• Is the best recovery drink already in your fridge? The effect of milk post-exercise on subsequent performance among female Gaelic football players aged 16-18 years.

      Nicholas, Ceri; O'Donovan, Caroline (University of Chester, 2016-06)
      Background: The beneficial role of milk and milk-based products in the area of recovery nutrition has been reported in the literature; with milk’s natural nutritional composition addressing the main priorities of recovery suggested as the mechanism for its effectiveness. However, no studies exist to date investigating this potential benefit among female, adolescent athletes. Objective: To investigate the effectiveness of milk post-exercise on subsequent performance among female Gaelic football players aged 16-18 years. Methods: In this randomised, counter-balanced, cross-over study, ten participants (age 16.5 ± 0.6 years; height 166.4 ± 6.9 cm, body weight 58.2 ± 9.2 kg) completed two trials consisting of a typical training session, consumption of a test drink (500 mL of milk [M] or 500 mL of water [CON]) followed by a 2 hour (2-h) recovery, after which performance indicators were measured: countermovement jump height [CJH]; drop jump [DJ]; and 20 metre sprint [20-m]. Results: No significant (p>0.05) difference was observed between M and CON for: CJH (35.7 ± 8.5 cm; 34.9 ± 5.3 cm, respectively; p=0.603); or DJ (36.4 ± 7.9 cm; 36.4 ± 5.1 cm, respectively; p=0.971). A significant (p=0.02) difference for 20-m sprint speed was reported between M (3.85 ± 0.35 s) and CON (4.02 ± 0.32 s). Conclusion: This study demonstrates a role for milk – a natural, accessible, affordable and calcium-rich beverage – post-exercise among female Gaelic football players aged 16-18 years for improving subsequent sprint performance. This is of particular 63 relevance for this cohort who has the highest calcium requirements and, concurrently, the highest calcium insufficiencies of the Irish population. Future studies should include larger sample sizes with expansion to explore potential roles among male adolescents and across a variety of sports and competitive levels.