The effects of a 'performance enhancing' (placebo) on the performance and the rating of
Cardiff Metropolitan University
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Previous research has looked into the effects of a placebo as an ergogenic aid, the aim of the current study was to expand on the available research. The investigation was designed to discover the effect of an inert sugar free drink described as 'performance enhancing' (placebo) on peak minute power (PMP;W), during incremental arm crank ergometry (ACE). Seven healthy male rugby players, whom are non-specifically trained in the upper body volunteered to take part. Their mean age height and mass were 20.9±0.9 =years, 183.3± 6.8cm and 90.0±8.3kg, respectively. A control trial with repeated measures was used to assess the difference the introduction of the placebo caused on the following; Peak minute power (PMP;W) Oxygen uptake, Heart rate (HR), minute ventilation, respiratory exchange ratio (RER) Subjective reports of local ratings of perceived exertion (LRPE) and central rating of perceived exertion (CRPE), between two separate but identical ACE tests. The participants were asked to maintain a constant crank rate of 70 rev·min-1 whilst the wattage increased in a rank protocol of 10 (W) every minute, until the participant reached exhaustion, terminating the test. Fifteen minutes prior to the exercise the participants were required to drink 500ml of a 'sports performance' drink (placebo) or control (water). The placebo caused a statistical significant increase in PMP;W (P<0.05). However, a non-significant statistical difference (P>0.05) was revealed with physiological measurements between trials. It is thought that the belief and expectation of the participants had a potential impact on individual effort. The results show a positive impact with the ingestion of a placebo ergogenic aid on sports performance. There is much more to be researched into the placebo effect in order to broaden understanding, finding use for the placebo in the sporting world in the near future. This research can be beneficial for coaches looking to improve the motivation of athletes who have hit a performance slump. The coach can help to improve the athlete’s psychological status without having to introduce performance enhancing supplements, avoiding the accidental use of illegal substances or any possible negative side effects of the drugs.
DEGREE OF BACHELOR OF SCIENCE (HONOURS) SPORT AND PHYSICAL EDUCATION
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