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Episode 9: Sports and Science

Science is everywhere in sports from designing helmets to help reduce the occurrence of concussions to creating golf clubs that hit the ball straighter and farther.

Every part of a sport from the clothing to the equipment, even to the playing field has been enhanced by science.

In this fan-packed addition of Science in Your Shopping Cart, we're going to look at how agricultural science has impacted sports. 

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Part 1: Batter Up

The sport of baseball is woven into America’s culture like the uniforms worn by the players. Baseball has been around for nearly 150 years, and in that time, we’ve seen plenty of home run sluggers, from Babe Ruth and Hank Aaron to Alex Rodriguez and Ken Griffey, Jr., to today's mashers like Aaron Judge and Mike Trout.

We're heading to the dugout to find out what a beetle and a baseball bat have in common and to learn how ARS researchers help keep America’s pastime swinging for the fences. 

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Part 2: Stay Hydrated

Hydration is so important to our bodies during exercise, perhaps more important than the exercise itself. Not properly hydrating during athletic competitions or every day exercising – even walking – can have damaging effects on our bodies. Of course, there are the physical effects, such as fatigue, exhaustion, and heat stroke. But there are also psychological factors that you may not be aware of. .

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Part 3: Taking the Smell Out of Sports

Nanoparticles, tiny particles so small they are undetectable to the human eye, are being used more and more in clothing because they can act like a barrier protecting the fabric. Not only does this science help protect your body from germs and other microbials, but it also fights body odor especially from sweating.

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Part 4 True or False About Nutrition

For this segment, registered dietitian Wendy Shaw will confirm or dispel some common myths about eating and drinking certain foods before, during and after athletic events. Listen to our podcast to learn more.

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Part 5 Turf Battles

Did you know ARS has been developing natural turf cultivars since the 1940s? This has led to improved playing surfaces on golf courses all across the country. 

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Part 6 Good Leather

The leather industry in the United States, while not as prosperous as in days past, is still a significant market in textiles, clothing, and sports. ARS researchers have answered the bell time and time again over the years to make leather processing safer, more efficient, and more profitable.

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Part 7: Nutrition is Part of Training Too

In the final part of our podcast on Sports & Science, Wendy Shaw, a registered dietitian formerly with the National Agricultural Library, discusses the importance of nutrition, from the world’s elite athletes to the weekend warriors.

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