Applied Performance Science: Stress, Travel Fatigue and Recovery Techniques

Ryan Curtis MS, ATC, CSCS

Director of Athlete Safety and Performance

Stress and subsequent fatigue are a normal part of sport and life and often desired in order to augment adaption to training. The concept of periodization, being the organization of training stress and recovery, is usually on the forefront of performance and medical practitioner’s minds. When training and physical stress is balanced with adequate rest and recovery, acute fatigue is often diminished in a matter of hours or days. However, if the body is not allowed to return to a balanced state (homeostasis) before excess stresses are introduced, maladaptation occurs. In optimizing performance for sport or life, it’s important to note that not all stresses are desired or accounted for.In the midst of a hectic season or normal life demands, it’s easy to forget to acknowledge and appropriately prepare for things such as the stress of travel, sleep impairment, poor nutrition and/or hydration and injury. Implementing fatigue countermeasures begins first with recognition of outside stressors and then adherence to a few best-practice techniques.Below are a few visuals to help us become aware of undesired stress outside of training and techniques in combating travel fatigue and promotion of optimal recovery.

Hydration Conference

By Luke Belval, MS, ATC, Director of Research, Director of Military and Occupational Safety, KSI


On September 15th and 16th, KSI gathered experts in the field of hydration to help clarify the hydration advice athletes, coaches and parents are receiving. The meeting, Practical Hydration Solutions for Sports and the Physically Active, was convened at the University of Connecticut to help provide situation specific information that can be easily interpreted and applied by those looking to optimize performance.

With representatives from the UK, Australia, New Zealand, Canada and all over the US, KSI is working to change the way hydration advice is provided to those looking to improve their athletic performance. In light of increased attention to what, when and how athletes should drink, the purpose of this meeting was to help clarify what an athlete can do to optimize performance through hydration. Experts in the field went through over 20 different sports to help identify the specific factors that may influence hydration status for athletes in those sports. Specifically, the group evaluated the evidence to determine risk of dehydration and over hydration for each athletic situation to help athletes understand what hydration strategies may work best for their sports.

The roundtable meeting focused around two deliverables, a scientific publication featuring the overall results and one-page sport-specific documents that can be easily distributed to those participating in a given sport. It is our hope that these documents can help clarify what the best practices are for performance optimization through hydration in a given sports situation.