When it comes to playing professional football in the cold, the Green Bay Packers have it figured out.
With win stats of 63% of games under freezing, history points to the Packers having a distinct advantage in the cold. Their ability to handle slick footing, a slick and painful ball, and impaired visibility is nothing compared to the temperatures they must endure while performing at this highest level.
Lambeau Field regularly hits below zero temperatures during the coldest months of the season.
So, how do they do it?
Through very specific training, game routines, recovery methods, and heated clothing, professional athletes can achieve the impossible. Read on to learn how heated apparel can impact your sport this season.
Cold Weather and the Body
Cold weather impacts the body by causing your blood vessels to constrict. This is known as vasoconstriction and occurs because the body is trying to keep the body warm for as long as possible. Minimizing the amount of blood movement minimizes heat loss from the warm blood circulating in the body.
When a body is unable to maintain a healthy internal or "core" temperature, its internal organisms and adaptive mechanisms are unable to function. Additionally, the heart begins to work harder in order to supply enough blood to the body. In turn, your blood pressure and heart rate will increase, which may cause chest pain in those who have heart disease.
Shivering is the body's attempt to create heat. Through very fast muscular contractions, the twitching may produce the heat needed to raise internal body temperature-- though it is most distracting and painful to those trying to performing an athletic capacity.
Additional cold-weather impacts to the body may include:
- Slowed signals from the brain to the muscles, affecting reaction time and reflexes
- Slowed muscle fiber contraction
- Expedited draining of an athlete's carbohydrate reserves
- Oxygen begins to bind rightly to hemoglobin (protein in the blood), which reduces oxygen levels delivered to muscles
- Lungs and the upper respiratory system work harder to heat cold air before delivering oxygen to the rest of the body
With plenty of other distractions to consider, the paralysis of cold weather is the last thing athletes need to worry about.
The Benefits of Heated Apparel
While cold weather is most often associated with cold and flu season, it's more concerning to athletes who need their bodies to perform at an elite level-- in any type of weather. Heated apparel can help an athlete maintain a healthy body temperature so they can focus on the game.
Loosens Tight Muscles
The first indication of cold weather impact is usually muscle tightness. When muscles are cold, they become less efficient. Reduced joint motion and the inability to properly absorb shock at the joints are two side-effects that are sure to make a high-impact sport increasingly painful.
When muscles become stiff, they are at high risk for injury. Stamina is impacted, and muscle tendons are at extreme danger of being pulled, strained, or torn. A combination of a proper warmup and the right heated apparel will ensure that muscles are able to remain loose and primed to perform.
A warmed-up and loose athlete is a comfortable athlete. Excess tightness may result in incredible pain, as well as the flaring up of old injuries.
Protection Against Frostbite and Hypothermia
While usually reserved for the most extreme of conditions, exposure to the cold puts athletes at a higher risk for frostbite and hypothermia. Athletes and their managers can avoid these conditions with the right cold-weather gear and regular breaks from the elements.
Frostbite is the freezing of certain areas of the body and can cause permanent damage. Signs of frostbite include:
- Redness, pain, or numbness in the affected area
- White or grayish-yellow skin, and loss of healthy "pink" areas
- Oddly firm or waxy-feeling skin
- Numbness in extremities or affected area
Hypothermia occurs when an athlete has an abnormally low body temperature. Signs of hypothermia include:
- Slurred speech
- Fumbling hands
- Memory loss
When kept out of the elements, the body is able to protect itself from the temperatures and exposure that may result in these dangerous conditions. Wearing sufficient layers that protect extremities (like heated pouches) will save the athlete from career-ending tissue damage.
Enhances Grip Strength
Grip strength is directly impacted by extreme cold as the muscles are much slower to contract. Exposure to the cold is directly linked to dexterity impairment of the hand and the reduction of tactile sensitivity in athletes and those working outdoors. This is extremely important to pitchers, quarterbacks, golfers, or any athlete that relies on their grip strength to champion their game.
After two minutes of cold exposure, an athlete may see a significant decline in performance. Though pitchers and quarterbacks may need to expose their hands for short periods of exertion, having the ability to warm their hands prior to a play or pitch will decrease the need for lengthy re-warming periods.
How It Works
Patented G-Tech heating technology contains rechargeable lithium polymer high-performance batteries to provide athletes with three customer heat settings. Constructed and protected by advanced polyester fabric technology and water-resistant material, G-Tech heated apparel is lightweight and extremely durable.
The popular Heated Pouch operates with three heat settings:
- Red/High Heat - best for negative temperatures outdoors
- Orange/Medium Heat - most common setting for indoor and outdoor settings
- Green/Low Heat - mild, provides up to 12 hours of consecutive heat indoors
The main compartment in the pouch can also store phones, keys, and other essential items that need to be kept out of the cold.
For those worried about the pouch becoming stained or dirty during gameplay, the Heated Pouch is machine-washable once the batteries are disconnected and removed from the pouch.
The G-Tech Military Grade model is designed with a fourth layer of down insulation material that is intended to increase heat retention for hours. A carefully positioned flab is placed to keep the LED heat indicator from being visible. Exterior fabric makes this pouch the most durable of its kind.
Professional Athletes Swear By Heated Apparel
In the National Football Association, Canadian Football League, and NCAA, the Heated Pouch enhances the performance of players who are used to playing in heat-regulated stadiums. They are a common sight on the field, as players like Josh Allen, Cam Akers, Baker Mayfield, and Jared Goff have all been spotted in G-Tech gear.
In the MLB and NCAA, the G-Tech Heated Pouch helps players (especially pitchers) maintain their grip in cold weather, thus improving their strike-out stats. Philadelphia right fielder Bryce Harper is one such player who enjoys the benefits of these heated accessories.
Since the 2016 Ryder Cup, PGA golfers like Jim Furyk, Matt Kuchar, Rory Mcilroy, and Bryson Dechambeau have utilized G-Tech technology in brisk or wet conditions. At the PGA Tour’s 2019 Genesis Open, many participants enjoyed trying their own custom pouches as a welcome barrier to the rain.
Candidates for Heated Apparel
Remember-- heated apparel is never reserved for just the top athletes. G-Tech apparel was developed as multi-purpose cold gear for anyone needing to brave the elements.
Non-professional applications of heated apparel include:
- High school athletes working toward that athletic scholarship
- Family and fans in the stands
- Those with poor hand circulation
- Rock climbers
- US Military and other Government agencies
- Recreational and senior golfers
- Those with arthritis
- Hikers and campers
- Snowboarders & skiers
- Those who work outdoors
- Hunters and fishermen
The goal of G-Tech apparel has always been to bring people together under less-than-ideal conditions. With an accessible price point, G-Tech heated apparel hopes to eliminate weather as an obstacle to family, friends, and teammates enjoying their favorite activities.
Give Your Best Performance
The coldest game in NFL history occurred in Green Bay, Wisconsin on December 31st, 1967. Now known as the "Ice Bowl" 50,000 fans watched a display of football while temperatures sunk to 13 degrees below zero.
With an affront to Mother Nature, the Green Bay Packers won 21-17 against the Dallas Cowboys. We wonder if this score could have ended in more than a last-minute clinch if they had played with the right gear. Luckily, this is not a scenario we have to wonder about anymore, as G-Tech has maintained a presence in the Green Bay locker room since 2014.
Are you ready to play like a top athlete under the harshest conditions? Browse the G-Tech line of heated apparel, pouches, and accessories and relish your best season yet. Play your best game-- regardless of the environment.