Charles Sturt University
Charles Sturt University

School of Human Movement Alumni Update | 2014

School of Human Movement Alumni Update

Carbohydrate sports drinks no performance aid

Carbohydrate sports drinks no performance aid

Recently published joint research by scientists at CSU and the Federal University of Minas Gerais in Brazil shows that carbohydrate beverages as a sport performance enhancement aid have no effect, and can be detrimental in some instances.

Professor Frank Marino, Head of the CSU School of Human Movement Studies in Bathurst, said the findings are so controversial it was always going to be difficult to publish the findings. 

The study, titled 'The effect of double-blind carbohydrate ingestion during 60 kilometres of self-paced exercise in warm ambient conditions', was published in the journal PLOS One - Public Library of Science in August 2014.

"We went for an open access journal so that the information would be freely available rather than be hidden elsewhere," Professor Marino said. 

"Editors of other journals were extremely reluctant to publish what they considered were 'negative findings', meaning they were possibly contrary to popular wisdom."

This study used a complex standardised laboratory-based methodology to evaluate double-blind ingestions of either a placebo or a six per cent carbohydrate, either as capsules or beverage, by 10 well-trained male athletes during 60 kilometres self-paced cycling in the heat (32°C and 50 per cent relative humidity). 

The subjects completed four separate 60-kilometre time trials punctuated by one kilometre sprints (at 14, 29, 44, 59 kilometres) while ingesting either a capsule or beverage form of placebo or carbohydrates.

"We conclude that carbohydrate ingestion is of little or no benefit as a beverage compared with placebo during 60-kilometre time trials in the heat," Professor Marino said. 

"Since subjects in our study were well-trained competitive athletes, our findings and those of others suggest that individuals competing in events lasting up to two hours are not likely to gain an advantage by supplementing with carbohydrate during exercise. 

"As the difference in time to complete the 60-kilometre time trial in the heat was not improved with ingestion of carbohydrate as either beverage or capsule compared with placebo, it appears that given the opportunity to self-pace over a long duration, externally derived (exogenous) carbohydrate availability might play little or no role in improving performance in fed subjects. "This would not be news to the sports drink industry, given they are now marketing calorie-free drinks. Since sports drinks are supposed to provide energy, usually in the form of carbohydrates, a calorie-free drink seems a little dubious or at least disingenuous – I'm not sure why these would be better than just plain water."

Award for CSU strength and conditioning program

Award for CSU strength and conditioning program

In collaboration with the Western Region Academy of Sport (WRAS) the collaborative program for strength and conditioning interns has again received a prestigious award from the United States. 

The CSU-WRAS Strength and Conditioning Internship Program is the only program outside the US to receive the 2014/15 Strength of America Award from the National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA). 

Program coordinator Dr Stephen Bird, senior lecturer at the CSU School of Human Movement Studies, said the award is for excellence in delivery of strength and conditioning programs to high school athletes. 

"Only 19 programs received the Strength of America Award this year, and we're the only non-US program to receive it," Dr Bird said. "This is the fourth time. We also received it in 2010/11, 2012/13, and 2013/14, and we remain the only non-US institution among the award recipients. 

"In addition, our undergraduate Bachelor of Exercise Science degree which includes Strength and Conditioning subjects has been approved as an NSCA Recognised Strength and Conditioning Program. Our undergraduate degree is one of only three university programs in Australia to be recognised. 

The program involves final-year CSU exercise science students doing internships which provide scientific knowledge and programming expertise, allowing them to train youth athletes systematically and safely to improve sports performance and reduce the risk of injury. The interns provide individualised strength and conditioning programs for WRAS squad athletes. 

"Completion of the Strength and Conditioning Internship Program provides interns with proficient skills and knowledge they require as early-career strength and conditioning professionals," Dr Bird said. "Interns complete 500 hours of professional placement during which they develop advanced planning and coaching of physical skills such as lifting, stretching and conditioning techniques." 

So far, 29 CSU students have completed the Strength and Conditioning Internship Program, after which they may be eligible for accreditation under the Australian Strength and Conditioning Association (ASCA) Professional Structure Intern scheme. Previous CSU-WRAS interns, Norm Moore (Kinros Rugby), Amanda Hopper (Warriors netball), Mitch Cameron (GWS AFL), Alex Kertesz and James Tatham (NSW Waratahs), Ben Rushton (ACT Brumbies), and Will Stuart (ARU) are now working within the strength and conditioning profession with elite teams. 

CSU student reports on Wheelchair Rugby World Championships

CSU student reports on Wheelchair Rugby World Championships


Mr Beau Greenway, who is enrolled in the double-degree Bachelor of Sport Studies / Bachelor of Communication (Journalism) in the CSU School of Human Movement Studies in Bathurst, has had an interest in Paralympic sport for many years. 

"I watched the sport on TV at the Athens Paralympic Games back in 2004 and enjoyed it right away," Mr Greenway said.

"The athletes competing in these events have overcome all kinds of adversity and are incredibly good at what they do. Unfortunately most people don't know who they are because of the lack of media coverage compared to the Olympic Games and other able-bodied events." 

Mr Greenway has been writing wheelchair rugby stories for the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) since April 2013 after he secured the volunteer writer's position through an advertisement posted on the CSU Interact site.

"Over the past year I have conducted a range of interviews via email, Skype and phone with several wheelchair rugby athletes around the world," he said. 

"In May 2014 I was contacted by the media manager of the Wheelchair Rugby World Championships who asked if I was interested in writing some stories for the championship magazine. He then offered me the chance to fly over and cover the championships live.

Dr Chelsea Litchfield, lecturer in the School of Human Movement Studies, said, "This is a fantastic opportunity for Beau and well deserved. Beau is highly competent and has made the most of his opportunities throughout the course. What is particularly admirable about this story is that Beau is focusing his attention on a sport that is not mainstream. It is also another example of how well regarded our students are in the industry. This experience will hold Beau in good stead for the early stages of his career as a sport journalist."

Mr Greenway, who is not disabled, says he would love to be involved in wheelchair rugby after he graduates. "It is a growing sport that, with enough support, has the potential to become one of the leading sports in the world," he said. "There are currently 26 nations in the official world rankings and several more that are in the process of developing a squad." 

Mr Greenway was in Denmark for two weeks and was supported by CSU Global.

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