Business Insider - Dr. Sprouse at Tour de France

CHALON-SUR-SAONE, France — Crashing is part of the Tour de France, but fortunately most of the time riders pick themselves up and continue riding. Yet even when they do, it's not always clear they should take the start the next day.

How do teams decide whether it's safe for a rider to continue?

Business Insider spoke with Kevin Sprouse, the doctor for the US-based EF Education First team, after Tejay van Garderen, the highest-placed American, crashed hard on Friday's stage seven, broke his thumb, suffered multiple cuts to his face and body, and still crossed the finish line, all before deciding not to continue racing the next day.

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Kevin Sprouse
Tour de France Nutrition and Supplementation

The Tour is here! From casual sports fans to avid cycling enthusiasts, the world tunes into France every July. Around this time each year, I receive lots of questions from patients and friends about the race and just how riders complete such a grueling three weeks. Everyone wants to know how these guys ensure they can complete - and compete - at the world’s most famous cycling event? 

For this article, I’ll focus on nutrition and supplementation. Of course, there is so much more that impacts their ability to perform at the highest level for nearly a month, but this is generally a topic that draws much attention. 

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Kevin Sprouse
Bicycling Magazine: What happens after a bike crash?

To get a better inside look at what happens after a crash, we tapped the EF Education First Pro Cycling Team’s Head of Medicine, Kevin Sprouse, who was on the scene after Craddock’s infamous crash, and American cyclist for EF Education First Pro Cycling, Nate Brown, who finished 43rd in the 2017 Tour de France, to answer all of your burning questions. As you’d expect, what happens after a crash is highly circumstantial, but here’s a rough breakdown of the events.

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Kevin Sprouse
Injuries: Time to Stop Icing?

Most of us have been taught to treat injuries using the acronym RICE - Rest, Ice, Compression, and Elevation.  In fact, this advice has become so common that it enjoys an almost mythical infallibility.  Of course you put ice on injuries, right?  That’s what we’ve done for years!  All the research shows that icing injuries…wait.  Did you know that there actually is very little evidence to support RICE?  Even more, there is mounting evidence that some components of RICE treatment might slow healing.  A 2018 consensus statement in the British Journal of Sports Medicine stated, “RICE is a conservative treatment method that has not been rigorously investigated, and the efficacy of this combination is questionable.”  That’s a very political way of saying maybe we should look for something better.

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Kevin Sprouse
Thoughts on CBD

In January of 2018, the World Anti-Doping Agency (WADA) removed cannabidiol (CBD) from its list of banned substances.  Immediately, my phone and email blew up!  Athletes were asking whether they should start taking CBD and how they should use it.

Now, a year and a half later, questions are still swirling around the utility and legality of CBD.  It is a common question I receive, and one that has now arrived in the Podium Q&A mailbox.  So, here we go…

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Kevin Sprouse
Multivitamins

I’m sure you’ve seen the headlines.  “Multivitamins Shown to be Useless.”  “Multivitamins Demonstrate No Health Benefit.”  Perhaps you’ve had a friend tell you that multivitamins only serve to give you “expensive urine”, as you’ll just pee out the vitamins you take in supplemental form.  Well, all that is true!  But like anything else, those statements require a bit of context.

Medical research studies have suggested that simply taking a daily multivitamin will not prevent heart disease.  It also will not prevent cancer, most likely, nor dementia.  And the vast majority of multivitamins on the market are cheap, poorly absorbed, and do get excreted from the body without every playing any role in metabolic processes.

So why is it that I recommend a multivitamin to a large number of my patients, both athletes and non-athletes alike?

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Kevin Sprouse