This study determined the fluid balance of elite female basketball players before and during competition. Before and during 2 international games, 17 national-level players (age 24.2 ± 3 yr, height 180.5 ± 6 cm, mass 78.8 ± 8 kg) were assessed. Fluid-balance assessment included pregame hydration level as determined by urine specific gravity (USG), change in body mass during the game, ad libitum intake of water or sports drink, and estimated sweat losses. Mean (± SD) USG before Game 1 was 1.005 ± 0.002 and before Game 2 USG equaled 1.010 ± 0.005. Players lost an average of 0.7% ± 0.8% and 0.6% ± 0.6% of their body mass during Games 1 and 2, respectively. In each game, 3 players experienced a fluid deficit >1% of body mass, and 1 other, a fluid deficit >2%. Sweat losses in both games, from the beginning of the warm-up to the conclusion of the game (~125 min with average playing time 16–17 min), were approximately 1.99 ± 0.75 L. Fluid intake in Game 1 and Game 2 equaled 77.8% ± 32% and 78.0% ± 21% of sweat losses, respectively. Most players were hydrated before each game and did not become meaningfully dehydrated during the game. It is possible that the players who experienced the highest levels of dehydration also experienced some degree of playing impairment, and the negative relationship between change in body mass and shooting percentage in Game 2 provides some support for this notion.
Jason P. Brandenburg and Michael Gaetz
Jason P. Brandenburg and Luisa V. Giles
Blueberries are abundant with anthocyanins possessing antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties. As these properties combat fatigue and promote recovery, blueberry supplementation may enhance performance and recovery. Thus, the objectives were to examine the effects of two blueberry supplementation protocols on running performance, physiological responses, and short-term recovery. Using a randomized, double-blind, placebo (PLA)-controlled crossover design, 14 runners completed an 8-km time trial (TT) after supplementation with 4 days of blueberries (4DAY), 4 days of a PLA, or 2 days of placebo followed by 2 days of blueberries (2DAY). Heart rate and ratings of perceived exertion were monitored during the TT. Blood lactate, vertical jump, reactive strength index, and salivary markers were assessed before and after. No significant differences were observed for time to complete the TT (PLA: 3,010 ± 459 s; 2DAY: 3,014 ± 488 s; 4DAY: 3,011 ± 423 s), heart rate, ratings of perceived exertion, or any of the salivary markers. An interaction effect (p = .027) was observed for blood lactate, with lower post-TT concentrations in 4DAY (5.4 ± 2.0 mmol/L) than PLA (6.6 ± 2.5 mmol/L; p = .038) and 2DAY (7.4 ± 3.4 mmol/L; p = .034). Post-TT decreases in vertical jump height were not different, whereas the decline in reactive strength index was less following 4DAY (−6.1% ± 13.5%) than the other conditions (PLA: −12.6% ± 10.1%; 2DAY: −11.6% ± 11.5%; p = .038). Two days of supplementation did not influence performance or physiological stress. Although 4 days of supplementation did not alter performance, it blunted the increase in blood lactate, perhaps reflecting altered lactate production and/or clearance, and offset the decrease in dynamic muscle function post-TT, as indicated by the reactive strength index differences.