How cold weather could affect Super Bowl athletes - WCAX.COM Local Vermont News, Weather and Sports-

How cold weather could affect Super Bowl athletes

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NEW YORK -

The Seattle Seahawks and Denver Broncos will make history Sunday even before the first snap. For the first time, a Super Bowl is being played outdoors in a cold-weather city.

"Biggest injury I fear in cold weather are calf or hamstring pulls," said Dr. Robert Gotlin, an orthopedic and sports rehab specialist at Mount Sinai Beth Israel.

That's because muscles get tight in low temperatures.

Gotlin says a player's strength and reaction time can also be affected.

"When you are slowing down, you are more prone to injury. You can get hit harder, you can have an injury to your legs, to your arms," Gotlin said.

The winter weather may also increase the incidence of butter fingers.

"What we may see is the inability to grab the ball tightly because the fingers are numb or cold," Gotlin said.

And even when temperatures drop, it's important for athletes to drink lots of fluids. The body has to work harder to stay warm and that can make players dehydrated.

Because of players increased endorphins during the game doctors say athletes may not feel pain if they get hurt, so they may be less likely to report injuries.

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