WHILE the use of CurraNZ gathers apace amongst professional footballers in the UK, it is also gaining popularity with referees, who have brutal schedules too.
International referee Matthew Conger regards CurraNZ as a ‘vital’ supplement for his globe-trotting job, with his view reinforced after officiating at the Chinese Super League and opening round of the Saudi MBS Pro League.
Refereeing in temperatures of up to 45 degrees, in his words, he says CurraNZ, was a ‘game changer’ for helping him perform in the extreme heat.
He says: “Factoring in travel, I refereed six professional football matches in 14 days, with four across the last five days and CurraNZ helped me perform and cope with the conditions.
"Each match was different in its own way and I am pleased to say all were very successful performances from a refereeing standpoint.”
To prepare for the trip from his New Zealand base in the depths of the Southern Hemisphere winter, Matthew had ten days of heat chamber acclimatisation to get ready for the extreme summer temperatures he’d experience on the 16-day tour.
He says: “CurraNZ played an important role in preparations for the trip and of course throughout the cycle of pre-match, match and post-match training, recovery and travel.
"I doubled up on my blackcurrant for the heat chamber activity and, with this heat acclimatisation preparation, was able to perform at my peak in temperatures that ranged from 33 degrees and 85% humidity in China to 45 degrees and 15% humidity in Saudi.”
The anti-inflammatory properties of CurraNZ help prevent exertional heat stress, which is affects many athletes when exercising in hot conditions. With blood flow being diverted away from the gut to cope with the additional stress that heat places on the body, the resulting inflammation can cause a range of upper and lower gastric distress symptoms that affect performance - and can be dangerous if not managed properly. (Full story here)
Having travelled to matches in Beijing, Shenzhen, Shanghai, Riyadh, Qassim and Majmah, Matthew says: “I can also attest to CurraNZ’s immunity-boosting properties as I have stayed healthy through travel, hotel life, a change in diet and environmental factors.”
With the OFC Olympic qualifiers looming soon, Matthew will again be hoping to referee at next year's Tokyo Olympics.
He says: “I head off for three weeks in Fiji mid-September for an important qualifying tournament for Tokyo 2020.
“Performing in hot and humid weather will again be a factor, with matches every couple of days and CurraNZ will again play a vital role to my performance in difficult conditions. It continues to be a fantastic game-changer.”