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The Real Science of Sport Podcast

How Allergies Affect Sleep and How to Fix It

Join host Mike Finch, Dr Jill Warner and Emeritus Professor John Warner to break down the effect allergies have on sleep quality. The panel discuss the various allergens affecting sleep - from dust mites in your bed to cat dander - and how best to deal with them.

  • Dr Jill Warner has a BSc in Immunology and Physiology and a PhD in Allergy from the University of London. She is currently an Honorary Professor in Paediatrics at The University of Cape Town and her research interests are in the foetal origins of allergic disease and environmental allergen avoidance. Dr Jill Warner has published over 100 peer-reviewed papers and journal articles in the field of allergy.
  • Prof. John Warner is a Professor of Paediatrics at Imperial College London and the University of Cape Town. His research has focused on the early life origins of asthma and related allergic and respiratory disorders. He has published over 400 papers in scientific journals on these topics. He was Editor-in-Chief of the journal Pediatric Allergy and Immunology from 1997-2010 and chairman of the paediatric section of the British Society for Allergy and Clinical Immunology for 5 years until 2010. He is also a member of the Speciality and Training Committee of the World Allergy Organisation and a past Trustee of the charity known as The Anaphylaxis Campaign. He was a member of the Advisory Committee for Novel Foods and Processes of the Food Standards Agency for 12 years until 2012 and was recognised for his work in food allergy research by the award of an OBE in 2013.


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  • 9. Safety vs Spectacle: Rugby at a Crossroads

    01:04:28
    In this special episode we join an exclusive panel discussion - in partnership with World Rugby - to debate the future of the sport as it battles to find a balance between the welfare and safety of players and the enjoyment of the game by both participants and spectators. On the panel is Dr Eanna Falvey, World Rugby’s Chief Medical Officer, and former British & Irish Lions Team Doctor; Kate Zachary, the experienced American women's captain and veteran of two World Cups; Ugo Monye, an English rugby pundit/commentator and former rugby union player who played 14 times for England, 241 times for his only club Harlequins and played twice for the British & Irish Lions on their 2009 tour to South Africa; English Test player Sarah Bern, who was shortlisted for World Rugby’s Women’s Player of the Year award in 2019 and our very own co-host Prof Ross Tucker, who is also a Research Consultant and Independent Scientist with World Rugby.SHOW NOTES:The videos from the entire Welfare Week, not just those preceding this session, will be available on the World Rugby site soon. They're not out just yet, unfortunately, but check back here in the next few days for the specific links.
  • 8. Rugby's Radical Law Change Proposals / The IOC And Their Controversial Trangender Policy

    01:43:28
    It's one of the hottest topics on our Discourse channel but can World Rugby's new law proposasl preserve the spectacle of the game while still ensuring player safety? The team dig into some of the changes being trialled and proposals for more changes.Plus ultra runners Camille Herron - who broke six world endurance running records on her way to a new women's six-day record - and Jasmin Paris - who became the first female to finish the legendary Barkley Marathon - have raised the question of how women compare to men in endurance sport. Is the gap closing?Plus why did a group of 26 independent scientists (including Ross) publish a paper to refute the IOC's framework and academic paper on transgender athletes?Support our work on Patreon HERE at and get free access to our Discourse channel HERE SHOW NOTES:Rugby rule changes on our Discourse group.https://scienceofsportpodcast.discourse.group/t/world-rugby-new-plans-for-the-game/1197/4Reassessing the use of the TMO in rugbyWorld Rugby wants to ­overhaul TMO protocol which has come under widespread criticism for bringing too many lengthy stoppages to the game. Women's Ultrarunning Discourse discussion on the Barkley marathonSean Ingle's article on Jasmin Paris' Barkley successTransgender PaperThe academic paper refuting the IOC's Framework and scientific argumentOur Discourse discussion on the paper and the issuesMore than 100 elite British sportswomen have told the BBC they would be uncomfortable with transgender women competing in female categories in their sport.
  • 8. How Maddie Won The Zwift Academy

    01:39:09
    Never-say-die Maddie le Roux may have been forced to give up her dream of becoming a professional cyclist until the Zwift Academy changed her life and her career. Here's how hard work and pure determination helped this bubbly 27-year-old turn a dream into a reality.
  • 7. Can We Trust Sport Science Research?

    01:43:37
    Is the field of sports science facing a credibility crisis? According to guest Dr Joe Warne, key instigator of the Sports Science Replication Centre at the Technological University in Dublin, most of the research done in the field is unreliable. So what is the true picture, how can studies be done better, what role do journals play in ensuring better standards and how do consumers discern the good from the bad?Show notes:Our Patreon page, where you can sign up for access to the Discourse and other benefitsThe Discourse discussion, for all the post podcast discussions, insights into sports science, and even training and injury prevention advice. For Patrons only!Joe Warne's original post on Discourse that inspired this episode (Patron only)Simona Halep is cleared to play. We'll wait for the full CAS Decision for more discussion of this decision, but if you want to read the previous decision that led to the four year ban, it's at this linkFor Patrons, via Discourse, more discussion about Halep's ban and clearing can be found hereArticle on the cycling race in Spain that saw 130 riders out of 182 not finish, and anti-doping had shown up. The degree to which the two are linked remains unclear, as discussedJoe Warne's Sports Science Replication Center websiteOne example of a paper that Warne's group has had published on this issue
  • 6. VO2Max: Why It May Be Your Most Important Training Metric

    01:34:10
    Knowing how to measure and train close to your VO2Max may lead to big performance gains. But what is VO2Max and what's the best way to use it? We also discuss the latest developments around rugby's smart mouthguard and the announcement by World Athletics that they are trialling a new way of measuring the long jump which involves a take-off zone rather than a take-off mark. And no, it's not an April Fools joke!SHOW NOTESThe New Science of Sport Discourse - a Patron exclusive, a community that we aspire to make the most well-informed forum on sports science in the world: https://scienceofsportpodcast.discourse.group/. Log in with your patron detailsBecome a Patron of The Science of Sport to get access to the community: https://www.patreon.com/thescienceofsportThe IFSC Policy on RED-SArticle on that RED-S policy, including athlete interviewsThe Long Jump article re changing of the lawsThe BBC article on the mouthguards in rugby. Full of holes and errors, a bit of misunderstanding, and some outright dishonesty, which we tried to explain and address in the showThe paper on the sub-2 hour marathon physiology that shows how those elite runners can get to 90% of VO2max for two hoursA more lay explanation of the 2 hour marathon, again discussing how close to max elites can runPaper on how different durations of interval training affect Power, HR and RPE, which may be useful to guide your choice of interval session structureThe research study that shows how 8 min blocks at close to VO2max improves VO2max and performance, and that the more time you spend close to VO2max, the greater the benefit
  • 5. Make Your Own Sports Drink / Smart Mouthguards in Rugby / Do We Need On-Field Match Officials in Sport?

    01:35:04
    Can you make your own sports drink and what would be the right mix? Here's what to look for. The team also tackles (see what we did there!) the use of smart mouthguards in rugby, whether trail star Stian Angermund was really guilty of doping, why parkrun has removed some of its records from its website and if the controversial Enhanced Games has any chance of succeeding.SHOW NOTESStian Angermund Doping CaseReigning world short-course trail running champion Stian Angermund says he is innocent and “utterly bewildered” after testing positive for banned substance chlorthalidone after winning the 55km OCC event at the Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc for the second time last year.Also the Quartz WADA crossoverhttps://runningmagazine.ca/trail-running/anti-doping-in-trail-and-ultrarunning-is-the-quartz-program-enough/James Magnussen and the enhanced gameshttps://www.theguardian.com/australia-news/2024/feb/09/australian-swimmer-james-magnussen-enhanced-games-drug-takingParkrun removes recordshttps://www.parkrun.com/blog/news/2024/02/08/changes-to-statistics-on-the-parkrun-websites/
  • 4. The Sporting Diet: How To Eat, Fuel And Thrive

    02:03:27
    The team are joined by renowned sports dietician, Australian Louise Burke, to discuss everything from keto and fasting to the latest guidelines in fueling and nutrition in sport. Burke has spent over 40 years working in the field of sports nutrition and is an academic and author. She was the head of sports nutrition at the Australian Institute of Sport (AIS) throughout its existence from 1990 to 2018 and in 2018 was appointed Chief of AIS Nutrition Strategy. Since 2014, she holds the chair in sports nutrition in the Mary MacKillop Institute for Health Research, Australian Catholic University.
  • 3. DISCOURSE: Enhanced Games: Hype Or Reality? / 15-Year-old's Doping Saga / Is Rugby Too Dangerous For U18s?

    01:19:28
    Welcome to the Science of Sport Discourse. A monthly wrap of all the stories doing the rounds on our Patreon and newly-launched Discourse channel. Want to be part of the discussion? Become a supporter of the Science of Sport Podcast on Patreon HERE and get free access to our exclusive Discourse channel moderated by Gareth Davies. SHOW NOTESThe New Science of Sport Discourse - a Patron exclusive, A community that we aspire to make the most well-informed forum on sports science in the world: https://scienceofsportpodcast.discourse.group/. Log in with your Patron details.Become a Patron of The Science of Sport HEREThe Valieva doping story - now banned for four years. Sean Ingle wrote the story that summarises the case HERE After we discussed the case on the show, the full decision was published, which revealed that Valieva’s team had blamed a contaminated strawberry cake for the test. We’ll touch on this in our next show. READ MORE The full decision in the case of Michael Saruni, now banned after trying to send a friend to provide a doping testAn update on the Enhanced Games, which, as you’ll hear on the pod, Mike thinks is complete “bollocks”The documentary about rugby’s referees at the 2023 Rugby World Cup. Well worth a watch.Track and field will soon join the docuseries trendSean Ingle’s article on rugby risks in children, including mention of the call to ban tackling and rugby in Under 18s, and the mixing of age grades
  • 2. INTERVIEW: Inside The World Of A Pro Mountain Biker

    01:06:30
    Swiss rider Marcel Guerrini is at the top of the pile when it comes to the world's best XC mountain bikers. The team take a look into his world to talk about sacrifice, training, race tactics and pacing. Guerrini is a regular top-five finisher at World Cups and is aiming to qualify for the Olympics in 2024... not an easy task when you come from the strongest mountain biking nation in the world.