Placebo doping? Foam rolling and DOMS

This article was originally posted by Ryan at the original Blogs.

This week, I’d like to focus on two interesting studies I’ve seen in my feeds recently.

Placebo doping?


I’ve wondered for some time how much doping really helps athletes and whether there’s some placebo effect going on. It would only make sense really that there is some placebo effect.

Well, along comes a study to test this:

Compared to control, the injected placebo improved 3 km race time by 1.2%. This change is of clear sporting relevance, but is smaller than the performance improvement elicited by r-HuEPO administration.

This result shouldn’t be surprising. There is a placebo effect but we know those drugs do benefit runners so we should expect that the real thing is even more effective. Nevertheless, interesting to see some actual results and numbers behind all of this.

Foam rolling and DOMS


I’m sure most runners who use foam rollers have realized that DOMS can be reduced in some cases significantly and that we run better when using it.

Again, to little surprise, we have a study that confirms this:

Foam rolling effectively reduced DOMS and associated decrements in most dynamic performance measures.

No surprises. Sometimes, even when we’re sure we already know something, it’s nice to see science confirm this knowledge. Above are two cases where science has recently done just that.

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