In ESPN Australia’s “The Future of Footy” series, the sports media outlet partners with Australia’s Deakin University to delve deeper into the world of Australian football. A contact sport similar to rugby and American football, Australian football, or “footy,” is an activity unique to Australia. Though professional footy can only be found down under, the results of its research can be applied to sports everywhere.
In a multi-episode production, ESPN Australia shares behind the scenes footage of their studies, which include performance analytics, nutrition, and what experts anticipate for the technology of the game in years to come. Focusing on food in the feature’s second episode, ESPN Australia sat down with Dr. Dominique Condo, a Deakin University lecturer and the sports dietician for the Australian Football League’s Greelong Cats, to discuss current nutritional practices and highlight developments for the future.
The secret of pickle juice
Dr. Condo clarifies that it is not the pickle juice itself that athletes need, but the fermented vinegar. The expert recommends drinking pickle juice during or after training sessions to stop cramping. She explained that researchers have found that the processed vinegar affects the body in a way that induces muscle relaxation so that cramps do not occur.
Nutrition by genetics
Personalization, Dr. Condo says, is the key to proper dietetics for heightened performance. Because each individual’s body processes substances differently, athletes must fuel themselves with food options that cater to them. American football players like Russell Wilson and Tom Brady have applied this practice to their own nutrition habits, and Dr. Condo predicts that this trend will only become more popular among elite athletes as successful results are produced.
Technology of tomorrow
Aside from what to eat and why to eat it, Dr. Condo considers how athletes can eat for premium performance with the greatest ease. Her system relies on an app for the players to maintain a food diary with which Condo can analyze an individual’s nutritional needs. Though nothing currently exists that simultaneously tracks a performance-based diet with a respective grocery list and menu, Dr. Condo says that this would be the nutrition system of the future.
Watch the full episode here!