There is Science Behind Spruzza.
Whatever bike you’re riding, whatever your reason for riding, you’re never going to get tired of cooling down. Having the ability to lower your perceived temperature 15-25 degrees (Fahrenheit) at your fingertips – any time you want – is going to improve every aspect of your riding experience. For most cyclists that’s good enough.
But maybe you’re not just any cyclist and nothing goes on your bike (adding extra weight) without a compelling reason or benefit. Look at the science behind Spruzza and why feeling so cool can be so smart.
Running performance in the heat is improved by similar magnitude with pre-exercise cold-water immersion and mid-exercise facial water spray.
This investigation compared the effects of external pre-cooling and mid-exercise cooling methods on running time trial performance and associated physiological responses. Nine trained male runners completed familiarisation and three randomised 5 km running time trials on a non-motorised treadmill in the heat (33°C). The trials included pre-cooling by cold-water immersion (CWI), mid-exercise cooling by intermittent facial water spray (SPRAY), and a control of no cooling (CON). Temperature, cardiorespiratory, muscular activation, and perceptual responses were measured as well as blood concentrations of lactate and prolactin. Performance time was significantly faster with CWI (24.5 ± 2.8 min; P = 0.01) and SPRAY (24.6 ± 3.3 min; P = 0.01) compared to CON (25.2 ± 3.2 min). Both cooling strategies significantly (P < 0.05) reduced forehead temperatures and thermal sensation, and increased muscle activation. Only pre-cooling significantly lowered rectal temperature both pre-exercise (by 0.5 ± 0.3°C; P < 0.01) and throughout exercise, and reduced sweat rate (P < 0.05). Both cooling strategies improved performance by a similar magnitude, and are ergogenic for athletes. The observed physiological changes suggest some involvement of central and psychophysiological mechanisms of performance improvement.
Dr Chris Stevens
Lecturer I Campus Lead Sport and Exercise Science
School of Health and Human Sciences, Southern Cross University
Improve Your ‘TUF-ness’ (Time Until Fatigue)
The harder your body has to work to cool itself, the faster you fatigue. Spruzza helps by “outsourcing” sweating. It assists your body’s efforts to cool by providing an external source of water for sustainable periods to cool some of your body’s most thermally sensitive areas – the head, face, ears and neck. Multiple field and laboratory studies confirm that cooling before and during intense exercise in the heat can improve an athlete’s time until fatigue. Here’s how:
Up to 60% of your blood flow can be redirected/shunted to the skin surfaces to eliminate heat.
When internal heat is generated by working muscles, this heat must be carried away or physiological processes will shut down, cellular and organ damage will occur, performance suffers and potentially serious injuries or even death can result.
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This heat is carried away from working muscles, your body’s core, and the brain by the circulatory system (the blood and its vessels to the skin.) As the blood circulates through the skin, heat is dissipated by one of three ways: conduction, convection or evaporation. When air temperatures are at or above skin temperatures, evaporation is the only way your body can dissipate heat. As heat continues to build up, more and more of the circulating blood volume must be directed to the skin and away from the active muscles, core organs, and the brain in order to maintain a stable temperature. This results in an increased heart rate. Your pulse is going to be higher– even at rest in the heat. Since blood is redirected/shunted to the skin instead of the working, metabolically active muscles, less is available for the delivery of oxygen and energy. Likewise, less blood is available for the removal of metabolic waste products, including carbon dioxide, lactic acid, and the like.
Losing just 2% of your body weight in water can significantly reduce power and endurance.
In hot environments, evaporation is the only way your body can cool. This mechanism is critical to maintaining a core temperature that is sustainable and survivable. At a core temperature of 102 degrees, your performance is dramatically reduced, at 104 your body simply shuts down. Above this, serious injury and even death can quickly occur.
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Evaporation works because as blood flows through the peripheral circulation (the skin) water is extracted by the eccrine sweat glands and is secreted out through pores on the skin, you start sweating. As sweat evaporates, heat is lost which cools the skin down, thus dissipating heat from the body. The loss of fluid (plasma water) by sweating can be enormous – as much as 47-65 ounces per hour in some conditions. As little as a 1-2% loss of body weight in the form of water loss can reduce power output and endurance.
When you sweat it’s not “pure” water you are losing.
Although your body has remarkable abilities to conserve sodium, potassium, chloride, magnesium and other minerals, it’s not 100% efficient. You will lose electrolytes, and if not replaced can also result in serious declines in power, endurance, and risk of cramping.
Spruzza Beats the Heat:
By reducing the work your body has to perform to stay cool, you can improve your “TUF-ness.”
Spruzza provides an immediate, sustainable, effective way to stay ahead of heat stresses you endure while cycling in hot environments. It uses the best cooling system your body has – evaporation – on the one of the most effective surfaces for cooling: your head, face, ears and neck. It provides an external source of water for cooling which lowers the degree and rate of water loss from your body.
Maintaining a real and perceived lower temperature can reduce the amount of blood shunted from working muscles to the skin, thus delivering more oxygen and fuel while removing more CO2 and other waste products.
Thermoregulation: Heat and Your Performance
Anytime someone agrees to “sit” on a thermometer and ride a bike to measure core body temperature, you know it’s a serious subject. The mechanical efficiency of working muscles is ranges between 18-26%. This means that somewhere between 74-82% of the energy used by muscles is converted into heat. The buildup of heat inside the muscle, cells, the body’s core, and the brain quickly and in progression affects power production, endurance, cellular metabolic processes, organ function, cognitive function, injury and death.
While not a comprehensive review of the science of thermoregulation, a categorical review of the main issues connected to how the body cools itself and what happens to performance when it doesn’t is what we’re interested in.
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Peripheral and Central Factors
Several physiologists separate the impact of heat on performance into two broad categories:
- Peripheral Factors – What happens at the cellular, system and organ level?
- Central Factors – What happens in the brain (including cerebral sensors, regulators, and psycho-physiologic anticipations)?
Peripheral : Cellular and Systemic Factors
Heat and overheating triggers the following reactions/processes in order to maintain thermal homeostasis.
- Blood flow is redirected/“shunted” from muscles and internal organs to the peripheral circulation (skin) to allow heat to dissipate. This shunting while necessary has the following impact on the cardiovascular system:
- Increase in heart rate – which increases your RPE (Rate of Perceived Exertion)
- Drop in blood pressure – by vasodialation
- The shunting of blood to the skin has the following impact on working muscles
- Reduced delivery of oxygen and energy to working muscles
- Reduced removal of metabolic waste from working muscles – CO2 and lactic acid
- An increase in cellular pH – “burning”
- Eccrine (sweat) glands extract fluid, water from the blood in order to sweat.
- Sweating is the only way the body can cool itself when air temperatures are at or above body/skin temperature.
- Sweating is highly effective at cooling but comes at a cost. Loss of body water (dehydration), loss of essential minerals (electrolytes –sodium, potassium, chloride and magnesium)
- Dehydration and electrolyte loss can quickly impact power and endurance
- Dehydration and electrolytes loss can lead to cramping, declines in cognitive function, decreased cardiac output, delayed on set muscle soreness (or DOMS) injury and death.
Central Nervous System Factors
The sensation of heat and the rate of heat buildup trigger’s the following reactions/processes by the brain to prevent overheating and maintain thermal homeostasis.
- Teleoanticipation – a fancy word for when your brain says “Not riding in this heat!”
- Several published studies indicate that the mere sensation of higher temperatures results in a reduction in the nerve impulses that recruit muscle fiber contractions.
- Pacing strategies at both conscious and subconscious levels are lowered.
- The POAH – Peri-Orbital-Anterior Hypothalmus senses and then controls the physiological responses to increasing heat.
- See discussion on Circulatory and Cardio-vascular effects to heat buildup
- At temperatures above 104 F your brain is just going to shut your body down in the attempt to prevent injury and death.
- At 102 F your brain significantly affects will, motivation and ability to sustain power output and endurance.
Thermoregulatory systems are designed to maintain a stable body temperature in both hot and cold environments. Each response required to hold a stable temperature comes at a cost and has limits.
The harder your body has to work to cool itself the faster you fatigue. Failure or the inability to assist the body to cool will quickly result in loss of motivation and ability to ride.