We rate the new high-tech treatments, therapies, kit and¬†trends promising to turbocharge your recuperation and boost¬†your health so you become a better athlete in record time.
For anyone with stomach issues: Stool banking
First there were sperm banks ‚Äď and now¬†you have a trend that demands to be¬†frozen. Your body is home to a unique¬†mix of bacteria that maintain health, but¬†antibiotics and other treatments can disrupt¬†this delicate balance.
Research at Stanford University,¬†California, found repeatedly using¬†antibiotics creates cumulative and¬†persistent changes to the microbial species¬†in your gut. To get around this, athletes¬†are now storing samples of their personal¬†bacterial ecosystems in case they need them¬†for treatment.
The OpenBiome Company offers¬†personalized microbial restoration services¬†(from $3,000, openbiome.org) that¬†include screening, profiling, processing,¬†encapsulation and cryopreservation.
Think of it as a health safety net for your¬†insides and an essential step for a complete¬†recovery if you‚Äôve taken large doses of¬†antibiotics due to sickness or a sports injury.
Don‚Äôt just flush all that valuable¬†information away.
Recovery rating: 3/5
Best nutrition: Molecular environment sensors¬†
Fitness trackers might measure every element¬†of your physiology, but the new wave of¬†products will gauge the quality of the foods,¬†plants and products you wear.
The Scio pocket sensor (from $249,¬†consumerphysics.com) is a handheld¬†spectrometer that helps identify the chemical¬†makeup of foods, plants or drugs, while also¬†taking measurements on nutritional values¬†and freshness. If you want to know when¬†an avocado will ripen, or which apple is the¬†sweetest, you can use this in the shop to¬†know everything about your food before you¬†buy it.
This will ensure you maximize the¬†nutrients you eat while recovering so you can¬†avoid any nasty chemical surprises.
Recovery rating: 5/5
Calm your nerves: Autonomous sensory median response
If you‚Äôve ever felt a pleasurable tingling in your¬†scalp, washing down to the back of your neck and¬†into your shoulders when watching a particular¬†show or listening to a certain song then you‚Äôve¬†already experienced this new therapy called¬†autonomous sensory median response (ASMR).
It makes you feel relaxed and aids¬†concentration. Thankfully, it‚Äôs not all¬†pseudoscience because research in the journal¬†PeerJ found people who engage in ASMR feel¬†improvement in the symptoms of depression¬†and chronic pain.
Not everyone can experience it but¬†there are e-books, DVDs and YouTube¬†clips that can help you learn this emerging¬†recovery strategy that works in a similar way¬†to meditation. To learn how to do it in a way that¬†fits your budget, visit: asmr.fm.
Recovery rating: 1/5
Tracking specific gains on body parts: Dexascan¬†
Body fat measurements might track your total¬†fat levels but this scan is fast becoming the gold¬†standard for anyone wanting to track exactly¬†where they‚Äôre losing or gaining fat, vital if you‚Äôre¬†coming back from a long lay-off following an¬†injury.
It uses low-emission X-rays to measure your¬†lean muscle mass, the fat tissue of your trunk,¬†arms and legs, and your bone mineral density.¬†It‚Äôll keep your workouts, and trainer if you‚Äôre using¬†one, 100% accountable for your gains ‚Äď¬†or lack of them.
It takes less than 10 minutes (from $200,¬†dexafit.com) and will tell you with pinpoint¬†accuracy how well your new arm-building routine¬†is working. It‚Äôs the ideal treatment for you to do at¬†the start of the year to create a baseline for your¬†improvements.
Recovery rating: 4/5
For hay fever sufferers and enduro athletes: Halotherapy
Although halotherapy sounds like something¬†you‚Äôd do on your Xbox, this actually involves¬†breathing in micronized dry salt, as if you were¬†living in a sea cave. Salt is viewed as a dietary¬†evil to your blood pressure but breathing it¬†is supposed to improve lung health and fight¬†allergies.
Unfortunately, research in the International¬†Journal of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease¬†found that it doesn‚Äôt actually do anything to¬†promote lung health. That said, people who¬†do this (from $1,000, halotherapy.info) report¬†improved overall wellness and energy levels that¬†come with breathing easier.
With centers popping up everywhere it‚Äôs hard¬†to deny that people are enjoying the benefits,¬†especially leading into spring when hay fever¬†rears its ugly head.
Recovery rating: 2/5
De-stress after a hectic workout: Sound healing
In New York and Los Angeles, people are¬†gathering for ‚Äėsound baths‚Äô ‚Äď group experiences¬†where people focus on the vibrations of tuning¬†forks. Most people have become so accustomed¬†to the constant badgering from smartphones¬†and traffic noise that the total silence associated¬†with meditation can be a little unnerving, yet¬†they find sound baths more approachable.
Think of it as a group of people gathering in¬†a room to enjoy a concert of gongs and crystal¬†bowls singing. The resonance of the instruments¬†affects body and mind while helping you feel¬†more relaxed. It‚Äôs a good way to calm your body¬†down after a really tough workout.
Sound baths are popping up at Twisted Trunk¬†Yoga and Studio Anya, both in Manhattan, and¬†at House of Intuition in the Silver Lake, Los¬†Angeles. It gets the recovery gong.
Recovery rating: 1/5