your team in their next game!