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There's nothing like pouring cold water over your head after a strenuous workout. At least Nike and Olympic decathlete champion Ashton Eaton think so.
The Nike Sports Research Lab (NSRL), the Nike Apparel Innovation Team and Eaton worked together to design a prototype Â— called a cooling hood Â— for athletes to place over their heads during recovery to mimic the sensation of applying cold water or an icepack.
The hope is that it will aid in recovery and perhaps even provide a performance boost when used during breaks.
The headgear looks like a cross between Darth Vader and a hockey mask and was conceptualized based on NikeÂ’s PreCool Vest, which cools the bodyÂ’s core temperature. Like the vest, the hood uses a triangular grid of metal and ice for cooling. The company focused on gear for the face since it is between two and five times more sensitive to temperature changes that other body surface areas, according to the NSRL.
Eaton and his wife Brianne tried out the hood during a recent workout at the University of Oregon in Eugene.
In a Nike article, Eaton explained: "After asking questions about current recovery techniques, the conversation prompted me to ask myself: Why does it feel good, after running, to pour a bottle of water over your head? I donÂ’t know the physiological answer, but the fact that it does feel better makes me perform better. "
Nike plans to continue collaborating with Eaton until the prototype is exactly the way they would like it. The hood could be used when Eaton participates in upcoming events such as the Beijing Athletics World Championships and the 2016 Olympics in Brazil.
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