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  • Author: Michael D. Leveritt x
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Brooke L. Devlin, Michael D Leveritt, Michael Kingsley and Regina Belski

Sports nutrition professionals aim to influence nutrition knowledge, dietary intake and body composition to improve athletic performance. Understanding the interrelationships between these factors and how they vary across sports has the potential to facilitate better-informed and targeted sports nutrition practice. This observational study assessed body composition (DXA), dietary intake (multiple-pass 24-hr recall) and nutrition knowledge (two previously validated tools) of elite and subelite male players involved in two team-based sports; Australian football (AF) and soccer. Differences in, and relationships between, nutrition knowledge, dietary intake and body composition between elite AF, subelite AF and elite soccer players were assessed. A total of 66 (23 ± 4 years, 82.0 ± 9.2 kg, 184.7 ± 7.7 cm) players participated. Areas of weaknesses in nutrition knowledge are evident (57% mean score obtained) yet nutrition knowledge was not different between elite and subelite AF and soccer players (58%, 57% and 56%, respectively, p > .05). Dietary intake was not consistent with recommendations in some areas; carbohydrate intake was lower (4.6 ± 1.5 g/kg/day, 4.5 ± 1.2 g/kg/day and 2.9 ± 1.1 g/kg/day for elite and subelite AF and elite soccer players, respectively) and protein intake was higher (3.4 ± 1.1 g/kg/day, 2.1 ± 0.7 g/kg/day and 1.9 ± 0.5 g/kg/day for elite and subelite AF and elite soccer players, respectively) than recommendations. Nutrition knowledge was positively correlated with fat-free soft tissue mass (n = 66; r 2 = .051, p = .039). This insight into known modifiable factors may assist sports nutrition professionals to be more specific and targeted in their approach to supporting players to achieve enhanced performance.

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Brandon M. Wellington, Michael D. Leveritt and Vincent G. Kelly

Context:

Repeat-high-intensity efforts (RHIEs) have recently been shown to occur at critical periods of rugby league matches.

Purpose:

To examine the effect that caffeine has on RHIE performance in rugby league players.

Methods:

Using a double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover design, 11 semiprofessional rugby league players (age 19.0 ± 0.5 y, body mass 87.4 ± 12.9 kg, height 178.9 ± 2.6 cm) completed 2 experimental trials that involved completing an RHIE test after either caffeine (300 mg caffeine) or placebo (vitamin H) ingestion. Each trial consisted of 3 sets of 20-m sprints interspersed with bouts of tackling. During the RHIE test, 20-m-sprint time, heart rate (HR), rating of perceived exertion (RPE), and blood lactate were measured.

Results:

Total time to complete the nine 20-m sprints during the caffeine condition was 1.0% faster (28.46 ± 1.4 s) than during the placebo condition (28.77 ± 1.7 s) (ES = 0.18, 90%CI –0.7 to 0.1 s). This resulted in a very likely chance of caffeine being of benefit to RHIE performance (99% likely to be beneficial). These improvements were more pronounced in the early stages of the test, with a 1.3%, 1.0%, and 0.9% improvement in sprint performance during sets 1, 2, and 3 respectively. There was no significant difference in RPE across the 3 sets (P = .47, 0.48, 1.00) or mean HR (P = .36), maximal HR (P = .74), or blood lactate (P = .50) between treatment conditions.

Conclusions:

Preexercise ingestion of 300 mg caffeine produced practically meaningful improvements in RHIE performance in rugby league players.

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Brenton J. Baguley, Jessica Zilujko, Michael D. Leveritt, Ben Desbrow and Christopher Irwin

The aim of this study was to compare the effect of ad libitum intake of a milk-based liquid meal supplement against a carbohydrate-electrolyte sports drink following exercise induced fluid loss. Seven male participants (age 22.3 ± 3.4 years, height 179.3 ± 7.9 cm, body mass 74.3 ± 7.3 kg; mean ± SD) completed 4 separate trials and lost 1.89 ± 0.44% body mass through moderate intensity exercise in the laboratory. After exercise, participants consumed ad libitum over 2 h a milk-based liquid meal supplement (Sustagen Sport) on two of the trials (S1, S2) or a carbohydrate-electrolyte sports drink (Powerade) on two of the trials (P1, P2), with an additional 1 hr observational period. Measures of body mass, urine output, gastrointestinal tolerance and palatability were collected throughout the recovery period. Participants consumed significantly more Powerade than Sustagen Sport over the 2 h rehydration period (P1 = 2225 ± 888 ml, P2 = 2602 ± 1119 mL, S1 = 1375 ± 711 mL, S2 = 1447 ± 857 ml). Total urine output on both Sustagen trails was significantly lower than the second Powerade trial (P2 = 1447 ± 656 ml, S1 = 153 ± 62 ml, S2 = 182 ± 118 mL; p < .05) and trended toward being lower compared with the first Powerade trial (P1 = 1057 ± 699 ml vs. S1, p = .067 and vs. S2, p = .061). No significant differences in net fluid balance were observed between any of the drinks at the conclusion of each trial (P1 = −0.50 ±0. 46 kg, P2 = −0.40 ± 0.35 kg, S1 = −0.61 ± 0.74 kg, S2 = −0.45 ± 0.58 kg). Gastrointestinal tolerance and beverage palatability measures indicated Powerade to be preferred as a rehydration beverage. Ad libitum milk-based liquid meal supplement results in similar net fluid balance as a carbohydrate-electrolyte sports drink after exercise induced fluid loss.

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Thomas M. Doering, James W. Fell, Michael D. Leveritt, Ben Desbrow and Cecilia M. Shing

The purpose of this study was to investigate if acute caffeine exposure via mouth-rinse improved endurance cycling time-trial performance in well-trained cyclists. It was hypothesized that caffeine exposure at the mouth would enhance endurance cycling time-trial performance. Ten well-trained male cyclists (mean± SD: 32.9 ± 7.5 years, 74.7 ± 5.3kg, 176.8 ± 5.1cm, VO2peak = 59.8 ± 3.5ml·kg–1·min–1) completed two experimental timetrials following 24 hr of dietary and exercise standardization. A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, cross-over design was employed whereby cyclists completed a time-trial in the fastest time possible, which was equivalent work to cycling at 75% of peak aerobic power output for 60 min. Cyclists were administered 25ml mouth-rinses for 10 s containing either placebo or 35mg of anhydrous caffeine eight times throughout the time-trial. Perceptual and physiological variables were recorded throughout. No significant improvement in time-trial performance was observed with caffeine (3918 ± 243s) compared with placebo mouth-rinse (3940 ± 227s). No elevation in plasma caffeine was detected due to the mouth-rinse conditions. Caffeine mouth-rinse had no significant effect on rating of perceived exertion, heart rate, rate of oxygen consumption or blood lactate concentration. Eight exposures of a 35 mg dose of caffeine at the buccal cavity for 10s does not significantly enhance endurance cycling time-trial performance, nor does it elevate plasma caffeine concentration.