Water fasting

The Growing Popularity of Water Fasting

In this weeks sports science news, the popularity of water fasting, IDA football boots, and the impact of COVID-19 on injuries in the NFL

Eric Curry

By Eric Curry
Last updated: January 18th, 2024
3 min read

This week in the world of sports science, here’s what happened…

  • The benefits and risks of water fasting
  • Advantages of women-specific football boots
  • Impact of COVID-19 on injury rates in the NFL

The benefits and risks of water fasting

Dana White (Image: Men’s Health)

Dana White, the UFC boss, recently sparked a lot of debate with his 86-hour water fast. He claimed to have felt like a superhero after the fast. Following this, leading boxing promoter Eddie Hearn completed his 72-hour water fast last week.

For those interested in prolonged fasting, Healthline has an excellent resource on the topic. Interestingly, prolonged fasting may have potential benefits such as slowing cell ageing, reducing inflammation, improving insulin sensitivity, and aiding in weight loss. However, Healthline admits that studies on human water fasting are limited.

It is worth noting that prolonged water fasting may have potential side effects too. According to a study, 72% of 768 participants experienced side effects such as hunger, fatigue, insomnia, and dizziness during a 48-hour fast. Healthline also advises that any fast lasting longer than 72 hours should only be performed under medical supervision.

Therefore, it is best practice to consult with a qualified dietitian before implementing prolonged water fasting into your regime.

Advantages of women-specific football boots

IDA Football Boots (Image: Urban Pitch)

In a previous newsletter, we discussed female football boots and their potential to reduce ACL injuries. We mentioned a feature on the brand IDA, which makes football boots specifically for women. Last week, a great Instagram post by “wearefoudys” was published about IDA football boots!

The post talks about the risk factors that contribute to ACL injuries in female football players. Anatomically, women have wider hips, which puts more stress on the ACL. Neuromuscularly, women tend to be quad-dominant, which can cause hyperextension of the knee. During menstruation, ligaments become looser and more vulnerable. Most football boots are designed for grass surfaces and are not suitable for artificial turf.

The post then gives solutions to reduce the risk of ACL injuries. It emphasizes the importance of female-specific strength and conditioning. Finally, it explains why female-specific football boots are necessary. Interestingly, there is a difference in foot shape between men and women. Women tend to have a more triangular shape, while men tend to have a more rectangular shape. The widest point of a woman’s foot is also different from that of a man. Generally, women tend to have higher arches than men, and due to anatomical differences, the pressure loads on the foot are different between sexes.

Overall, the post provides strong reasoning for using IDA football boots for women, and it is an excellent resource for female football players to better understand the risks and solutions to ACL injuries.

Impact of COVID-19 on injury rates in the NFL

(Image: PFF)

Recently, a retrospective study examined how COVID-19 impacted injury rates. Specifically, the study compared injuries during the disrupted 2020 NFL season with the previous seasons from 2015 to 2020.

The research found a significant overall increase in the rate of abdominal, groin, hip, and hamstring injuries during the 2020 NFL season compared to previous seasons. The authors of the study believe that this increase in injuries was due to various factors brought about by COVID-19. For instance, there was a reduction in in-person training and the pre-season for 2020 was virtually eliminated. This lack of pre-season may have resulted in sub-optimal conditioning, increasing the players’ risk of injury.

Even though we have now largely overcome the COVID-19 pandemic, new research continues to demonstrate the immense impact it had on sports.

From us this week:

>> New course: Nutrition For Cricket
>> New podcast: How Vegetarian And Vegan Athletes Can Master Nutrition To Perform Optimally
>> New infographic: Vetting Portable Options For Testing Jump Height
>> New article: Power BI For Sports Science

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Eric Curry

Eric Curry

Eric is a Strength and Conditioning Coach from Ireland. Eric holds a MSc in Sports Strength and Conditioning and an undergraduate degree in Sport and Exercise. Eric is also a Certified Strength and Conditioning Specialist (CSCS) with the NSCA. Eric currently works as a Strength and Conditioning Coach in Ireland predominantly with youth performance Tennis players. Eric also has experience working with athletes from basketball, martial arts, football, hurling, and Gaelic football.

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