The SIRC Research Award recognizes outstanding sport research in Canada. Acknowledging how sport research benefits the Canadian sporting community is the primary purpose of this award. Congratulations to all who participated.
We would like to extend our sincere thanks and appreciation to all of our judges and to the following sponsors for their tremendous support: CIHR - Institute of Musculoskeletal Health and Arthritis, EBSCO Host and Coaches of Canada.
“It is through research and learning that we improve. We are fortunate to have excellent sport researchers in Canada who continue to expand our knowledge, challenge our thinking and move us forward. The research papers submitted to this year’s SIRC Research Award are a great example of the brightest minds Canada has in the fields of sport research and e are very pleased to recognize the innovative research in both the areas of high performance sport and impact of sport on the community.” Debra Gassewitz, President and CEO SIRC
And the awards go to…
The Impact of Applied Research on Athletic Excellence - High Performance Category:
“The Effect of Dehydration on Muscle Metabolism & Cycling Performance During Prolonged Exercise in Males” - Dr. Heather Sprenger - University of Guelph
Dehydration of ~1-2% body mass (BM) loss has been shown to augment normal physiological responses to exercise compared to being hydrated and may impair endurance performance. The reality in sport is the majority of athletes arrive to exercise in a dehydrated state and only replace ~50% of sweat losses during exercise leading to significant fluid deficits and amplified physiological stress compared to arriving hydrated and drinking enough fluid throughout exercise to minimize sweat losses. This study investigated the effects of arriving to exercise in a fluid deficit (~0.6%) combined with fluid restriction during 90 min of moderate intensity cycling (~65% VO 2 peak) followed by a time trial (TT, 6 kJ/kg BM) in nine trained male cyclists (VO 2 peak = 4.4 +- 0.2 L/min ). Subjects lost 1.4%, 2.3%, and 3.1% of their BM from sweat loss incurred after 45 min, 90 min, and after the TT respectively. As the degree of dehydration increased, all measured physiological responses were significantly augmented, specifically heart rate, core temperature(Tc), rating of perceived exertion (RPE), blood & muscle lactate, total carbohydrate use, and a trend for greater muscle glycogen use. Additionally, TT performance was 13% slower when male participants were dehydrated by 2-3% BM with all physiological measures exacerbated compared to responses when hydrated.
Dr. Sprenger received her Ph.D. degree from the Department of Human Health & Nutritional Sciences at the University of Guelph, Guelph, ON. Her graduate research was funded by the Gatorade Sport Science Institute (GSSI) where Dr. Sprenger’s specialty involved investigating fluid balance before and during exercise and the effects of exercise-induced dehydration on physiological responses, substrate oxidation, muscle metabolism, and performance. Currently Dr. Sprenger applies the principles of sport physiology to many teams and athletes across the province as a Sport Physiologist and Research Lead at the Canadian Sport Institute Ontario. Being a two-sport National Team athlete herself, both in ice hockey and road cycling, Dr. Sprenger’s current research is focused on multi-disciplinary applied sport science research initiatives to improve podium potential and performance in Canadian athletes. Dr. Sprenger has published in such journals as Applied Physiology, Nutrition, & Metabolism, Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research, American Journal Physiology, Endocrinology, & Metabolism, and the International Journal of Sports Nutrition & Exercise Metabolism.