Power Mitch Phillips
LONDON (Reuters) – Fierce midfielders may lose up to three liters of sweat during the World Cup matches in Qatar, but the fast-paced world of sports science is there to help players maintain the performance they once did. been weakened.
Although the tournament has been moved to November/December next year, temperatures will still be in the high 20°C range and conditions will still be harsh for many players, especially those coming directly from colder regions and have a window to acclimatise. One week only.
A sip of water and an orange in the first half won’t be enough for elite athletes, as a temporary drop in performance, whether physical or mental, can make the difference between glory and shame.
Deterioration in sharpness and focus resulting from dehydration has been well documented, but only recently have coaches and players internalized the benefits of individually customized products that replace electrolytes and key minerals lost during heavy sweating.
“In football, what you do before and after it becomes more and more important,” Jack Wilson, a sports scientist at the UK-based Porsche Center for Human Performance, told Reuters.
“So we will educate them about the need to pre-charge fluids and electrolytes, especially sodium. We will analyze the athlete’s sweat, take detailed measurements, to understand what they lose with sweat and we will design a hydration plan for before, during and after focusing on post-game hydration becomes really important.”
Andy Blow, an elite outdoor athlete and co-founder of Precision Hydration, a company that specializes in sweat and nutrition testing, says soccer as a sport is a bit late to the party, but most of the world’s leading teams are now showing interest.
“I would say in the last 10 years I’ve seen more teams start to think about individualizing what they do,” Blue told Reuters.
“Sure, soccer is still, in part, a traditional sport, and there are people in soccer who don’t want to embrace new technologies and new formats, but there is an increase in the race of leaders, players and coaches who are very focused .in science and human performance.”
There are many options to adapt to the new era.
“In addition to hydration and acclimatization, I know that teams and players look for things like cooling jackets and iced drinks before games to help control the temperature. Some teams even have their own slush machines.
“When you have an iced drink before exercising in the heat, you can actually lower your body temperature because that mass of ice has to be converted into water, and changing the phase from ice to water takes a lot of thermal energy.”
Another major development to be showcased in Qatar will be stadium cooling technology, which essentially blows cool air across the stadium using different systems.
“Regardless of the temperature and wind outside, even if there is a dust storm, the interior will still be at 22-23 degrees Celsius with the best air quality in all of Doha,” Saud Abdulghani, a professor of mechanics, told Reuters this week. Engineering at Qatar University.
“The cool air gets to the spectators, is cooled again, is filtered and blown across the field. It’s good air for temperature and humidity,” he said.
As with all science, those who are on the cutting edge are always looking to learn more.
“What is always evolving and adapting is what we can do for the players to help them adapt in the best possible way: ways to adapt to the heat, ways to monitor the athletes’ stress using different techniques,” Wilson said.
“So there’s a lot of room for development that we’re seeing so far, testing a portable basal temperature scale, that is different from traditional means of measuring basal temperature, which could have implications for the athlete and the athlete’s preparation.”
(Additional reporting by Mitch Phillips. Editing in Spanish by Rodrigo Charme)
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