Graduation Year

2010

Document Type

Thesis

Degree

M.A.

Degree Granting Department

Physical Education and Exercise Science

Major Professor

Bill Campbell, Ph.D.

Co-Major Professor

Marcus Kilpatrick, Ph.D.

Committee Member

Candi Ashley, Ph.D.

Keywords

agility, speed, sports nutrition, recovery aid, sport specific performance

Abstract

Collegiate athletes are always looking for ways to improve their performance. Resistance training has been incorporated into most collegiate athletic programs for this very reason. In order to improve strength, lean body mass, and exercise performance, resistance exercise and timely protein ingestion must be followed. Incorporating protein ingestion into a resistance training routine has been shown to improve net protein balance. Milk protein is gaining popularity as an ergogenic aid. There has been growing interest in the potential use of bovine milk (cow’s milk) as an exercise beverage, especially during recovery from resistance training and endurance sports. No studies have been conducted comparing fat free chocolate milk and low fat chocolate milk on muscular strength and body composition in collegiate softball players.

The purpose of the present study was to investigate whether fat free chocolate milk and low fat chocolate milk ingested after resistance exercise improves common performance assessments of collegiate softball players. Specifically, the performance assessments were the vertical jump test, 20-yard sprint, and the agility t-test. The participants were randomized according to strength and bodyweight, in a double blind experimental design. The 18 female, collegiate softball players (18.5 ± .7 yrs; 65.7 ± 1.8

inches; 156.2 ± 21.6 kg) ingested either fat free chocolate milk or low fat chocolate milk immediately after resistance exercise workouts for an 8-week period. Dependent variables included vertical jump test, 20-yard sprint test and agility t-test. The data was analyzed via a paired samples t-test (to detect difference across both groups over the eight week training period) and an independent samples t-test (to detect differences between the groups) using SPSS for Windows 15.0. No statistically significant differences were found in the vertical jump, 20 yard sprint, or agility t-test between the fat free chocolate milk group and the low fat chocolate milk group.

The major, statistical, finding of this study is that the consumption of commercially available fat free chocolate milk versus low fat chocolate milk drink does not produce improvements in exercise performance in conjunction with an eight week periodized, resistance training program in collegiate softball players. The difference of 10 grams of fat (two servings per container) did not alter any of the performance variables (20 yard sprint, vertical jump or agility t-test).

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