• The assessment of total energy expenditure during a 14-day ‘in-season’ period of professional rugby league players using the Doubly Labelled Water method

      Morehen, James C.; Bradley, Warren J.; Clarke, Jon; Twist, Craig; Hambly, Catherine; Speakman, John R.; Morton, James P.; Close, Graeme L.; Liverpool John Moores University; Widnes Vikings Rugby League; University of Chester; University of Aberdeen (Human Kinetics, 2016-10-31)
      Rugby League is a high-intensity collision sport competed over 80-minutes. Training loads are monitored to maximise recovery and assist in the design of nutritional strategies although no data are available on the Total Energy Expenditure (TEE) of players. We therefore assessed Resting Metabolic Rate (RMR) and TEE in six Super-League players over two consecutive weeks in-season including one-game per week. Fasted RMR was assessed followed by a baseline urine sample before oral administration of a bolus dose of hydrogen (deuterium 2H) and oxygen (18O) stable isotopes in the form of water (2H218O). Every 24 hours thereafter, players provided urine for analysis of TEE via DLW method. Individual training-load was quantified using session rating of perceived exertion (sRPE) and data were analysed using magnitude-based inferences. There were unclear differences in RMR between forwards and backs (7.7 ± 0.5 cf. 8.0 ± 0.3 MJ, respectively). Indirect calorimetry produced RMR values most likely lower than predictive equations (7.9 ± 0.4 cf. 9.2 ± 0.4 MJ, respectively). A most likely increase in TEE from week-1 to -2 was observed (17.9 ± 2.1 cf. 24.2 ± 3.4 MJ) explained by a most likely increase in weekly sRPE (432 ± 19 cf. 555 ± 22 AU), respectively. The difference in TEE between forwards and backs was unclear (21.6 ± 4.2 cf. 20.5 ± 4.9 MJ, respectively). We report greater TEE than previously reported in rugby that could be explained by the ability of DLW to account for all match and training-related activities that contributes to TEE.
    • Energy intake and expenditure assessed ‘in-season’ in an elite European rugby union squad.

      Bradley, Warren J.; Cavanagh, Bryce; Douglas, William; Donovan, Timothy F.; Twist, Craig; Morton, James P.; Close, Graeme L. (2015-06-09)
      Rugby union (RU) is a complex high-intensity intermittent collision sport with emphasis placed on players possessing high lean body mass and low body fat. After an 8 to 12-week pre-season focused on physiological adaptations, emphasis shifts towards competitive performance. However, there are no objective data on the physiological demands or energy intake (EI) and energy expenditure (EE) for elite players during this period. Accordingly, in-season training load using global positioning system and session rating of perceived exertion (sRPE), alongside six-day assessments of EE and EI were measured in 44 elite RU players. Mean weekly distance covered was 7827 ± 954 m and 9572 ± 1233 m with a total mean weekly sRPE of 1776 ± 355 and 1523 ± 434 AU for forwards and backs, respectively. Mean weekly EI was 16.6 ± 1.5 and 14.2 ± 1.2 megajoules (MJ) and EE was 15.9 ± 0.5 and 14 ± 0.5 MJ. Mean carbohydrate (CHO) intake was 3.5 ± 0.8 and 3.4 ± 0.7 g.kg-1 body mass, protein intake was 2.7 ± 0.3 and 2.7 ± 0.5 g.kg-1 body mass, and fat intake was 1.4 ± 0.2 and 1.4 ± 0.3 g.kg-1 body mass. All players who completed the food diary self-selected a 'low' CHO 'high' protein diet during the early part of the week, with CHO intake increasing in the days leading up to a match, resulting in the mean EI matching EE. Based on EE and training load data, the EI and composition seems appropriate, although further research is required to evaluate if this diet is optimal for match day performance.
    • Metabolic demands and replenishment of muscle glycogen after a rugby league match simulation protocol.

      Bradley, Warren J.; Hannon, Marcus P.; Benford, Victoria; Morehen, James C.; Twist, Craig; Shepherd, Sam; Cocks, Matthew; Impey, Samuel G.; Cooper, Robert G.; Morton, James P.; et al. (2017-02-22)
      Objectives: The metabolic requirements of a rugby league match simulation protocol and the timing of carbohydrate provision on glycogen re-synthesis in damaged muscle were examined. Design: Fifteen (mean ± SD: age 20.9 ± 2.9 y, body-mass 87.3 ± 14.1 kg, height 177.4 ± 6.0 cm) rugby league (RL) players consumed a 6 g•kg•day-1 CHO diet for 7-days, completed a time to exhaustion test (TTE) and a glycogen depletion protocol on day-3, a RL simulated-match protocol (RLMSP) on day-5 and a TTE on day-7. Players were prescribed an immediate or delayed (2-h-post) re-feed post-simulation. Methods: Muscle biopsies and blood samples were obtained post-depletion, before and after simulated match-play, and 48-h after match-play with PlayerLoad and heart-rate collected throughout the simulation. Data were analysed using effects sizes ± 90% CI and magnitude-based inferences. Results: PlayerLoad (8.0 ± 0.7 AU•min-1) and %HRpeak (83 ± 4.9%) during the simulation were similar to values reported for RL match-play. Muscle glycogen very likely increased from immediately after to 48-h post-simulation (272 ± 97 cf. 416 ± 162 mmol•kg-1d.w.; ES ± 90%CI) after immediate re-feed, but changes were unclear (283 ± 68 cf. 361 ± 144 mmol•kg-1d.w.; ES ± 90%CI) after delayed re-feed. CK almost certainly increased by 77.9 ± 25.4% (0.75 ± 0.19) post-simulation for all players. Conclusions: The RLMSP presents a replication of the internal loads associated with professional RL match-play, although difficulties in replicating the collision reduced the metabolic demands and glycogen utilisation. Further, it is possible to replete muscle glycogen in damaged muscle employing an immediate re-feed strategy.
    • Muscle glycogen utilisation during Rugby match play: Effects of pre-game carbohydrate

      Bradley, Warren J.; Morehen, James C.; Haigh, Julian; Clarke, Jon; Donovan, Timothy F.; Twist, Craig; Cotton, Caroline; Shepherd, Sam; Cocks, Matthew; Sharma, Asheesh; et al. (Elsevier, 2016-04-22)
      Objectives: Although the physical demands of Rugby League (RL) match-play are well-known, the fuel sources supporting energy-production are poorly understood. We therefore assessed muscle glycogen utilisation and plasma metabolite responses to RL match-play after a relatively high (HCHO) or relatively low CHO (LCHO) diet. Design: Sixteen (mean ± SD age; 18 ± 1 years, body-mass; 88 ± 12 kg, height 180 ± 8 cm) professional players completed a RL match after 36-h consuming a non-isocaloric high carbohydrate (n = 8; 6 g kg day−1) or low carbohydrate (n = 8; 3 g kg day−1) diet. Methods: Muscle biopsies and blood samples were obtained pre- and post-match, alongside external and internal loads quantified using Global Positioning System technology and heart rate, respectively. Data were analysed using effects sizes ±90% CI and magnitude-based inferences. Results: Differences in pre-match muscle glycogen between high and low carbohydrate conditions (449 ± 51 and 444 ± 81 mmol kg−1 d.w.) were unclear. High (243 ± 43 mmol kg−1 d.w.) and low carbohydrate groups (298 ± 130 mmol kg−1 d.w.) were most and very likely reduced post-match, respectively. For both groups, differences in pre-match NEFA and glycerol were unclear, with a most likely increase in NEFA and glycerol post-match. NEFA was likely lower in the high compared with low carbohydrate group post-match (0.95 ± 0.39 mmol l−1 and 1.45 ± 0.51 mmol l−1, respectively), whereas differences between the 2 groups for glycerol were unclear (98.1 ± 33.6 mmol l−1 and 123.1 ± 39.6 mmol l−1) in the high and low carbohydrate groups, respectively. Conclusions: Professional RL players can utilise ∼40% of their muscle glycogen during a competitive match regardless of their carbohydrate consumption in the preceding 36-h.