The effect of supplemental ketosis on rugby performance: A research report for UK Sport Innovation and the University of Oxford

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Abstract

Executive Summary This report documents the findings of a collaborative research project between the University of Bath, UK Sport Innovation, the University of Oxford and Bath Rugby. The purpose of this research was to examine the effects of acute ketone diet supplementation on elite rugby performance. In a randomised counterbalanced design, 10 Bath Rugby players ingested either ketone or a carbohydrate-based energy-matched placebo before and during a simulated rugby union match-play protocol. The intermittent exercise protocol included walking, jogging and running at pre-determined intensities, simulated contact events (including an assessment of Scrummaging Performance), and repeated assessments of sustained high-intensity speed and agility (Performance Test), and Sprint Performance (15-m Sprint). Performance Test times were significantly faster with ketone than placebo (15.53  0.52 vs. 15.86  0.80 s, P<0.05). Subsequent 15-m Sprint Performance was not significantly different between trials. Time to drive a 100-kg load 3 m on an instrumented scrummaging machine was 1.2% faster with ketone than placebo, but did not reach statistical significance. Calculation of magnitude-based inferences shows that there was a 96% and 89% likelihood that ingestion of ketone meaningfully improved Performance Test times and Scrummaging Performance, respectively, compared against the placebo.
Original languageEnglish
Number of pages7
Publication statusPublished - 27 Jun 2011

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