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Feeling Sporty

Whether recreational or professional, all athletes require endurance, motivation and a pinch of ambition if they want to improve their performance. WACKER products can help here, as shown by the following tips.

Tip #1: Safety Is Everything

Winston Churchill is quoted to have once said “Absolutely no sports” – yet he lived to the age of 91 despite his lax attitude to fitness. Today, there is no doubt about the healthy effect of exercise. A prerequisite, however, is appropriate (protective) gear. Elastic and flexible silicone elastomers from WACKER play a key role here. They are incorporated into running shoes or bicycle saddles as shock-absorbing pads, for example. Thanks to their cushioning effect, they help protect joints and prevent knee, foot and back problems.

Focus on the head

Whether it’s cycling, boxing or American football: many types of sport require special protection for our heads. Concussions or traumatic brain injuries can have life-long consequences. In order to prevent such injuries, the two American companies Baytech Products and Helmet Comp developed their innovative HitGardTM helmet technology specifically for the US National Football League. It allows impact forces and torque to be absorbed even better than before. Here, too, silicones from WACKER are used as dampers, shaped with the aid of ACEO® 3D printing technology.

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Tip #2: If You Feel Good, You Perform Better

Ambitious recreational racing cyclists know that leg warmers that slip are not just annoying, but can also chafe and lower performance. The same is true for shin guards in soccer: only if they fit perfectly can they serve their purpose, feel good and be conducive to performance. Silicones from WACKER make an important contribution here as well – flexible silicone tapes hold shin guards and arm/leg warmers in place and also provide soccer boots with an improved grip and a better feel for the ball.

“There is nothing quite like silicone on the entire market.”

Hans R. Bauer, managing director and founder of NTT GmbH

Sports bras like a second skin

The Balingen-based company New Textile Technology GmbH presented a special innovation at ISPO 2018: a sports bra reinforced with silicone from WACKER that requires neither underwire nor seams. Thanks to the silicone coating, it molds perfectly to the body, combines comfort with support and prevents painful pressure marks – ideal prerequisites for exploring individual performance limits.

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Tip #3: Don’t Be Afraid of Wind and Rain

As the sports saying goes: “There’s no such thing as bad weather, just unsuitable clothing.” If you want to defy the elements, you are on the safe side with silicones. Whether outdoor coat or waterproof trousers – many fabrics are impregnated with water-repellent silicone fluid and their outer seams are bonded with silicone rubber.

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Water must be kept out

Many sports enthusiasts know from painful experience that there are few things more uncomfortable than wet clothes. Impregnation sprays or wash-in impregnations with silicones from WACKER impart lasting water-repellent properties to textiles while at the same time retaining their breathability. In addition, they entirely do without solvents and hydrofluorocarbons – an ideal starting point for carefree activities out in nature.

Well protected for adventure

VAUDE, an outdoors outfitter from Tettnang in Germany, uses polyamide fabric coated on both sides with silicone for its tents. It is particularly lightweight, yet enduringly tear- and UV-resistant. The company employs a joining technology that it developed itself, called siliconized bonding – joining of the siliconized textile layers with the aid of an ELASTOSIL® adhesive silicone tape. The curing process bonds the silicone tape with the textiles’ silicone surfaces so that they become inseparable. Flysheets made in this way are robust, absolutely waterproof and tear-resistant.

More about siliconized bonding

Tip #4: Stimulation Spurs You On

Gentle pressure increases performance. So-called “compression textiles” are based on this concept: tightly fitting, silicone-coated knee-high socks and shorts stimulate arteries and veins so that blood can flow more quickly to the muscles that are working. This accelerates muscle regeneration after a workout and prevents sore muscles and heavy limbs.

EMS: an electrifying training session

The really ambitious, however, don't just use pressure to stimulate their muscles, they also use electrical impulses – silicone-rubber-lined sports suits with integrated electrical muscle stimulation (EMS) make this possible. During a workout, a slight voltage that is supposed to stimulate muscle growth and, at the same time, shorten recovery time is applied to the suit. It is possible to apply a voltage, because the inside of this sports suit is coated with a specialty silicone from WACKER (ELASTOSIL® ) that is filled with carbon black – and is thus conductive.

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Tip #5: Give Your Body What It Needs

Being fit starts with your diet. It’s no wonder that sports nutrition has been trending for years. WACKER offers a powerful duo for efficient food supplementation: CAVAQ10® is a coenzyme Q10 that can contribute to improved performance and delayed fatigue. CAVACURMIN® is a curcurmin formulation that can promote healthy joints and rapid muscle regeneration after sport.

WACKER offers both ingredients as cyclodextrin complexes with significantly improved bioavailability. A combination of the two can be used to prepare functional foods and nutritional supplements for athletes that improve both performance and regeneration.

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