The effect of carbohydrate mouth rinsing on fencing performance and cognitive function following fatigue-inducing fencing

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Rowlatt, Georgina ; Bottoms, Lindsay ; Edmonds, Caroline J. ; Buscombe, Richard (2016)

This study investigated the impact that mouth rinsing carbohydrate solution has on skill-specific performance and reaction time following a fatigue inducing bout of fencing in epee fencers. Nine healthy, national level epee fencers visited a laboratory on 2 occasions, separated by a minimum of 5 days, to complete a 1-minute lunge test and Stroop test pre and post fatigue. Heart rate and ratings of perceived exertion (RPE) were recorded during completion of the fatiguing protocol. Between fights the participants mouth rinsed for 10 seconds, either 25ml of 6.7% maltodextrin solution (MALT) or water (PLAC). Blood lactate and glucose were recorded at baseline, pre- and post-testing. Results showed an increase in heart rate and overall RPE over time in both conditions. There were no differences in blood glucose (F(1,8)=.63, P=.4, ηp=.07) or blood lactate levels (F(1,8)=.12, P=.70, ηp=.01) between conditions as a function of time. There was a significant improvement in lunge test accuracy during the MALT trial (F(1,8)=5.21, P=.05, ηp=.40) with an increase from pre (81.2 ±8.3%) to post (87.6 ±9.4%), whereas there was no significant change during the placebo (pre 82.1 ±8.8%, post 78.8 ±6.4%). There were no recorded differences between conditions in response time to congruent (F(1,8)=.33, P=.58, ηp=.04) or incongruent stimuli (F(1,8)=.19, P=.68, ηp=.02). The study indicates that when fatigued mouth rinsing MALT significantly improves accuracy of skill-specific fencing performance but no corresponding influence on reaction time was observed.
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