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How Do NFL Players Keep Warm In Freezing Temperatures?

Jamie Squire, Getty Images
Jamie Squire

As the NFL season grows longer, the chances of extreme cold weather games goes up. But how do the players deal with the cold, all while wearing thin uniforms and no sleeves? Shoulder pads can’t be that warm can they?

Even though it may not seem like it, professional athletes are not superhuman, they just prepare for the cold a little more than you may think.’s Matt Bowen outlined a few tips on how players take on the cold even before they take on their opponents in freezing weather.

1. Vaseline

That’s right Vaseline. Players will slather it on their faces as a layer to keep the cold away. And all those huge guys without sleeves? Yup, many of them cover their arms with it too.

2. Hot Chocolate & Chicken Broth

Of course they still have to drink water and Gatorade to stay hydrated, but in the locker room before a game and at halftime players will have a cup of hot chocolate to warm them up internally. While on the sidelines they might have some hot chicken broth to keep warm too.

3. Hand Warmers

You know those instant hand warmers you can get almost anywhere? Players will tape those inside their helmets, hand muffs and even inside their cleats to combat the freezing cold.

4. Sideline Heaters

All NFL stadiums have sideline heaters that rival jet engines that players and coaches use to keep warm between plays.

5. Heated Benches & Helmet Warmers

In the last decade or so, cold weather NFL teams have installed heated benches that even have leg slots to keep players warm. The benches also have helmet warmers to keep the padding inside helmets from freezing solid.

6. Layers

When all else fails, players use layers just like the rest of us. Under all the team issued gear, a lot of players will have an extra layer of long underwear, gloves and socks to stay warm while they play outside for more than three hours.

Thankfully we get to sit and watch from the warmth and comfort of our living rooms!

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