The effects of ice slurry ingestion before exertion in Wildland firefighting gear

Prehosp Emerg Care. Apr-Jun 2015;19(2):241-6. doi: 10.3109/10903127.2014.959221. Epub 2014 Oct 7.


Purpose: To investigate the effect of ice slurry ingestion precooling on body core temperature (Tc) during exertion in wildland firefighting garments in uncompensable heat stress.

Methods: On two separate trials, 10 males ingested 7.5 g·kg(-1) of either an ice slurry (0.1°C) or control beverage (20°C) during seated rest for 30 minutes prior to simulating the U.S. Forest Service Pack Test on a treadmill in wildland firefighting garments in a hot environment (38.8 ± 1.2°C, 17.5 ± 1.4% relative humidity). Deep gastric temperature, mean skin temperature (Tsk), and heart rate (HR) were recorded. Ratings of perceived exertion, thermal sensation, comfort, and sweating were assessed.

Results: Compared with ingestion of a temperate beverage, precooling with ice slurry before exertion in a hot environment reduced Tc during the first 30 minutes of the exercise bout. Exercise time and distance completed were not different between treatments. Skin temperature, heart rate, and perceptual responses rose in both conditions during exercise but did not differ by condition.

Conclusion: Pretreatment with ice slurry prior to exertion in wildland firefighting garments results in a modest reduction in Tc during the first 30 minutes of exercise when compared to pretreatment with control beverage but the ice slurry precooling advantage did not persist throughout the 45-minute exercise protocol.

Keywords: drink temperature; firefighter; preexercise cooling; thermoregulation.

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Body Temperature / physiology*
  • Body Temperature Regulation / physiology*
  • Cold Temperature
  • Firefighters
  • Heat Stress Disorders / physiopathology*
  • Humans
  • Ice
  • Male
  • Physical Exertion / physiology*
  • United States
  • Young Adult


  • Ice