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Ed Yeates ReportingPlayers with the country's top ranked football team are swallowing pills developed by NASA to measure their internal body heat. It's an aggressive move by researchers looking for ways to prevent heat exhaustion and muscle cramps.
With drought burdened western states frying in the sun this year, football coaches are watching players carefully, trying to keep athletes cool from the inside - out.
It was bad enough last summer. But drought conditions with record-breaking temperatures have trainers doing even more this year to cool down athletes. If they want to prevent painful heat cramps or a player collapsing on the field trainers have got to find ways to cool the body off quickly from the INSIDE out.
Dr. Andy Subudhi, TOSH Institute for Sport Science and Medicine: “Right now there’s a big trend in athletics to find out how our body really cools itself. And what we’re finding is pretty novel.”
At the University of Oklahoma players are swallowing a little white capsule developed by NASA so researchers can measure how fast their core body temperatures are rising.
Here in Utah at TOSH's Institute for Sports Science and Medicine, tests proved a Stanford device quickly cools the palm of the hand, extracting heat from the body five times faster than conventional techniques.
Instead of cold blankets thrown around the body, Dr. Andy Subudhi says a ten minute immersion into a tank of cold water before practice or a game quickly cools inside the core, where it counts.
Dr. Andy Subudhi, TOSH Institute for Sport Science and Medicine: "If you keep your body cool, you can actually do a greater amount of work for a longer period for time.
Some trainers are also having athletes drink things like pickle juice to prevent the onset of heat cramps. BYU has been pickling their players for the past four years to get salts and minerals back into their baked bodies, and they claim it's working.
Andy Subudhi believes there are easier more comfortable ways to restore the body's electrolytes.