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The relationship between changes in interstitial creatine kinase and game-related impacts in rugby union
  1. Daniel Smart (daniel.smart{at}wintec.ac.nz)
  1. School of Sport and Exercise Science, WINTEC, New Zealand
    1. Nicholas Gill (nicholas.gill{at}wintec.ac.nz)
    1. School of Sport and Exercise Science, WINTEC, New Zealand
      1. C Martyn Beaven
      1. School of Sport and Exercise Science, WINTEC, New Zealand
        1. Christian Cook
        1. Bioengineering Group, HortResearch, New Zealand
          1. Anthony Blazevich
          1. Centre for Sports Medicine and Human Performance, Brunel University, United Kingdom

            Abstract

            Aim: The primary purpose of this study was to investigate the relationship between the pre- to post-game changes in creatine kinase concentration (Δ[CK]) and impact related game statistics in elite rugby union players. Methods: Twenty-three elite male rugby union players each provided interstitial fluid samples obtained via Electrosonophoresis (ESoP) 210 min before and within a maximum time of 30 min after, up to five rugby union games. Specific game statistics that were deemed to be important in determining the relationship between impact and [CK] were obtained from AnalyRugby software for each individual player. Regression equations to predict Δ[CK] from game statistics were created using a backwards random-effects maximum likelihood regression. Results: The Δ[CK] (mean ± SD) from pre- to post-game was 926.8 ± 204.2 IU. Game Time and Time Defending were significantly correlated to Δ[CK] in both the forwards and backs. The predicted Δ[CK] (mean ± 95% CI) was 1439.8 ± 204.9 IU for the forwards and 545.3 ± 78.0 IU for the backs and was significantly correlated with the actual Δ[CK] (r = 0.69 and r = 0.74). Conclusions: [CK] increased from pre- to post-game in a position specific manner. A large proportion of the Δ[CK] can be explained by physical impact and thus can be predicted using a prescribed number of game statistics. As the Δ[CK] is an indicator of muscle damage, the prediction of Δ[CK] provides a theoretical basis for recovery strategies and adjustment of subsequent training sessions after rugby union games.

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