Defense

The Air Force Is Testing Football Players’ Sweat To Help Special Forces

College athletes and military special forces both need to be in top physical condition to succeed, and the U.S. Air Force is teaming up with athletic departments at the Ohio State University to help share research on physical performance.

The Air Force has already partnered with the top-ranked college team, the Ohio State Buckeye’s, to develop technology that tracks performance data by measuring sweat, blood pressure and breathing during training. About 100 wrestlers, and lacrosse players are joining the research, the Dayton Daily News reports(RELATED: A Shocking Number Of People Think Ohio State Could Beat The Cleveland Browns)

“We’re really trying to help develop a sport science strategy for all the sports teams,” Dr. Josh Hagen, a researcher and expert on human performance at the Air Force Research Laboratory (AFRL) at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base told the Dayton Daily News.

The concept is to create a “dashboard for the human body,” which shows around a dozen biomarkers and can be viewed on a tablet or smartphone, Hagen said. Testing sweat in real-time through a device about the size of a bandaid allows researchers to see about as many markers important to performance as they would get from blood.

Since the research division at Hagen’s base doesn’t have any special forces personnel, Hagen decided to partner with athletes to run the tests on the sweat sensors.

“I felt like we could do more by partnering with athletics, so these elite athletes at Ohio State are our surrogates,” Hagen said.

The university and the Air Force are sharing research, and it’s not a financial relationship, the Dayton Daily News reported.

“There’s no other school that has a relationship like this,” Doug Calland, associate athletic director for sport performance at Ohio State, told the Dayton Daily News.

“It’s really been unbelievably helpful to know because we’re going to go hard just like the military does,” Calland said. “They train hard and we’re training hard and we need to make sure that we’re doing that in the right way.”

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