Jamie Vardy’s performances for England may well be improved by the use of Red Bull and snus, according to an expert.
Vardy was pictured holding a can of Red Bull and a tin of snus – a chewing tobacco – as he left for England training yesterday, and Roger Pielke of the University of Colorado says the substances could give the Leicester City striker an edge on the pitch.
Red Bull has a high caffeine content, while snus contains large amounts of nicotine – both substances that provide a short term energy boost, allowing Vardy to perform at his usual high-tempo style.
Vardy seen holding nicotine pouches and a can of Red Bull. pic.twitter.com/UPfAQW8l9W
— WeAreChelseaFC (@WeAreChelseaFC) June 14, 2016
Speaking about the effects, Pielke said:
Both nicotine and caffeine are among the more well-studied performance-enhancing substances. It gives you a little energy boost.
There’s a study in my new book about caffeine across a range of sports and the performance enhancement is three to seven per cent, whether that’s rowing, sprinting or whatever.
Anyone who wakes up in the morning and has a cup of coffee or tea knows the performance-enhancing effects of caffeine. They’re perfectly legal and athletes take them, which is no surprise.
Pielke went on to say that there’s no proof that using two performance enhancing substances together has an increased effect, but did point out the fact that as they’re entirely legal, athletes will use as many advantages as they can to improve their performance.
Take Maria Sharapova for example, who was taking numerous substances that most likely gave her a (legal) advantage for years, before one was moved to the banned substance list and she was caught out and banned by the authorities.
Despite the proposed advantages, Mark Leather, head of Sports Performance at Bolton Wanderers, says:
Snus is a fad that I’ve seen used by a few players in the last two or three years.
Some take it for its relaxing effect, instead of smoking, and it’s a fashionable thing to do.
I don’t know why they do it and I wouldn’t advise players to, because of the risk of cancer.
I’d be very surprised if players used it during a game — it would be an irritant in your mouth. They might use it when they come off the pitch to relax.
And players in every changing room will drink Red Bull before a game to give them a little pick-me-up, but I don’t think it would have a combination effect with the nicotine.
So there you go, athletes are doing everything they can to gain an advantage without breaking rules, and Vardy is a player who feels his performance is helped through extra caffeine and nicotine.
England play Wales tomorrow, and if Vardy is his usual Duracell bunny like self, we might just have a clue where he gets his incredible energy from…