The influence of carbohydrate feeding on the performance of female soccer players
University of Wales
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Past research has investigated how short-term carbohydrate supplementation can improve performance for male soccer players. The purpose of this study was to investigate if carbohydrate ingestion improves the performance of female soccer players. Fourteen competitive female soccer players (age: 21.5 ± 1 year, weight: 61.2 kg height: 1.51-m), were recruited and required to play two competitive, 11 -a –side, 90-min soccer matches. Each player consumed either a carbohydrate or placebo drink within a cross-over design. The drinks were consumed before and during the half time interval of the match. Each player was tested before and after the match using Smartspeed equipment, for 15-m sprint, the Illinois agility test and a standing vertical jump, while wearing heart rate monitors during each match. The study was analysed using two-way, repeated measures AVOVA test. Results showed, the ingestion of carbohydrate significantly (P<0.05) maintained the player’s performance during the agility test in comparison to the placebo trial. The 15-m sprint results found that post-match test times (mean 2.79 mean ± [0.08]) were significantly slower than pre-match test (mean 2.69 ± [0.02]) with no significant (P<0.05) difference between carbohydrate and placebo. The standing vertical jump test found no significance (P<0.05). The heart rate of the players significantly (P<0.05) varied during the game, but no differences were observed between the carbohydrate and placebo trials. Results suggest, ingestion of carbohydrate solutions before and during a match enabled the maintenance of performance of the agility sprint test, with a significant decrease of heart rate at the end of the second half compared to the end of the first half of the soccer match. No significant effects were observed for the performance of the standing vertical jumping or 15-m straight sprint.
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