Professor Asker Jeukendrup - Measuring the peaks of physical performance transcript

Measuring the peaks of physical performance, Professor Asker Jeukendrup, University of Birmingham

Title: Professor Asker Jeukendrup
Duration: 2.57 mins

Speaker Names (if given): S1 Professor Asker Jeukendrup

S1 The research in this lab really varies from the research with patients who have a very poor exercise capacity all the way – the whole spectrum really – to elite athletes with incredible performance capacities and we’re mostly interested in how the human body works, how fuels are used in the human body, how nutrition can influence that and how we can actually improve the exercise capacity. Most of patients who can hardly get out of bed and the elite athletes who want to win their gold medal. So over the last few years I’ve worked with numerous sports people at various levels, but quite a few at the elite level. I’ve worked in sports like cycling with one of the pro cycling teams that competes in the Tour de France. I’ve been involved with UK athletics; so different disciplines within one big sport. I’ve worked with football at the highest level with clubs like Chelsea, and we’ve got a link with Birmingham City. The research we do is internationally recognised. I think we’re one of the leading institutions in the field of sports nutrition and I think if you look at the literature and the latest like new findings in that field, a lot of those findings have actually come from this lab; so it’s something that we are very proud of.

One of the inventions here that has made quite a big impact is we’ve found that by combining certain types of carbohydrate, we can actually deliver more energy to the athlete and that results in better performances, and you can see that now worldwide in that that concept is now incorporated into sports nutrition products. So a lot of the products that you buy off the shelf you can actually see that it’s based on research done in Birmingham. I think that the research we do here has a huge impact on the way we teach. I think our research is leading and we’re kind of inventing things and then hoping that other people will replicate it. So suddenly that has implications for the way we teach and our undergraduate students get a really good treatment because they get to know about this information first.

Most of the work that we do has a lot of angles and we approach it from different disciplines as well and that is one of the beauties in this department, that within one school we have all these different disciplines that we can tap into. So when we look at a problem or a question we can actually approach it from all these angles and we have experts in all these areas within one building actually talking to each other and that is something that's really unique.