The potential of blood flow restriction exercise to overcome jetlag: important implications for Tokyo 2020

Maria Kotopoulea Nikolaidi, Borja Muniz-Pardos, Ifigeneia Giannopoulou, Fergus Guppy, Chiara Fossati, Dina Christina Janse Van Rensburg, Demitri Constantinou, Fabio Pigozzi, Yannis Pitsiladis

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The decision taken by the International Olympic Committee (IOC) to host the Olympic Games this summer brings new challenges for event organizers and athletes. One such measure taken by the IOC is to mandate that athletes may not enter the Olympic Village more than five days before competing at the Games in order to prevent the spread of COVID-19. As a result, athletes from around the globe that are unable to make alternative plans will need to travel to Tokyo and acclimatize within only 5 days before their event. Of particular concern are the adverse health and performance effects elicited by flight dysrhythmia, also known as jetlag, on those athletes travelling to the Olympic Games across multiple times zones. Blood flow restriction (BFR) is a safe exercise mode that can potentially diminish the impact of jetlag on performance through its numerous advantageous physiological adaptations that overlap with those
of other jetlag mitigation strategies. Experimental data are required to confirm this intriguing possibility. The present commentary aims to encourage more research into the effects of BFR training in conjunction with other strategies to
overcome the effects of jetlag prior to, during and after a long-haul flight on the subsequent performance of elite athletes, particularly during these difficult times of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)435-440
JournalMedicina dello Sport
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 25 Oct 2021


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