Sports

Kiwis take novel approach to combat jet lag, fatigue, injury in Denver

Booze bans, blue-light therapy and the use of "humidi-flyer" face masks are among the steps being taken to ensure the welfare of players involved in the historic Test in Denver.

England will take on New Zealand at Mile High Stadium, the home of the three-time NFL Super Bowl champion Denver Broncos, on June 23. The NRL and the Rugby League Players Association have raised concerns about the toll it will take on star players, particularly given the match will be played in Colorados high altitude in the middle of summer.

To alleviate the concerns and ensure the health of the players is a priority, the NZRL has prepared a "medical overview" paper – obtained by Fairfax Media – that includes revolutionary ways to combat jet lag, fatigue and injuries.

Ready to go: The NZRL is leaving no stone unturned for its historic clash in the US.

Photo: AP

To ensure the players get the necessary sleep in transit and adjust to the new time zone, Kiwi players will be given melatonin for their first three days in the US and as part of their protocols for their return home. But perhaps the most intriguing aspects of the medical plan are the use of blue-light therapy and humidi-flyer technology.

The players – who will be wearing compression garments during the business-class flight – will use humidi-flyer masks that prevent dehydration by trapping the expired moisture from breath, which is then used to humidify the air inhaled. The device, invented by former New Zealand Airlines staff member Paul Aberhart, has been used by sporting teams such as the All Blacks, while Australian actress Phoebe Tonkin famously posted a pic of herself using it. The mask is said to prevent jet lag as well as protect the wearer from the spread of viruses.

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