Cool Drink for a Hot Summer: Boost Your Endurance

Icy Drink for Greater EnduranceLast spring, science confirmed what most of us slushie/slurpie/slurry-loving athletes already knew: drinking something icy cold on a hot day can help you exercise longer. The study reported an average increase of about 50 minutes in endurance after drinking a syrup-flavored ice slurry, what we in my house call a “slushie.”

Sure, you can stop at a convenience store for a Super Guzzle or whatever, but we don’t have that kind of thing here in the mountains where I live, and besides it costs a lot less to make your own.  So we do slushies the old-fashioned way, in a blender.

When I was running from San Francisco to New York a few years ago, Heather perfected a slushie recipe she could whip up in the RV with our super-powered Vita-Mix machine, which I asked her to write down so I could share it with you. It should work in any blender suitable for crushing ice. Here’s what she provided yesterday …

Ulrichs’ Ultimate Slushie

Hmmmmm … recipe, huh? A pinch of this, a dash of that? Seriously, I’m not sure I’ve ever done it exactly the same way twice, but here’s something close.

1. Mix in a small bowl:

1 packet of your favorite powdered drink mix. We use the small Kool-Aid packets with the flavoring only; no sugar already mixed in. You know, the ones you can still get for about 10 for a dollar.

2 to 3 cups sugar. Probably closer to 3 cups. I don’t use measuring cups for this.

Just enough water. Can’t even venture a guess here, as I just pour it directly into the dry ingredients, no measuring involved, to make a very thick syrup.

2. Put, uh, some (maybe 1 cup?) syrup in your blender. The amount would depend on how big your blender is and how much you want to make.

3. Add ice to fill the blender.

4. Blend, adding more syrup to taste, or more water if needed to make a drinkable slushie.


Sure, it’s imprecise, but you’re not running a lab experiment. It’ll be cold, taste good, and do the trick no matter what, and you can tinker with the recipe until you get exactly what you like. (Or not. You could just continue to eyeball it. Evidently, I can’t tell the difference between one day’s slushie and the next.) Drink your slushie just before you go out in the heat, and you should get quite a few extra miles in.

A side note: During the 2008 transcon, I ran right through Hastings, Nebraska, where a couple of teenagers told me it was the birthplace of Kool-Aid — we talked about how much we all loved it and how our moms always kept it in stock in the house. Here’s a photo of us all together on a hot day. (Don’tcha love the expressions on our faces?)

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1 Response to Cool Drink for a Hot Summer: Boost Your Endurance

  1. will says:

    During the summer my son and I regularly run 3 miles to the snowball stand. We down a snowball and then run back. I know it’s a simple sugar but beats the heck out of driving up and back.

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