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  • Author: Alison M. Gallagher x
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Pamela Jane Magee, Alison M. Gallagher and Jacqueline M. McCormack

Although dehydration of ≥ 2% body weight (BW) loss significantly impairs endurance performance, dehydration remains prevalent among athletes and may be owing to a lack of knowledge in relation to fluid requirements. The aim of this study was to assess the hydration status of university/club level athletes (n = 430) from a range of sports/activities (army officer cadet training; bootcamp training; cycling; Gaelic Athletic Association camogie, football and hurling; golf; hockey; netball; rugby; running (sprinting and endurance); Shotokan karate and soccer) immediately before and after training/competition and to assess their nutritional knowledge. Urine specific gravity (USG) was measured immediately before and after exercise and BW loss during exercise was assessed. Nutritional knowledge was assessed using a validated questionnaire. 31.9% of athletes commenced exercise in a dehydrated state (USG >1.020) with 43.6% of participants dehydrated posttraining/competition. Dehydration was particularly prevalent (>40% of cohort) among karateka, female netball players, army officer cadets, and golfers. Golfers that commenced a competitive 18 hole round dehydrated took a significantly higher number of strokes to complete the round in comparison with their euhydrated counterparts (79.5 ± 2.1 vs. 75.7 ± 3.9 strokes, p = .049). Nutritional knowledge was poor among participants (median total score [IQR]; 52.9% [46.0, 59.8]), albeit athletes who were euhydrated at the start of exercise had a higher overall score in comparison with dehydrated athletes (55.2% vs. 50.6%, p = .001). Findings from the current study, therefore, have significant implications for the education of athletes in relation to their individual fluid requirements around exercise.

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Phillip M. Gray, Marie H. Murphy, Alison M. Gallagher and Ellen E. A. Simpson

This study explored motives and barriers to physical activity (PA) among older adults of differing socioeconomic status (SES) utilizing a self-determination theory and self-efficacy theory framework. Focus groups (n = 4) were conducted with older adults (n = 28) from two SES groups, using thematic analysis to identify motives and barriers. Integrated and identified regulations and, to a lesser extent, intrinsic motives, were evident across SES groups. Verbal persuasion and affective and physiological states emerged as prominent efficacy sources regardless of SES. More barriers were reported by the low SES group, with health conditions, neighborhood safety, and PA guidelines knowledge emerging as most salient. Time emerged as a prominent barrier for the high SES group. Integrated and identified regulations should be fostered in future interventions and policy regardless of SES. Barriers to PA varied across SES groups; thus future interventions and policy should account for such differences.