Lacrosse Club Experiences Glove That Is Better Than Steroids


Let me get this out of the way immediately: no, this post is not about a lacrosse glove. It is about a body cooling glove being researched and tested at Stanford, and if the science is right, it could change the training game as we know it. Members of the Stanford Lacrosse club got to experience the glove for themselves, and from the looks of things, everyone has been impressed.


Basically, the glove cools the body back down by cooling (not freezing) the palm of the human hand, where a ton of heat transfer takes place. This means that an athlete that has just finished a grueling workout can go cool down with this glove at a much more rapid rate. When the glove was used in between sets, or in the middle of the workout, the tester seemed to bounce back to full strength, and showed little to no signs of fatigue.

Want to be intrigued? Check out the video below, and make sure you notice the Stanford Lacrosse love!

So did Craig Heller just say that the recovery results you get from using this glove are BETTER than steroids? If true in the long-term this could be a HUGE game changer, but it also raises some SERIOUS questions:

Is this an unfair advantage? A school like Maryland might be able to buy one for each member of their team, basically giving them all the ability to become super athletes. But a school like Hartford may not get one for the entire athletic department. If this is truly “better than steroids” are we going to see a rapid increase in the stratification of college sports, including lacrosse?

Should this be an “emergency use only” type of device? If a kid is overheating on the football field, this device could conceivably safe a life, but should it be used for training? Should people rely on it? Will we see NFL players on the sidelines with their hands in cooling gloves?

Could a device like this have unintended consequences? Could the human body loose the ability to regulate itself if the cooling glove were overused? Are there long-term effects? Can we train our bodies to do this better naturally?

So what do you guys think? Do you buy the science? Would you try the cooling glove? Is it all good? Rife with risk? Or just like everything else… we won’t know until it’s already in use?

Thanks to our man, Kyle MacDonald, for the heads up on this sports training evolution. Science!

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      • and it seems that the level of “coolness” can be tricky to keep in the needed range. Too cold and it stops working. Interesting idea though, Ken… I think it’s similar to the water spray fans you see on NFL sidelines, but potentially much more effective.
        I’d be shocked to not see them on NFL sidelines, even if they are just prototypes, this year.

  • First of all, I think everyone needs to back up and realize this is a video, not a peer reviewed scientific publication. Which means not a single thing presented in this video should be taken as any more real than anything else on youtube.

    As a science student at the graduate level, I can speak on a couple other things I caught in this video that everyone should also understand. The older gent, Heller, said extracting heat from one hand can “dramatically improve performance.” This is a phrase which, to be frank, has zero meaning in the scientific world. In science, we look to produce a STATISTICALLY SIGNIFICANT change in the measured variable.  In lamens terms, this generally means the change in performance must be so large that the statistical calculations predict there is less than a 5% chance it happened just by the random nature of life. LESS THAN 5% ! And it’s possible that this type of study might even demand a change  between the control (no cooling glove) and experimental condition (with cooling glove) so great that there is less than 1%, or even 0.5% chance that it was by random chance. In other words, “dramatically improve performance” has no meaning, because the word dramatic means different things to different people. The stats might sound confusing, but they can be explained quickly in a way everyone understands.

    The second thing I wanted to mention is the idea that the “rates of conditioning improvement”.. “are much higher” than what’s been published on steroids. On a side note, when most people hear “steroids,” they generally think of illegal/black-market steroids, which are dangerous and can result in permanent changes to mood, personality, metabolism, and sexual viability. So part of me thinks it’s absurd they would even make this comparison. With that aside, it seems like an even more worthless comparison to make, because any good scientific publication would have compared rates of conditioning improvement in natural athletes, and steroid-supplemented athletes. HOWEVER, taking steroids alone does very little without an substantial increase in dietary intake. The body has to adhere to these things called the laws of thermodynamics. Muscle doesn’t just materialize out of nowhere… the body can receive steroid signals to grow, but it still needs the biological energy and physical matter from food to create new tissue. The problem here is that good scientists only change ONE variable in their experiments, so measuring the performance of a natural athlete and an athlete who is taking steroids and a high calorie diet provides uninformative data because there is nothing to say the improve performance was from the steroids or the food. 

    I think it’s a cool video and I’m not calling shenanigans… skepticism is a powerful ally in the pursuit of science.

    • great comment! I have my doubts, and the above certainly isn’t “science” at least not how they have portrayed it, but if it is true, it certainly displayed so that laymen can understand it, which is something.

      Thanks for the insight here!

      • My feeling is that they purposely make it vague whether this is science or exercise science, which is somewhat of a misnomer. Exercise science, in my opinion, is more often product/technology R&D, not academic research.

         First, it’s Stanford, which is the TOP DOG in science. However, they don’t say professor or PhD under anyone’s name, they just put “Biology” which is again very vague. A Biology department is an umbrella for multiple institutes and programs. So again I wonder if this is an exercise science thing.Doing something like this isn’t cheap. Just looking at the equipment they have I can assure you the money to do this is on the order of hundreds of thousands. My guess is it’s privately funded by biotech venture capitalists, who want to sell this. My guess….

          • I’m flattered by the compliment, and thanks for the kind tip, but Dr. Heller’s impressive list of publications and CV are unrelated to my point. I was just trying to emphasize that the video should be taken with a grain of salt – that it’s a big leap to go from watching this video to the idea that athletes will soon have these on the sideline giving them superhuman abilities. 

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