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  • Author: Angela de Silva x
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Angela de Silva, Yasas Samarasinghe, Dhammika Senanayake and Pulani Lanerolle

Intake of dietary supplements is widespread among athletes in developed countries. This study evaluated the use of dietary supplements in athletes from a developing country. Dietary supplementation practices of 113 national-level athletes age 15–35 yr in Sri Lanka were assessed. All athletes from track-and-field, badminton, football, swimming, cycling, and karate squads who consented to participate in the study were administered an anonymous questionnaire by an interviewer. Information on number of supplements taken, frequency of use, nature of product, rationale, sources of advice, and reasons for taking supplements was obtained. Most athletes (94%) consumed dietary supplements. On average, 3.7 products/day were consumed. Footballers had significantly lower intake of supplements than other athletes (footballers 71%, others 98%; p < .05). They also consumed fewer products per day (footballers 0.7, others 3.5; p < .05). Popular supplements included multivitamins, vitamin E, calcium, energy foods and drinks, and creatine. Multiple supplement use was common, with 29% athletes taking 4 products/day. The athletes sought advice on supplement use from sports doctors (45%), team coaches (40%), or friends (15%). Most took supplements to improve performance (79%), and 19% claimed to take supplements to improve their overall health status. Dietary supplement use is widespread among national-level Sri Lankan athletes. The ad hoc use of supplements indicates that educational intervention in the sporting community is essential.

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Janaka P. Gamage, Angela P. De Silva, Arjan K. Nalliah and Stuart D.R. Galloway

The aim of the current study was to assess the effects of dehydration on cricket specific motor skill performance among fast-bowlers, fielders, and batsmen playing in a hot and humid environment. 10 fast-bowlers, 12 fielders and 8 batsmen participated in two field trials conducted 7 days apart: a fluid provision trial (FP) and a fluid restriction trial (FR). Each trial consisted of a 2-hr standardized training session and pretraining and posttraining skill performance assessments. Bowling speed and accuracy (line and length), throwing speed and accuracy (overarm, sidearm and underarm) and timed running between wickets (1, 2, and 3 runs) was assessed pre to posttraining in each trial. Mass loss was 0.6 ± 0.3 kg (0.9 ± 0.5%) in FP, and 2.6 ± 0.5kg (3.7 ± 0.8%) in FR trials. Maintaining mass within 1% of initial values did not cause any significant skill performance decline. However, the dehydration on the FR trial induced a significant time and trial effect for bowling speed by 1.0 ± 0.8% reduction (0.3 ± 0.8% reduction in FP trial; p < .01) and 19.8 ± 17.3% reduction in bowling accuracy for line (3.6 ± 14.2% reduction in FP trial; p < .01), but no effect on bowling length. A significant decline was noted in the FR trial for throwing speed for overarm (6.6 ± 4.1%; p < .01; 1.6 ± 3.4% reduction in FP trial) and sidearm (4.1 ± 2.3%; p < .01; 0.6 ± 4.7% increase in FP trial) techniques, and for throwing accuracy for overarm (14.2 ± 16.3%; p < .01; 0.8 ± 24.2% increase in FP trial) and sidearm (22.3 ± 13.3%; p < .05; 3.2 ± 34.9% reduction in FP trial) techniques. Batsmen demonstrated significant performance drop in making three runs (0.8 ± 1.2% increase in time in FP trial and 2.2 ± 1.7% increase in time in FR trial; p < .01). Moderate-severe dehydration of 3.7% body mass loss significantly impairs motor skill performance among cricketers, particularly bowlers and fielders, playing in hot and humid conditions. Fluid ingestion strategies maintaining mass loss within 1% prevented a decline in skill performance.