A. Vahk, C. Brewer, K. Taylor

Eastern Washington University, Cheney, WA

Athletes often overlook the psychological and physiological importance of recovery nutrition in athletic performance. Little research has investigated the role of recovery nutrition on perceived exertion in college athletes. PURPOSE: To examine the perceived and physiological effects of regular, whole food, recovery nutrition on session rating of perceived exertion (RPE) and body composition in collegiate athletes. METHODS: Female tennis players (n=8, age 20.1±1.4 years; weight 66.8±6.9 kg) volunteered for the 8-week study during their competitive season. Air displacement plethysmography was used to estimate fat mass (FM) and fat-free mass (FFM) at baseline, 4-week, and end of the 8-week intervention. Seven training sessions (60 min), consisting of high intensity strength and power exercises, were performed during each 4-week phase of the study. Athletes continued their normal pattern during the first 4-weeks (T1) and were provided with standardized recovery nutrition at the conclusion of each training session for the second 4-weeks (T2). RPE on a scale of 0-10 was reported immediately after each training session. Recovery nutrition consisted of a 3” red apple, 7” banana, 1.05 oz. peanut butter spread, and an 85g bagel or 99g gluten-free bagel. Nutritional composition for a standard snack bag was 680kcal, 106g carbohydrate, 17.8g protein, 24.7g fat, while a gluten-free snack bag totaled 740kcal, 107g carbohydrate, 18.8g protein, 31.7g fat. Participants were instructed to consume all foods within an hour of the training session. Repeated measures ANOVA was used to examine changes in session RPE and body composition over time. RESULTS: There was a main effect of recovery nutrition on session RPE (p<0.001) with a lower RPE reported in T2 (3.53±1.24) than T1 (4.50±1.44). FM and FFM decreased 0.05kg and 0.28kg, respectively; however, changes were not significant (p>0.05). Athletes reported an increased quality of training with recovery nutrition. CONCLUSION: Four weeks of recovery nutrition resulted in a ~10% decrease in session RPE in female tennis players. Further, athletes perceived they trained harder during the sessions with recovery nutrition. Future research would be beneficial to determine the direct effects of recovery nutrition on performance.

Supported by EWU’s Start Something Big Grant - 7F16.

This document is currently not available here.