The influence of fluid ingestion on metabolism and soccer skills following intermittent high intensity shuttle running
The impact of fatigue on the intermittent high intensity exercise undertaken during participation in team sports has not been extensively studied. Team sports are characterised not only by intennittent exercise, but also by the contribution of a wide range of skills. This thesis describes a series of studies conducted in a controlled environment to assess the influence of fluid ingestion and fatigue on selected soccer skills. The aim of the first study was to examine the effect of 90-min of high intensity shuttle running with and without water ingestion on a socc er-dribb ling test. The subjects were allocated to two randomly assigned trials either ingesting or abstaining from fluid intake during a 90 min intennittent exercise protocol (Loughborough Intermittent Shuttle Test: LIST). In the absence of water ingestion soccer skill deteriorated (p < 0.05) by 5% but was maintained when fluid was ingested. The principal aim of the second study was to understand further the mechanisms contributing to the deterioration observed during the LIST. Subjects completed the LIST ingesting a 6.4% carbohydrate electrolyte solution (CHO), placebo (CON) or no fluid (NON). Free fatty acids, cortisol and aldosterone responses were lower (P < 0.01) at the end of exercise during both CHO and CON in comparison to NON. There was no difference in respiratory exchange ratio between trials. Fluid ingestion did not appear to cause a shift in substrate metabolism even though there were differences in plasma FFA concentrations. The consumption of carbohydrate during exercise has been shown to increase physical performance, capacity and cognitive function. The aim of the third study was to assess the influence of a 6.4 % carbohydrate-electrolyte (CHO) placebo (CON) or no fluid (NON) on passing and dribbling soccer skills following the LIST. During the NON trial performance of the dribbling test followed a similar pattern to that in the first study and performance of the passing test decreased (p < 0.05). This reduction in performance was prevented during the CHO and CON trials. The purpose of the final study was to identify whether a rehydration strategy following the LIST would result in a recovery of skill performance. Subjects were allocated to two randomly assigned trials either ingesting a volume of fluid equivalent to 150% (L) or 9% (S) of body mass loss during the LIST, over a2h recovery period. During the recovery period serum sodium and osmolality returned to resting concentrations in the L trial but remained elevated in the S trial (P < 0.05). Despite body mass returning to resting values following the rehydration period, performance of the skills tests remained impaired. Deterioration in skill test performance may have been related to a reduction in neuromuscular control either by a reduction in muscle glycogen or by an increase in muscle damage during the no fluid trials. The mechanism responsible for the deterioration in skill performance remains to be elucidated.