Enhanced Decision Making and Working Memory During Exercise in the Heat With Crushed Ice Ingestion

in International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance
Restricted access

Purchase article

USD  $24.95

Student 1 year subscription

USD  $107.00

1 year subscription

USD  $142.00

Student 2 year subscription

USD  $203.00

2 year subscription

USD  $265.00

Purpose: To examine the effects of precooling via crushed ice ingestion on cognitive function during exercise in the heat. Methods: Eleven active men ingested either 7 g·kg−1 of crushed ice (ICE) or thermoneutral water (CON) 30 minutes before running 90 minutes on a treadmill at a velocity equivalent to 65% VO2peak in hot and humid conditions (35.0°C [0.5°C], 53.1% [3.9%] relative humidity). Participants completed 3 cognitive tasks to investigate decision making (8-choice reaction time [CRT]), working memory (serial seven [S7]), and executive control (color multisource interference task [cMSIT]) on arrival, after precooling, and after running. Results: Precooling significantly decreased preexercise core (Tcore) and forehead skin temperature in ICE compared with CON, respectively (Tcore 0.8°C [0.4°C], –0.2°C [0.1°C]; Thead –0.5°C [0.4°C], 0.2°C [0.8°C]; P ≤ .05). Postrun, ICE significantly reduced errors compared with CON for CRT (P ≤ .05; d = 0.90; 90% confidence interval, 0.13–1.60) and S7 (P ≤ .05; d = 1.05; 90% confidence interval, 0.26–1.75). Thermal sensation was lower after precooling with ICE (P ≤ .05), but no significant differences were recorded between conditions for cMSIT errors, skin temperature, heart rate, or ratings of perceived exertion or perceived thirst (P > .05). Conclusions: Precooling via ICE maintained cognitive accuracy in decision making and working memory during exercise in the heat. Thus, ICE may have the potential to improve sporting performance by resisting deleterious effects of exercise in a hot and humid environment on cognitive function.

The authors are with the School of Human Sciences (Exercise and Sport Science), The University of Western Australia, Perth, Western Australia, Australia.

Saldaris (jacinta.saldaris@uwa.edu.au) is corresponding author.
  • 1.

    Houssein M, Lopes P, Fagnoni B, Ahmaidi S, Yonis MY, Lepretre PM. Hydration: the new FIFA world cup’ s challenge for referee decision making? J Athl Train. 2016;51(3):264–266. doi:

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 2.

    Vestberg T, Gustafson R, Maurex L, Ingvar M, Petrovic P. Executive functions predict the success of top-soccer players. PLoS One. 2012;7(4):e34731. doi:

  • 3.

    Furley PA, Memmert D. The role of working memory in sport. Int Rev Sport Exerc Psychol. 2010;3(2):171–194. doi:

  • 4.

    Friedman NP, Miyake A, Young SE, DeFries JC, Corley RP, Hewitt JK. Individual differences in executive functions are almost entirely genetic in origin. J Exp Psychol Gen. 2008;137(2):201–225. PubMed ID: 18473654 doi:

    • Crossref
    • PubMed
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 5.

    Hocking C, Silberstein RB, Man W, Stough C, Roberts W. Evaluation of cognitive performance in the heat by functional brain imaging and psychometric testing. Comp Biochem Physiol Part A. 2001;128:719–734. doi:

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 6.

    Nybo L, Secher NH, Nielsen B. Inadequate heat release from the human brain during prolonged exercise with hyperthermia. J Physiol. 2002;545(2):697–704. PubMed ID: 12456844 doi:

    • Crossref
    • PubMed
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 7.

    Hocking C, Silberstein RB, Man W, Stough C, Roberts W. Evaluation of cognitive performance in the heat by functional brain imaging and psychometric testing. Comp Biochem Physiol A. 2001;128:719–734. doi:

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 8.

    Ihsan M, Landers G, Brearley M, Peeling P. Beneficial effects of ice ingestion as a precooling strategy on 40-km cycling time-trial performance. Int J Sports Physiol Perform. 2010;5(2):140–151. PubMed ID: 20625187 doi:

    • Crossref
    • PubMed
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 9.

    Siegel R, Laursen PB. Keeping your cool heat with internal cooling methods. Sport Med. 2012;42(2):89–98. doi:

  • 10.

    Saldaris JM, Landers GJ, Lay BS, Zimmermann MR. Internal precooling decreases forehead and core temperature but does not alter choice reaction time during steady state exercise in hot, humid conditions. J Therm Biol. 2019;81:66–72. PubMed ID: 30975425 doi:

    • Crossref
    • PubMed
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 11.

    Zimmermann M, Landers G, Wallman KE, Saldaris J. The effects of crushed ice ingestion prior to steady state exercise in the heat. Int J Sport Nutr Exerc Metab. 2017;27:120–127.

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 12.

    Simmons SE, Saxby BK, McGlone FP, Jones DA. The effect of passive heating and head cooling on perception, cardiovascular function and cognitive performance in the heat. Eur J Appl Physiol. 2008;104:271–280. doi:

    • Crossref
    • PubMed
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 13.

    Vanden Hoek T, Kasza K, Beiser D, et al. Induced hypothermia by central venous infusion: saline ice slurry versus chilled saline. Crit Care Med. 2004;32(9):S425–S431. doi:

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 14.

    Onitsuka S, Nakamura D, Onishi T, Arimitsu T, Takahashi H, Hasegawa H. Ice slurry ingestion reduces human brain temperature measured using non-invasive magnetic resonance spectroscopy. Sci Rep. 2018;8(1):2757. PubMed ID: 29426888 doi:

    • Crossref
    • PubMed
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 15.

    Onitsuka S, Zheng X, Hasegawa H. Ice slurry ingestion reduces both core and facial skin temperatures in a warm environment. J Therm Biol. 2015;51:105–109. PubMed ID: 25965023 doi:

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 16.

    Colin J, Timbal J, Houdas Y, Boutelier C, Guieu J. Computation from rectal of mean body temperature and skin temperatures. J Appl Physiol. 1971;31:484–489. PubMed ID: 5111868 doi:

    • Crossref
    • PubMed
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 17.

    Roberts B. Environmental testing. J Inst Heat Vent Eng. 1959;27:238–250.

  • 18.

    Borg G. Psychophysical base of perceived exertion. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 1982;14(5):377–381. PubMed ID: 7154893 doi:

  • 19.

    Maresh C, Herrera-Soto J, Armstrong L, et al. Perceptual responses in the heat after brief intravenous versus oral rehydration. Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2001;33(6):1039–1045. PubMed ID: 11404671 doi:

    • Crossref
    • PubMed
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 20.

    Hayman M. Two minute clinical test for measurement of intellectual impairment in psychiatric disorders. Arch Neurol Psychiatry. 1942;47:454–464. doi:

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 21.

    Wenzel M, Kubiak T, Conner TS. Positive affect and self-control: attention to self-control demands mediates the influence of positive affect on consecutive self-control. Cogn Emot. 2014;28(4):747–755. PubMed ID: 24199679 doi:

    • Crossref
    • PubMed
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 22.

    Cohen J. Statistical Power Analysis for the Behavioural Sciences (2nd ed.). Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates; 1988.

  • 23.

    Epstein Y, Keren G, Moisseiev J, Gasko O, Yachin S. Psychomotor deterioration during exposure to heat. Aviat Space Environ Med. 1980;51(6):607–610.

  • 24.

    Teichner W. Reaction time in the cold. J Appl Psychol. 1958;42(1):54–59. doi:

  • 25.

    Clarke ND, Duncan MJ, Smith M, Hankey J. Pre-cooling moderately enhances visual discrimination during exercise in the heat. J Sports Sci. 2017;35(4):355–360. PubMed ID: 27008467 doi:

    • Crossref
    • PubMed
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 26.

    Kakos L, Gunstad J, Ciesla J, Dunlosky J, Glickman E. Improving cognitive function following exercise-induced dehydration: role of sports drink supplementation. 2013;11–68.

    • Export Citation
  • 27.

    Lambourne K, Tomporowski P. The effect of exercise-induced arousal on cognitive task performance: a meta-regression analysis. Brain Res. 2010;1341:12–24. PubMed ID: 20381468 doi:

    • Crossref
    • PubMed
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
  • 28.

    Tyler CJ, Sunderland C. Cooling the neck region during exercise in the heat. J Athl Train. 2011;46(1):61–68. PubMed ID: 21214352 doi:

  • 29.

    Eccles R. Menthol: effects on nasal sensation of airflow and the drive to breathe. Curr Allergy Asthma Rep. 2003;3(3):210–214. PubMed ID: 12662469 doi:

  • 30.

    Zhang Y, Balilionis G, Casaru C, et al. Effects of caffeine and menthol on cognition and mood during simulated fire fighting in the heat. Appl Ergon. 2014;45(3):510–514. PubMed ID: 23891504 doi:

    • Crossref
    • Search Google Scholar
    • Export Citation
All Time Past Year Past 30 Days
Abstract Views 179 179 172
Full Text Views 12 12 11
PDF Downloads 7 7 7