Shorts: Bottled bacteria

Hands up if you rinse your sports bottle out with hot water and detergent after every use. Me neither. And if research from the University of Calgary in Canada is anything to go by, we filthmongers are not alone. In a study, more than a third of water bottles tested showed bacterial contamination. Ugh. If yours resides almost permanently in your gym bag, it's time to come clean. The researchers recommend a hot soapy wash followed by a thorough rinse (that's the bottle, not you) and air-dry with the lid off. Or buy a new one and promise to clean up your act in future.

Clothing revival

Let me introduce you to the next big thing in sportswear: recovery clothing. 'It increases bloodflow, assists the removal of lactic acid and, ultimately, allows you to play hard and recover quicker,' says Mark Gladwin, managing director of recovery clothing brand LineBreak. He would, wouldn't he? But Gladwin isn't alone in singing the praises of 'gradient compression' garments. Studies from Pennsylvania State University suggest they really do aid recovery, while ongoing research at the Australian Institute of Sport is positive enough to have persuaded the Aussie rugby team to don tights. In sporting terms, 'recovery' has two meanings: how well you recover between repeated exertions (such as between sets in weight training) and how well you recover from an entire session. LineBreak claims to help with both. 'It won't make you jump higher, but it will help you jump the same height more times,' says Gladwin. 'And you will feel less fatigued and sore the following day.' Providing, that is, you sleep in your LineBreak garments. You may scoff, but I slept in the full-length tights after an eight-mile run and I was full of bounce the next day. Sadly, they don't come in tartan flannelette. Items range from £29.99-£49.99 (01926 813749,

The great indoors

Ironically, the Outdoors Show - from March 17-19 at Birmingham's NEC - takes place indoors. But that hasn't stopped it offering everything from canoeing, scuba diving and mountain-biking to a 15 metre stalactite or an ice wall for you to climb. You can also witness the British leg of the Bouldering World Cup - in which equipment-free climbers tackle routes against the clock - or have a sit-down while speakers including Sir Ranulph Fiennes, Sir Chris Bonington and Ben Fogle remind you just how tame and small your life is. Call 0870 010 9086 for tickets (


I like swimming goggles to do three things: keep the water out, stay fog-free and leave me without unattractive panda eyes. The new Eagle goggle from Aqua Sphere ( gets a tick in all boxes (it's been nominated for Best Designed Sports Kit in the Sport Industry Awards). The Eagle costs £14.99 and comes with two sets of lenses - clear, for in the pool, and tinted, for outdoor swimming. And it offers 180° vision, so you can see what's coming - skewwhiff swimmers, lost whales, that sort of thing ... Call 01254 278873 for stockists.

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