This week in the world of sports science, here’s what happened…
- Taurine in energy drinks: is it a superhero or villain?
- Specialised P.E. teachers are needed!
- New helmet may combat NFL concussion crisis
Taurine in energy drinks: is it a superhero or villain?
The energy drinks market is thriving. Its global market valuation is expected to surpass 100 million dollars in the near future. To differentiate from competitors, energy drink companies have been experimenting with different ingredients. Taurine (which is a naturally occurring amino acid) is an ingredient found in popular energy drinks such as Red Bull, Monster, and Prime. Taurine received a lot of attention in June of this year. A study suggested that Taurine may have impressive life and health-boosting properties.
However, an article this week by USA Today Life questioned taurine’s benefits in energy drinks. While the article acknowledges the health benefits of taurine, it suggests that there is no evidence of additional benefits when consuming taurine through an energy drink. The article also raises some safety concerns with taurine consumption through energy drinks.
It is also worth pointing out that the study suggesting taurine’s life and health-boosting properties used monkeys and mice, not humans, Also, the amount of taurine administered equates to consuming six Red Bull or Monster energy drinks daily, which is definitely not recommended! So, let’s wait for more substantial scientific evidence to determine if taurine is a superhero or villain!
Specialised P.E. teachers are needed!
In the last week, I came across a very interesting article about Physical Education (P.E.), in my country, Ireland. While this is an Irish problem, I’m sure other countries experience something similar. The article discussed how poor P.E. is in Irish primary schools (ages 5-12). The article suggests bringing in “specialised P.E. teachers” to combat the problem. In Irish primary schools, classes have one teacher who is responsible for all subjects on the learning curriculum including P.E.
As an Irish S&C coach who works with youth athletes, I have seen firsthand how fundamentally poor our children are at general physical activity tasks. Oppositely, I have seen how engaging and age-appropriate S&C can benefit youths tremendously. So, this got me thinking. In an industry where jobs are highly competitive and salaries are poor, is this the perfect opportunity for S&C coaches? Rather than “specialised P.E. teachers” are we, S&C coaches the perfect answer?
Most S&C coaches have had a solid education foundation and have practical experience in coaching people individually and in large groups. S&C coaches have a very suitable skillset. In an economically tough industry, potential opportunities like this are overdue and deserved for S&C coaches.
New helmet may combat NFL concussion crisis
Thankfully in recent years, there has been a much greater understanding of head injuries and the dangers of concussion in sport. However, one sport remains under heavy scrutiny. That sport is American Football. Recent data from the NFL showed that concussions rose significantly (18%) in 2022.
In recent days CBC News did a feature on a new “concussion resistant helmet”. The helmet contains specially designed shock absorbers which better absorb the impact of blows. The feature suggests each helmet is going to be altered depending on playing style and position. The feature also presents the views of some of the sceptics who don’t appear fully convinced.
While the helmet may not fully eradicate the risk of concussion, it is positive to see new innovative ideas to combat concussion in the NFL. We have previously discussed other concussion-preventing devices such as Q-collars and mouthguards which are well worth checking out.
From us this week:
>> New course: Relative Age Effect
>> New podcast: How To Microdose Testing For Optimal Gym Performance
>> New infographic: Does Strength & Power Before And After ACL Differ Upon Return To Sport
>> New article: Culture Development: A Guide For Coaches And Administrators
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I hope you enjoyed this week’s roundup of the hottest sports science news, and as always, we’ll be back next week with more to keep you at the forefront of the industry.