Chemistry in sport

Find out how chemistry is used in sport and how it can help improve athletes’ performances.

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    Chemistry and Sport - Swimming

    Explore the halogens, their salts, and their relation to swimming.

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    Chemistry and Sport - Shooting

    Discover the chemistry and enthalpy of the exothermic reactions that power sport shooting events.

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    The chemistry of sports drinks

    Learn about the chemistry and science behind sports drinks and the effects on the body. Find out how chemists have contributed to the improvement of athletic performance through discussion and worksheet exercises.

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    The chemistry of sports and energy drinks

    Many people think that energy drinks and sports drinks are the same thing but in fact they work in very different ways. This resource looks at how caffeine affects the body and chemistry behind respiration.

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    Chemistry now: chemistry and sport

    This deals with the chemistry of aerobic and anaerobic respiration in the context of athletics and looks at a number of ways in which athletes can manipulate (legally!) the chemistry of this process to their advantage by monitoring the concentration of lactic acid in their blood.

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    Olympic materials Primary

    This resource allows primary school students to explore the difference between a natural material and a synthetic material. The Materials used in different sports for the Olympic Games is then explored.

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    Olympic composites (secondary level)

    A composite is a mix of two or more materials which often have very different properties. Find out about composites used in sport equipment material.

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    Olympic Materials

    These resources allow students to explore how changes in materials technology can bring about changes to sporting equipment.

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    Chemistry in our community

    Ready-made Careers Presentations: Chemistry in our community

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    Extracting iron from breakfast cereal

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    Separate food grade metallic iron from fortified breakfast cereals by using powerful Neodymium magnets.

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    Energy values of food

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    In this experiment various foods are tested to find how much energy they contain.

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    Chemistry at the races book

    This book looks into detecting drugs in race horses using various different analytical techniques and drug metabolism.

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    Olympic composites (primary level)

    Find out what composites are made up of and why they are so important sporting equipment for the Olympics.

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    The role of technology in sporting performance

    Learn about how science engineering technology has developed sport and increase performance for athletes in ‘technology-driven’ sports such as track cycling, rowing and sailing.

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    Chemistry and Sport - diving

    Gravity - the enemy of the high-jumper, and the diver’s friend. Find out how the sport of diving relies on gravity, and why a diver seems lighter in water than on land.

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    Water sports and solutions

    Life is in aqueous solution - and so is much of sport. Find out why the properties of water are vital to the sports men and women who compete in, on, and around water.

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    Olympic Medals

    Discover the chemistry and history behind the Gold, Silver and Bronze Olympic medals.

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    The Wonders of the Olympic Torch

    Learn about the history and design of the Olympic torch and the journey it takes to the Olympics opening ceremony.

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    Chemistry and Sport - weightlifting

    Find out why chalk is as important in weightlifting as it is in tennis, rock climbing, and even fire-fighting.

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    Faces of Chemistry – Biosensors

    Find out how scientists at the material science laboratory, QMUL, develop biosensors to enhance sport performance.

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    Chemistry and Sport - football

    Materials chemistry has revolutionised the game of football and given us the balls, gloves, and goalposts we play with.

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    Chemistry and Sport - Athletics: 400m

    Discover the chemistry behind one of the toughest athletic events - the 400m race.