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The Olympic Games are the largest sporting event in the world. Athletes do everything they can to peak exactly there. But are they aware of the possibilities that blue light offers? Since the Olympic Games in Beijing 2008, sleep / wake expert and light specialist Toine Schoutens has been helping top athletes who have to perform in other time zones, whether in the morning or in the evening. With chrono coaching Toine Schoutesn ensures that your biological clock is ready.
The first benefit is the prevention of jet lag, so that training time on site can be used faster and more effectively. Subsequently, matching the biorhythm of the individual top athlete to the competition schedule can make a big difference. Every body has its peak moment, every day. This peak time is between 5:00 PM and 5:30 PM, depending on your chronotype. What could be better than flawlessly synchronizing your biological clock with the time of your race. Various top athletes and Olympic teams have embraced this phenomenon, chrono coaching. Not a matter of gambling, but pure applied science.
Competitive athletes experience like no other that they only get gold or silver if they peak at the right time. They often know what time that is months in advance. The schedules for the finals and the qualifiers have been known long enough to tailor training schedules accordingly. One crucial element is often forgotten in that planning; the biological clock. This must coincide with the race time. As an athlete you can now influence the synchronization of the internal clock by applying blue light at the right times or by filtering blue light. With a tight light and sleep schedule of a few days, you can easily synchronize your internal clock.
The fact that monitoring the biological peak moment works has not only been scientifically proven . Various Olympic athletes and teams have proven it by winning gold medals with the right dose of light. The only thing they need to pack extra in their luggage is the Propeaq light goggles.
Blue light suppresses the production of the night hormone melatonin. This hormone is produced in the evening by the pineal gland (pineal gland) and signals the body to prepare for the night.
During sleep, recovery of many body processes takes place and a night’s rest is therefore indispensable for cognitive and physical functioning and health in general. The rhythm of the secretion of melatonin is partly endogenously controlled by the biological clock in the brain (Supra Chiasmatic Nuclei SCN), which in turn is controlled by clock genes but also by the light that hits the eye.
The retina in the eye contains special ganglion cells (intrinsically-photosensitive retinal ganglion cells ipRGCs) that control the SCN under the influence of the photopigment melanopsin and light. Bluish light (460 – 480 Nm) has the most influence on the suppression of the production of melatonin, even at a very low intensity. In addition to ‘night hormone’, melatonin is also a strong antioxidant and is able to eliminate harmful free radicals.
Another powerful effect of blue light in the morning is stimulation of the cortisol awakening response. As a result, the athlete enters his/her carbohydrate combustion earlier and therefore warms up earlier, so that energy is available faster. A dose of blue light at the right time thus prevents fatigue and makes it possible to focus more sharply.
Top athletes benefit greatly from a correct light schedule and they can easily handle it. Athletes know the importance of discipline in training, they know that structure and regularity are a precondition for converting talent into success. It turns out to be easy to add Propeaq light glasses to existing schedules and rules of life.
Orange (red) lenses for the eye filter (block) blue light. The production of melatonin is then precisely NOT suppressed, so that a functionality of phase shift arises. With the correct timing of blue light exposure or blue light blocking with a tight sleep schedule of a few days, there is a phase shift of the sleep / wake rhythm to a later or earlier time.
This has no effect on the duration and quality of sleep. To shift to a later time, blue light (30 minutes) is used just before racing. In this way, a maximum of one to one and a half hours can be shifted per day. For a shift to an earlier moment, it works the other way around. Blue light is then used for 30 minutes in the morning and the orange glasses in the evening.
More than 50 athletes from 5 countries used Propeaq lightglasses during the Winter Olympics in PyeongChang 2018 . 13 of them won a medal, 5 x gold, 5 x silver, 3 x bronze:
Carlijn Achtereekte; Ireen Wüst; Antoinette de Jong; Sjinkie Knegt; Yara van Kerkhof; Jorien ter Mors; Suzanne Schulting; Lara van Ruijven; Antoinette de Jong & Ramon Zenhäusern
18 medals for the Netherlands, Belgium, Australia and the US in 2016 in Rio:
Ferry Weertman; Sanne Wevers; Daphne Schippers; Anicka van Emden; Pieter Timmers; Jolien D’Hoore; Dirk van Tichelt; Christian Taylor; Kyle Chalmers; Mack Horton; Emma McKeon; Mitch Larkin; Madeline Groves & Team Dolphins
The Olympic Games are always a wonderful event. But always a challenge for athletes. Important matches on the other side of the world, that means jet lag. An undesirable effect that is preferably neutralized as soon as possible.
The Olympic Games are the best example of an event where many athletes benefit from Chrono coaching and the Propeaq light glasses. For a large number of participants, the tournament starts with a trip to another continent, which inevitably results in jet lag. In addition to the new time zone, the climate can also influence performance. In addition, a large number of sports related to viewing figures only take place late in the evening or early in the morning. At such times, the rhythm of day and night ensures that the body is not automatically ready for peak performance. It has been scientifically shown that around 5 o’clock in the afternoon, our body can best perform a sports performance.
The negative consequences of the unfavorable circumstances can be neutralized by shifting our internal clock. With a personally tailored light therapy, composed by the free Propeaq timetooler app or tailor-made by our chrono coaches. The correct light and sleep schedule allows the athlete’s biological clock to run perfectly in time to arrive optimally prepared at the start, ready to deliver peak performance at the moment of competition in the hunt for Olympic gold.
The Rally Guanajuato Mexico 2019 was held in Mexico, the third round of the WRC 2019. To ensure that the drivers of the Citroen Wordl Rally Team Sébastien Ogier and Esapekka Lappi Completely fit to start this 4 day event, Propeaq helped them with the right light at the right time.
Spread over 4 days and different times, various internships had to be held. Obviously a beautiful spectacle, but racing over the gravek at 200 km / h in the early morning or in the darkness under artificial light has some challenges. Then you don’t want to have jet lag. With our support, the riders arrived 100% jet lagged in Mexico to start the first stage completely fresh and focused. After 4 days, Sébastien Ogier was allowed to hold up the trophy.
In particular, the disruption of the drivers’ biological clock is a problem. When darkness falls, this biological clock in the brain indicates that it is time to go to sleep and recover, not to deliver top performance. These top performances are usually achieved by top athletes around 5 pm – 6 pm in the late afternoon. If you race sooner or later, this is at the expense of concentration, alertness and reaction speed. Not a problem for an ordinary mortal, but a challenge for the driver. Fortunately, blue light offers the solution at the right time.
Victor’s world record had to take place under the most ideal conditions. In addition to all kinds of factors such as training, air resistance and nutrition, the correct biorhythm is also extremely important. With our chronobiotechnology and the use of the light glasses, Victor’s biorhythm has shifted from 17:00 in the afternoon to 11:00 in the morning. By wearing the light glasses for half an hour every day at 5 a.m., the body thinks that the day has started and the production of the night hormone melatonin is suppressed. Every day Victor went to bed at 8:00 PM, putting on our glasses with red lenses from 7:00 PM to filter the blue ambient light for the full 100%. Perfect for enabling the body to fall asleep quickly. In this way we shift the peak power of his body to the moment of the world hour record attempt. The maximum physical capacity at the right time.
Download het whitepaper ‘lichttherapie voor sporters’ voor een volledig overzicht, toelichting en handige schema’s over deze toepassing van de Propeaq lichtbril.
Toine Schoutens has over 15 years of experience in guiding top athletes and teams to a world performance. This can concern individual guidance and monitoring, but also support for entire teams. Toine also transferred his expertise to a number of coaches in a train-the-trainer process. His advice concerns all factors related to light before and during peak performance, but also the impact of sleep and nutrition and other matters that are relevant. We often work together with other specialists. Toine’s background in healthcare and biomedical sciences proves to be of added value time and time again. For example, Toine works closely with the medical experts, performance managers and physiotherapists around the athletes. Below the three most common forms of support where Toine and his team can help directly.