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PSG waits for Madrid chewing gum . But not any one. They are sugar-free gums, with vitamin B and, above all, with caffeine . 50 mg of caffeine per gum. The "energy shot" is absorbed in five minutes versus half an hour, or more, that they need a coffee or drink that gives wings. The stimulant activates the nervous system and decreases the feeling of fatigue . It is not doping , but it is under the supervision of the World Anti-Doping Agency. The French team took 120 packages to the World Cup in Russia.

Look at Mbappé or Neymar or your PSG teammates in the minutes leading up to a match. They chew. One or two chewing gum at a time (the maximum recommended daily dose is eight ). They are taken at the end of the warm-up (and at rest) and must be spit out before they start playing to avoid the risk of choking in the event of a crash, as happened to Aloisio , in 2009, in Brazil after a clash with a rival .

The idea was born in the USA . Army studies showed that chewing caffeine gums was very effective for shooters to maintain a high degree of concentration and had much less side effects than amphetamines . Hence, the practice went to basketball. The jump to football in Europe has a story that has been told, for example, by the sofoot.com website or the economic newspaper Les Echos . The source is the same: Ludovic Richou , who with two friends of the school founded in 2013 a company called OneGum , today sponsor of a French football history, the Stade de Reims .


To begin with, "the taste had to be adapted to the taste of European palates, to remove the bitterness but offering a product without sugar or taurine ." It took them a year and they launched it in pharmacies. The thing was not bad. But neither good. So they made propaganda in the service areas of the gas stations on busy days. Basic promotion: give away the product explaining that it is good not to fall asleep at the wheel.

They did not know, but among the curious who took the product was Philippe Kuentz , 60, a doctor from Monaco . Days later, the company (four workers) received an order of 180 euros, 60 packages, from Monaco. Two months passed that fall of 2015. More orders. No contact Until one day he called the physio of the club, Hervé Grolleau : "He explained that they had tried the product with the young people and that they were very satisfied." In that subsidiary stood out Mbappé . They asked for more. The following season, 2016-17, Monaco won its only League title so far this century.

The French team arrived at the request of Blaise Matuidi at the beginning of the 2016 European Championship. And they should have liked it. «Just before the World Cup in Russia we received another request». The bleus left with 120 packages of gum and returned with the Cup. For the company it was a communication ball, although they could not use the image of the team and had to be content to be suppliers of the French Federation . Eye, do not believe that France won the World Cup in Russia for chewing gum. The selection doctor, Franck le Gall , has been skeptical: «I have reservations about its effectiveness. We make them available to players at a table in the middle of the locker room, such as dates and hazelnuts. No more no less".


Laurent Bessière , responsible for performance at the Stade de Reims , is more enthusiastic: “We use chewing gum in games, minutes before jumping onto the field before the first and second half. The objective is to generate a shot of energy after a period of calm and concentration. As the season passed, it became a small ritual followed by the whole team, ”he told the newspaper.

In sofoot.com he added: «It is clear that caffeine has an impact , notably in positions that require a lot of skill and concentration. I think of the goalkeepers ». They arrived at the locker room of the Princes Park under the influence of Martin Buchheit , head of PSG performance and a training specialist with high intensity intervals. Caffeine is not on the AMA banned substance list. But in the case of " products under surveillance ".

In 2011, at the University of Waseda (Japan) , half a hundred men and women between the ages of 21 and 69 who were running on a running track chewing gum were monitored. Two 1.5g gums and three calories increased his heart rate: they traveled more distance and faster. Then, they repeated the experiment by supplying them with the same substance but in powder, drunk with a glass of water. The returns were poorer.

What if the gum effect does not come only from caffeine but from chewing ? One study, The effects of chewing gum in reaction time , published in 2008, came to corroborate it. Its author is Keiichi Ishigami , from the dentistry department of the Tokyo College of Dentists. In summary, chewing increases the blood flow that goes to the central lobe of the brain, and therefore the oxygen available to the cells of this brain region, responsible for decision making. This Wednesday, Madrid measures the power of caffeine and chewing.

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