Effects of a Vented Mouthguard on Performance and Ventilation in a Basketball Field Setting.

Author:Schulze, Antina
Position:Letter to editor
 
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Dear Editor-in-chief

Mouthguards (MG) have possible effects on performance and breathing. Due to the use of MG some studies reported increases in aerobic capacity, or decreases in cardio-respiratory parameters (Bailey et al., 2015; Garner, 2015; Piero et al., 2015). Other studies found no relevant effects (Bourdin et al., 2006; Collares et al., 2014; Golem et al., 2017). However, previous studies are inconsistent with respect to their designs and with regard to the special requirements of team ball sports. For these reasons, we would like to use this letter to the editor to report new results investigating cardiorespiratory parameters without and with a mouthguard measured in a highly specific basketball course.

We recruited ten professional male first league basketball players (age: 25.1 [+ or -] 4.6 years, height: 1.99 [+ or -] 0.1 m, weight: 99.6 [+ or -] 14.4 kg) who were free of injuries, and any orthopedic, metabolic, or cardiorespiratory diseases. The subjects completed a basketball specific course (BSC) at medium and high load with and without a "vented" boil-and-bite "Nike adult max intake" mouthguard (Nike, Beaverton, OR, USA; VentMG) in a randomized order. The tests were performed on one day. The highly specific basketball course included all relevant elements of a game based on the statistics of the National Basketball League (NBA, season 2013/2014; Schulze et al., 2017). The running distance between the course elements was set according to the average mileage of the players during a game. An audio signal paced the duration of rounds and breaks. The target speed was set by marks on the ground, which had to be reached in the moment of the signal. According to pre-tests, the measuring error was less than 1 second per round. The mean test duration was 14 minutes. The medium intensity load (Test 1) corresponded to the average of the NBA games. For the high intensity level (Test 2), the intensities were increased by 20%, and breaks reduced by 24%. Each test consisted of four runs (run 1 - 4 and run 5 - 7), and each run consisted of two rounds (Table 1). Heart rate (HR), oxygen uptake (V[O.sub.2]), ventilation (VE), tidal volume (VT), breathing rate (BR), carbon dioxide output ([VCO.sub.2]) were all recorded continuously. The spiroergometric data ([K4b.sup.2], Cosmed, Italy) were measured breath-by-breath. The V[O.sub.2] and [VCO.sub.2] values were calculated from the end-expiratory gas concentrations and ventilation. The ventilation...

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