Do female rugby players consume enough fluid throughout a match to prevent the occurance of dehydration in a laboratory testing proceedure?
Cardiff Metropolitan University
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Increased participation of females in rugby has called for research into the physiological demands that such a sport places on the female body. The coneept of dehydration is an under researched issue in team sports, therefore it is the aim of this study to look at the volumes of fluid that female collegiate rugby players consume during a match, and compare this volume with an optimal volume put forth by the American College of Sports Medicine (2000)' Experimenf 1 looked at changes in body mass and the volumes of fluid consumed during three games of rugby. The starting fifteen members of a collegiate rugby team were weighed prior to each match, instructed to drink out of their own drinks bottle, and following each game those who participated in a full eighty minutes were re-weighed and the volumes they consumed measures. The mean changes in body mass observed were -0.45 kilograms (s + 0.52), md the mean volume of fluid consumed was 0.593 litres (s + 0'280). Experiment 2, was a rugby specific treadmill protocol lasting fofy minutes employed to compare the mean volume consumed by players during a game to an optimal volume of 0.75 litres (American College of Sports Medicine 2000). Six subjects were tested for any changes that may occur in the physiological parameters of body mass, heart rate, skin temperature, and oxygen consumption. A significant difference (P < 0.05) was observed for body mass loss before and after, and heart rate during the final twenty minutes of the protocol. No significant difference was observed for skin temperature or oxygen consumption. By consuming increased volumes of fluid players displayed lower body mass losses, this indicated the need to improve the hydration techniques employed by female rugby players. This may be carried out through educating players and improving the palpabitity of fluids, however there is a need for further research into the area of dehydration in rugby and all team sports.
BSc (Hons) Sport, PE and Recreation
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