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Ep 87: NIRS: the Good, the Bad and the Ugly with Dr. Jesse Craig
Episode 8722nd August 2021 • Rebel Performance Radio • Rebel Performance
00:00:00 00:40:17

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Do you know the ins and outs of the NIRS technology? Joining me on the show today is my good buddy, Dr. Jesse Craig. Jesse is a postdoctoral research associate at the University of Utah, and he was also my post doc when I studied in his lab for two and a half years. Jesse studies oxygen delivery and utilization and its impact on exercise tolerance in health and disease. So, with the NIRS device becoming more and more popular in the fitness industry, what better time than now to bring Jesse on to share some of his knowledge and research working with the technology. 

We dive into the episode giving a background on what the NIRS is and how it works. It’s becoming more prevalent that athletes and coaches don’t understand the ins and outs of the technology: what is the data giving us? What conclusions can we draw from that data? What can we use the NIRS for? Jesse then unpacks the importance of balancing oxygen utilization and supply. Without being able to match supply and demand, health and performance will deplete.

We do a deep dive into the limitations to the technology and the primary drive of change in saturation. We then unpack the importance of critical power in exercise physiology. Be sure to listen in to discover the good, the bad, and the ugly of the NIRS.

What You'll Learn in This Episode:

  • [04:37] An intro to Dr. Jesse Craig
  • [07:09] Background on what the NIRS is
  • [08:39] Different technology of the NIRS
  • [09:54] Balance between utilization and supply
  • [12:29] The NIRS role in the VIC equation
  • [15:48] Limitations when looking at SAT
  • [18:43] Primary driver of change in saturation 
  • [20:50] Typical probe distance 
  • [25:30] Rectus versus the vastus 
  • [27:44] Blood flow’s role in oxygen utilization 
  • [30:48] The occlusion technique 
  • [34:07] The importance of critical power in exercise physiology 
  • [38:49] Where to find Dr. Jesse Craig


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