Some argue that human genetic athletic potential is nearing its peak. That, without allowing the use of chemical enhancements, improvements in athletic performance will need to be measured in thousandths of a second (or more) to see any difference, if they are to occur at all.
Of course, one could argue it is not the “breaking of a record” that is the main interest for spectators, but the competition between individuals and teams itself that drives sports attention. However, that is a topic for a completely different commentary.
In this piece, I would like to talk about a legal performance enhancement that Stanford University researchers say is “equal to or substantially better than steroids ..." In an August article, Stanford researchers' cooling glove 'better than steroids' – and helps solve physiological mystery, too, Stanford biologists are showing promise of athletic performance gains using their version of the “cooling glove.”
Now I know, based on reading comments from visitors on another highlight of the device, that this is not necessarily “new” news. However, for the sake of the majority who may not follow the “performance enhancement” curve so closely, I think it important to demonstrate ways athletic improvements might be achieved without actually changing the biological chemistry of the body. You know, the illegal performance path some insist should be legalized.
According to the linked piece above, the way the technology works is through the glove’s ability to cause a vacuum around the most prominent temperature regulator in the human body—“the palms of our hands.” After training, the athlete slips his hand into the device. Cool water is then pumped into the glove via a small hose, thus, helping bring down the athlete’s core body temperature.
Since a major reason for muscular exhaustion is high muscular temperature, this cooling, in effect, resets “the muscle's state of fatigue” allowing for a very quick recovery, consequentially, reestablishing an athlete’s ability to resume training. According to Stanford’s research, this establishes a faster, better environment for performance improvement as the athlete is able to train more efficiently and effectively.
No better explanation than seeing what Stanford is doing for yourself; take a look:
Giving the body an opportunity to adapt and become “better” through the natural changes it makes (just like it does when it is trained properly) is a much improved way of looking at performance enhancement. It’s a world of difference from artificially changing one’s biological chemistry through the use of illegal PED’s, at least from my perspective. It certainly has to be healthier, right?