The importance of science in elite sport — from helping athletes to train safely to protecting sporting integrity.
Nature Outlook |
Behind every athlete at this year’s Olympic Games stands a team of scientists tasked with ensuring competitors can safely perform to the limit of their ability. From developing training techniques to protecting sporting integrity, science has never been so important in elite sport.
Features and comment
As global temperatures rise, athletes and sports bodies are following the science to ensure that events can take place safely.
To strike a ball moving at lightning speeds in baseball, tennis and cricket, athletes and coaches are increasingly embracing training techniques involving virtual reality.
The muscles of elite endurance athletes boast high numbers of extra-efficient mitochondria. Unlocking the secrets of these cellular components could yield gains for future Olympians.
Machine learning can tell athletes when to train and when to stop.
Sex has long been used to divide sporting competitions in the name of fairness, but are the current rules and enforcement practices fit for purpose?
Doping is just one form of cheating in sport. To protect sporting integrity, all unethical behaviours must be treated equally, says Andrea Petróczi.
Some studies suggest that the community of microorganisms that live in the gut are associated with athleticism.
More from Nature Portfolio
New eligibility requirements for elite female athletes violate principles designed to protect people from risky medical research, argues Roger Pielke, Jr, an expert witness in the athlete’s case.
Hargreaves and Spriet review regulatory mechanisms of ATP resynthesis during exercise and summarize nutritional interventions that target muscle metabolism to enhance athletic performance.
Moderate exercise improves cardiovascular health and is associated with physiological cardiac adaptations; by contrast, the hearts of endurance athletes can undergo maladaptations, including myocardial fibrosis and arrhythmias. In this Review, Parry-Williams and Sharma discuss whether excessive endurance exercise might damage both diseased and otherwise normal hearts.
Meta-omics analysis of elite athletes identifies a performance-enhancing microbe that functions via lactate metabolism
A closer look at the gut microbiome of elite marathon runners unveils a microbe-encoded enzymatic process that contributes to enhanced athletic performance.
The planning and execution of goal-directed actions require numerous decisions to be made, from action selection to the continuous refinement of movement plans. Here, Gallivan et al. discuss these sensorimotor decision-making processes and their interactions with mechanisms of action planning and control.