Tag Archives: sports medicine

Why Beer Doesn’t Make a Good Sports Drink

Maybe it’s obvious to you. But wishful thinking can be a powerful force for distortion. I mean, wouldn’t it be nice to think that tossing down a bottle of beer after a sweaty workout was actually the healthy thing to do?

IMG_0614And some people have claimed just that, notably an article in the Telegraph newspaper.

In a rare piece of good news for those who like a pint, Spanish researchers say beer can help someone who is dehydrated retain liquid better than water.

Prof Manuel Garzon, of Granada University, also claimed the bubbles in beer help to quench the thirst and that its carbohydrate content can help to replace lost calories.

Such reports have encouraged athletes to try quenching their thirst with beer, Luis Fernando Aragón-Vargas, told me.  I met  Aragón-Vargas at the American College of Sports Medicine meeting a couple of months ago. He is a professor of human movement science at the University of Costa Rica and was Continue reading Why Beer Doesn’t Make a Good Sports Drink

California’s New Sports Concussion Law Doesn’t Go Far Enough

California took a step forward yesterday when Gov. Jerry Brown signed a law limiting contact in American tackle football practices. One provision of the law could affect soccer, hockey and other contact sports as well as football. But it doesn’t go far enough.

Photo by the COD Newsroom.
Photo by the COD Newsroom.

California’s new law restricts full contact in high school and middle school tackle football practices to two sessions of 90 minutes each per week during the season. It prohibits these practices off season.

It also requires that any high-school or middle-school athlete (not just a football player) “suspected of sustaining a concussion or head injury” be removed from play until evaluated by a healthcare professional. Continue reading California’s New Sports Concussion Law Doesn’t Go Far Enough

Despite that Army Study, I Still Like Barefoot Running

Irene Davis took off her sandal for me last week. She wriggled her toes. We were in the press room of the American College of Sports Medicine, and she wanted to show me a “doming” exercise you can use to prevent injuries if you run barefoot.

A Doming Video by Richard Blake

Researchers like Davis, the director of the Spaulding National Running Center at Harvard are exploring the pros and cons of running this way.

Most recently, as I reported Monday, a big new U.S. Army study cast doubt on the theory that running barefoot or in minimal shoes might prevent injury by getting people to land on the fronts or middles of their feet instead of the heels.

But I’m not ready to hang up my Vibram FiveFingers, and neither is Davis. Continue reading Despite that Army Study, I Still Like Barefoot Running

Are Sports Doctors Sexist?

When I started to write about sports injuries, I envisioned my reader as someone like me: a former college athlete, middle-aged and, well, male. But women immediately started telling me how much they care about the subject. A bookstore owner talked about injuries on her softball team. A literary agent told me upper body training helped her survive a 50-kilometer run. And so on.

The experience reminded me how  easy it is to fall into prejudices about who does sports — and who needs help with sports injuries. That thought came to mind again recently when the New Republic quoted Obama saying, “If I had a son, I’d have to think long and hard before I let him play football.” The possibility that his daughters might want to play apparently never occurred to him.

Jill Caryl Weiner
Jill Caryl Weiner

No one I know has struggled with such attitudes more than my friend Jill Caryl Weiner, who seems to have played just about every sport you can name and has wounds to show for it. Even when she could still play football, she sometimes had trouble being taken seriously by her teammates. In the New York Times, she tells the poignant tale of pestering her quarterback to pass to her and then making a diving catch to win the game… only to tear ligaments in her shoulder.

It got worse from there. Continue reading Are Sports Doctors Sexist?