That Spitting Thing at the World Cup? It’s Probably ‘Carb Rinsing’

Players take a swig, swish it around and then spit it out. They’re playing a trick on their brains.

Comments: 40

  1. This isn't new news guys. Have you seen an NFL game? I'm a long way from a pro athlete and have seen this done for a long time. Beer league "athletes" do the same thing. Whether they know the brain science behind it is unknown.

  2. If brain can be fooled to make positive physiological changes by carb washing, then what is the impact of artificial sweeteners on physiology? Sugar free is exploding in every product from toothpaste to candies. Are we destroying our carb metabolism with their overuse?

  3. Exactly. After drinking diet sodas for years i stopped cold turkey- just water or coffee\tea (black). Lost 15 lbs. Stopped tricking my brain that sugar was coming and it stopped hoarding it when it did. I am no doctor but this is my experience

  4. The body is a series of feedback systems. Lift weights, feedback causes the body adds muscle and bone. Stop lifting, and the body loses bone and muscle. Consume artificial sweeteners, the body generates excess insulin. (Excess in the sense that there is no corresponding boost of sugar in the blood for it to process.) Do it enough, feedback will cause the body to stop producing insulin in response to sugar signals.

  5. The trials with students is most interesting if it would improve the efficacy of studying as well as test scores on exams. Of course, that would require bringing back spittoons to libraries and other study venues. Would students be required to bring their own spittoons and, if not, who would be required to empty those provided by the school? These are hard questions for hard times.

  6. Maybe the students could use those little plastic pails used by children at the beach. Just be sure to bring a roll of paper towels for the inevitable spills, and disinfectant wipes for cleanups, and asthma inhalers for those who become breathing-impaired when in the presence of wipes, and baggies to put the wipes in should there not be trash cans nearby. See, that wasn't so hard...

  7. Yesterday, there was an article about soccer players who immediately put their hands on top of their heads when they miss a shot.

    Today there is an article about soccer players who drink or rinse their mouths with water and then spits it out (with graphic photos to boot).

    At the rate and downward direction these discussions are going, I wonder what tomorrow and the days to follow will reveal and illuminate?

    In the end, I simply enjoy these informative articles because they are a nice break from the painstaking political petulance practically occurring on an hourly basis.

  8. Well, as an aside, I get the urge to spit when I see Trump give one of his rally speeches. That audience will only learn the hard way, maybe not even then.

  9. I have been amazed by how often baseball players spit. I was watching a Yankees game a while back, and Alfonso Soriano was at the plate. He called time and stepped out of the batter's box, and as he was stepping back in, he spit 8 times. You have to be impressed with that level of spitting talent.

    But now that the game has all but gotten rid of chewing tobacco, it's all about sunflower seeds. I hate seeing all the shell spitting going on. The players just spew shells everywhere. Can someone please stop this? Yuck.

  10. It's gross, but it's far less gross than seeing a stream of tobacco-colored saliva, which is usually dribbled out so as to not dislodge the chaw. Talk about disgusting...

  11. What you describe Soriano doing is not spitting talent — it’s spitting stamina.

  12. personally i would rather not watch people spit stuff out of their mouths. can't stand to watch baseball players spit, or spit out sunflower seed hulls, and i would be a lunatic if i had to sit on the bench next to someone who chews gum as vigorously as some of them do. had a male nurse during a recent hospital stay who chewed gum and kept sticking it out between his lips. i couldn't even look at him. Miss Manners used to say one should never let anyone see what's in your mouth, and i would add, also what comes out of it.

  13. Miss Manners never led the peloton...

  14. Placebo effect?? Ritual effect?? Comfort effect??either can be very strong. Small sips of water when I am mouth-breathing at nite make my mouth feel better and I can sleep.

    (Ritual effects bother me. The others I can deal with.)

  15. Next, discussion of players bathroom habits, with equally graphic pictures and several pages long.

    The mouth rinsing subject could have been adequately covered in a paragraph.

  16. Let’s hope this visually vile habit doesn’t percolate to the millions of children who play sports on school property and public playgrounds. Whatever infinitesimal advantage accrues should be leveled by school authorities who should ban its use.

  17. Not just a visual - but if extended beyond the playing fields, spitting is a public health hazard. Too many folks don't understand why spitting in public places is not just uncouth but unhealthy.

  18. Makes me wonder if scientists should be developing a carb wash dunk tank for the next World Cup to combat the desert heat of Qatar?

  19. Wow. Did this really warrant a whole article? Been thoroughly impressed with the NYT coverage of the World Cup as an American outlet, but this article goes someway to proving that you're not fully football savvy.

    Also people who are offended by this need to be more worried that kids are so easily swayed by the habits of those on the telly. Bring them up correctly and I'm sure they won't be spitting like that during normal non-sporting activities.

  20. Interesting but what I would really like to know is why some guys can't find his open teammate.

  21. @sr

    I LOVE your comment. It was my favorite. So funny and so true.

  22. I thought they did that because they can't leave the field to use the "facilities" - surprised this part of the intake (the outtake) wasn't addressed in the article....

    For a laugh one should check out the BBC I player app and listen to the radio show Dead Ringer!

  23. The article about "That Spitting Thing at the World Cup? It's Probably 'Carb Rinsing' " I read and it was very interesting. I was surprised about the science behind why possibly athletes go and spit out water instead of ingesting it into their body. I am very surprised that it actually is to get an "extra boost of energy" as the Times calls it and helps prevent the body's thought of giving up and feeling out of energy. This tack-tick tricks the brain in a way to think it was just fueled with energy and nutrients. I feel like if teens hear about this news or athletes then they could be very successful or even better. This exercise could also improve students that feel tired in the morning and are about to walk into the classroom. So if your a student, teacher, athlete, or someone that needs energy, I recommend reading this article and taking it for granted. Thank you NY Times for providing this article!- Gabe Hunt, Maumee Valley Country Day School

  24. The joke is that the only side effect would be cavities? Hmmm, I don’t think cavities are a great thing. My mouth feels awful when I drink anything sugary. I rinse after with water and brush my teeth later. I can’t stand that feeling. It’s good I’m not a professional athlete I guess.

  25. Must be a slow news day!

  26. When you drink Coco-Cola in particular, it has an essence or an after taste or pre taste while you sip it, just as Dr. Pepper has its own signature taste. I was able to replicate Coco-Cola taste with a Fruit called Kokum fruit, it looks like Cranberry and tastes exactly like coco-cola and being completely natural.

  27. Penicillin, insulin, testosterone
    Zika virus, plague, tobacco, cocaine, opium.
    Peanuts, bee stings, gluten

    All natural

  28. This is nothing new. Watch the sidelines during an NFL game and players do it all the time

  29. Interesting. I'll admit to thinking about this just the other day while watching a baseball game. Why do men, in general spit, whether on the sports field or on city streets while women don't? In New York, spitting is not just a crime of manners; it's against the law. As I understand it, it was adopted to prevent the spread of disease,

  30. Spitting in a shared space is a signal of contempt and disregard for others who share the space. This may have advantages in terms of gamesmanship similar to trash-talking. Fouling the pitch in this manner should be considered poor sportsmanship at any level of play.

  31. There’s another reason. It’s actually cooling you off. The water absorbs heat.

  32. I remember my uncle telling me exactly this that he was taught in the Army in WWII to do on hikes.

  33. Surprisingly not mentioned, that the saliva/mucus in your mouth during strenuous exercise can get really thick and it fells great to get rid of it rather than swallow it. (Old school gymnasiums have spit stations next to the water cooler.) While some of the World Cup athletes may be doing purposefully for carb rinsing, some probably just want a good reprieve from a bad tasting mouth.

  34. This isn't a new thing for cyclists. I've taken a swig of Coca-cola, swished, and spit. It works! I think that's why they frequently have the small 8-oz cans at the rest stops, they realize cyclists aren't really drinking them.

    Also, I would never drink full-sugar coke; yuck.

  35. Don’t boxers already do this?

  36. Thank the tennis gods that there is no spitting in professional tennis!!

  37. It may be the brain, it may be science, but at the end of the day, it’s a filthy, disgusting habit in sports. Leaving the aesthetics of it aside, spitting spreads disease.

    How come we never see basketball players — arguably the hardest-working players of any sport in the world — spit?

  38. Boxers do this between rounds and the trainers encourage it. However, isn't it just water? I presume thirst sensors can be fooled too? Your thoughts?

  39. Uh..... when you workout in heat for more than 30 minutes you get gross thick saliva mucous stuff going on. You rinse your mouth rather than swallow it. Then you take some small sips of water that aren’t tainted with your mouth sludge. Times staff not the sporting type?

  40. Interesting find, this article is, following their exit. England looked like they needed to ingest quite a bit of energy against Croatia. So leggy in the 2nd half!

    But, most of us in my running group do this when running long milage especially when it's hot. Swooshing and ingesting feels better, helps manage how much the stomach can take at a time ... for long distances.