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August 25, 2017

#WHOOPEd Weekly Digest, Vol. 16

Does your wearable make you more self-aware? Plus the declining importance of the save in baseball and a potential revolution in athletic rehydration.


Monday, August 21

Knee Arthritis Has Doubled… And It’s Not Because of Running


  • Studies have shown that running doesn’t make you any more likely to develop arthritis in your knees.
  • Harvard researchers examined skeletons throughout human history and found signs of arthritis to be more common in modern humans (1976-2015).
  • Obesity and age were ruled out as potential causes, leading to these hypotheses as to why we are more susceptible to arthritis than before:
    • Walking on hard paved surfaces.
    • High heels for women, who are 50% more likely than men to develop knee arthritis.
    • Physical inactivity, which can reduce joint cartilage due to lack of use.

Conclusion: Run more, not less.


Tuesday, August 22

To Make the Next Michael Jordan, Scientists Might Use His Microbes


Jonathan Scheiman of Harvard’s Wyss Institute: “Could we extract Michael Jordan’s biology to give to other people, to help make the next Michael Jordan, or just improve health?”

  • Scheiman and others studied bacteria from the digestive tracts of elite athletes.
  • They looked at fecal matter from marathoners before and after a race, and were able to isolate a bacteria that breaks down lactic acid, which is produced during exercise and causes fatigue and muscle soreness.
  • A probiotic could potentially be developed to increase our ability to break down lactic acid.
  • This would build endurance and allow us to be better athletes.


Wednesday, August 23

How wearable tech is giving people a sixth sense


  • Data from our wearable devices becomes a “prosthetic of feeling,” helping us better understand our bodies.
  • After using one for a while, is it possible to feel and understand these things on our own and ditch the wearable?
  • Women have reported knowing when they are ovulating after having tracking their cycles for some time.
  • 2009 research indicated that people who monitored their heart rates could eventually learn to lower them intentionally.
  • The author tried the same technique but was unsuccessful.  


Thursday, August 24

Building a Better Sports Drink


  • A Yale professor was looking to find a way to better rehydrate patients with cholera.
  • He and other researchers found that short chain fatty acids increase the absorption of water and sodium in the large intestine.
  • They discovered that resistant starch passes through the small intestine when digested and aids the production of short chain fatty acids in the large intestine.
  • Cholera patients showed improved hydration when ingesting resistant starch.
  • An Australian rules football team also showed improved hydration when drinking resistant starch based fluids before and during training.
  • A sports drink containing resistant starch is scheduled to hit the market in early 2018.


Friday, August 25

Baseball Is Finally Realizing That The Save Is Dumb


  • FiveThirtyEight’s Nate Silver has been tracking a stat this season called the “goose egg,” which applies to any scoreless inning a reliever pitches late in a close game, not just the traditional 9th-inning save.
  • Tracking “goose eggs” as opposed to saves is likely a more accurate way to determine a relief pitcher’s overall level of effectiveness.
  • Moves made at this year’s trade deadline suggest teams across MLB have figured out that save numbers aren’t the best measure of how good a relief pitcher is.
  • Several pitchers with high save totals were dealt for relatively small returns, and many of them are not be used in save situations with their new teams.




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Mark Van Deusen

Mark Van Deusen is the Copy Manager at WHOOP. Before joining WHOOP, Mark served as the Managing Editor and Head Writer for CelticsLife.com. He was also a Featured Columnist for Bleacher Report and a contributor at Yahoo Sports. A former tennis coach, Mark graduated from the University of Richmond with a degree in Sociology and Leadership Studies.