As all football coaches know, overheating on the practice field and on game day is an opponent that all athletes must face. Exertional heat illness lurks in every coach’s mind as they help student-athletes condition themselves to perform at higher levels of performance.Football equipment can be a primary culprit. The body’s major heat “radiators” are the head hands and feet. These parts of the body are often covered by football equipment that trap heat and prevent excess heat from being released. This can result in athlete overheating and decreases in overall athletic performance.
Alan Brockway is a former high school and collegiate athlete who has worked in the medical device field for the last 15 years. As an athlete, he regularly struggled with overheating. In the medical field, he saw how doctors struggled with maintaining patients’ internal temperatures. He combined these two concepts to invent Kryofit’s Targeted Thermal Support (TTS) Compression Sleeves.
“The problem with most of today’s solutions is that they primarily use evaporative cooling, which though natural, is unpredictable based on a variety of factors,” says Brockway. “Most of the tools athletes use – things like moisture-wicking material – there is very weak scientific evidence that cooling with garments actually cools the body enough to impact the athlete’s overall body temperature.”
The reality is that moisture wicking garments, combined with additional layers of football equipment over the top of it, actually create an environment around an athlete’s skin that can prevent natural evaporative processes from taking place. Unfortunately, in a 60%-100% humidity environment like that created underneath football equipment, there is no evaporation, which severely limits the body’s ability to cool itself.
Kryofit Sport’s simple and easy-to-use solution to this problem is apply lightweight cold packs directly to these critical points of heat radiation, making it easy to help athlete stay cool longer and optimize athletic performance.
Kryofit compression sleeves utilize special pockets and custom cold packs that sit directly on players’ pulse points in their arms and legs to cool the players’ blood as it circulates. This well-known technique is used by doctors everywhere to cool patients in hospitals. Kryofit has brought this solution to the gridiron.
“An athlete can regulate his body’s temperature by cooling these pulse points,” says Alan Brockway, inventor of the Kryofit TTS Compression Sleeve and Cold Packs. “Pulse points are the location of the body’s most superficial arterial blood flow, meaning that’s where blood is flowing closest to the surface of the skin. That means that you can directly apply cold temperatures to that blood flow and influence the rate at which body temperatures rise.
“With athletics, your body is trying to cool itself constantly. During athletic performance, your arteries expand, which exposes more blood to your extremities, which helps the outside temperature naturally cool the body through sweat evaporation. You can vent out heat through your major radiators in the head, hands and feet. By applying cooler temperatures to these pulse points through Kryofit’s cold packs and compression sleeves, athletes can slow the rate at which their bodies overheat.”
Kryofit’s compression sleeves are non-restrictive, don’t interfere with pads and equipment, and weigh virtually nothing. The lightweight compression gear prevents the cold packs from bouncing and shifting, and the cold packs fit snuggly in their pockets to eliminate movement of those packs. Best of all, Kryofit’s cold packs and compression sleeves are so tough that they can be worn during practice and on game day without falling apart, positively impacting an athlete’s on-field athletic abilities.
“Players are reporting that they feel better in the heat,” says Brockway. “They still sweat a ton, but that’s important for the body to keep working as it should. With Kryofit, they can work harder and longer in the heat that they could before.”
Kryofit’s compression sleeves are constructed with Lycra spandex, and the neoprene pockets act as insulators, allowing the cold packs to remain cold for much longer. The cold packs last two to three times longer than conventional ice packs, between 40 and 60 minutes depending on the weather. Additionally, each cold pack adds only 2 ounces of weight, making it easy for athletes to forget they’re even wearing them.
“This is a simple, direct application that we’ve come up with,” says Brockway. “The body is trying to dump as much heat as it can in these high-performance environments. It does that by sending blood through the head, hands and feet. Football players wear helmets, gloves and cleats. It’s a heat trap. We’re providing the body with tools to optimize its natural abilities, even while wearing that equipment.”
On the other end of the spectrum, Kryofit’s cold packs and compression sleeves have the added benefit of helping athletes improve overall athletic performance.
The body uses adenosine triphosphate (ATP) – a chemical compound present in all living tissue – to provide energy for physiological processes such as muslce contraction. In layman’s terms, ATP is muscle fuel the body uses during all activities, including athletic performance activities.
Scientific research shows that the vast majority of ATP usage in the body is directly related to internal cooling activities, especially during athletic processes.
“The research I used as the foundation of Kryofit looked at whether cooling blood flow could salvage some of the ATP used for cooling the body and basically keep it in reserve for the body to exert itself more,” says Brockway. “This research indicates that we can make 1% to 2% of that ATP bio-available to the body, which can improve athletic performance.”
Coaches are continually looking for solutions that can provide athletes not only that 1% or 2% increase in their competitive edge, but also for solutions that keep their athletes safer. Athlete safety is the first thing the vast majority of coaches think about when it comes to their players. Kryofit has engineered a new method of maximizing the body’s natural processes to do just that.
“This is such a simple solution to a major problem all athletes face,” says Brockway. “Coaches can keep a bunch of our cold packs frozen on the sidelines. The packs are durable and stand up to heavy use. They help athletes stay safe and perform better. They’re lightweight and stay cold far longer than regular old ice packs. Every season, we have the same concerns with somehow balancing the desire to condition athletes and the need to keep them safe. It was time for something new and innovative, and we’ve got the solution.”