Effects of dehydration on cricket specific skill performance in hot and humid conditions



Gamage J, De Silva AP, Nalliah AK & Galloway SD (2016) Effects of dehydration on cricket specific skill performance in hot and humid conditions. International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism, 26 (6), pp. 531-541.

The aim of the present study was to assess the effects of dehydration on cricket specific motor skill performance among fast-bowlers, fielders, and batsmen playing in a hot and humid environment. 10 fast-bowlers, 12 fielders and 8 batsmen participated in two field trials conducted 7 days apart: a fluid provision trial (FP) and a fluid restriction trial (FR). Each trial consisted of a 2-hour standardized training session and pre-training and post-training skill performance assessments. Bowling speed and accuracy (line and length), throwing speed and accuracy (overarm, sidearm and underarm) and timed running between wickets (1, 2, and 3 runs) was assessed pre to post-training in each trial. Mass loss was 0.6±0.3kg (0.9±0.5%) in FP, and 2.6±0.5kg (3.7±0.8%) in FR trials. Maintaining mass within 1% of initial values did not cause any significant skill performance decline. However, the dehydration on the FR trial induced a significant time and trial effect for bowling speed by 1.0±0.8% reduction (0.3±0.8% reduction in FP trial; p<0.01) and 19.8±17.3% reduction in bowling accuracy for line (3.6±14.2% reduction in FP trial; p<0.01), but no effect on bowling length. A significant decline was noted in the FR trial for throwing speed for overarm (6.6±4.1%; p<0.01; 1.6±3.4% reduction in FP trial) and sidearm (4.1±2.3%; p<0.01; 0.6±4.7% increase in FP trial) techniques, and for throwing accuracy for overarm (14.2±16.3%; p<0.01; 0.8±24.2% increase in FP trial) and sidearm (22.3±13.3%; p<0.05; 3.2±34.9% reduction in FP trial) techniques. Batsmen demonstrated significant performance drop in making three runs (0.8±1.2% increase in time in FP trial and 2.2±1.7% increase in time in FR trial; p<0.01). Moderate-severe dehydration of 3.7% body mass loss significantly impairs motor skill performance among cricketers, particularly bowlers and fielders, playing in hot and humid conditions. Fluid ingestion strategies maintaining mass loss within 1% prevented a decline in skill performance.

Hydration; fluid balance; exercise; heat stress

International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism: Volume 26, Issue 6

Publication date31/12/2016
Publication date online2016
Date accepted by journal20/04/2016
PublisherHuman Kinetics

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Professor Stuart Galloway

Professor Stuart Galloway

Professor, Sport