This study investigated the impact that mouth rinsing carbohydrate solution has on skill-specific performance and reaction time following a fatigue-inducing bout of fencing in epee fencers. Nine healthy, national-level epee fencers visited a laboratory on two occasions, separated by a minimum of five days, to complete a 1-minute lunge test and Stroop test pre- and post-fatigue. Heart rate and ratings of perceived exertion (RPE) were recorded during completion of the fatiguing protocol. Between fights the participant's mouth rinsed for 10 seconds, either 25 ml of 6.7% maltodextrin solution (MALT) or water (PLAC). Blood lactate and glucose were recorded at baseline, pre- and post-testing. Results showed an increase in heart rate and overall RPE over time in both conditions. There were no differences in blood glucose (F(1,8) = .63, P = .4, ηp = .07) or blood lactate levels (F(1,8) = .12, P = .70, ηp = .01) between conditions as a function of time. There was a significant improvement in lunge test accuracy during the MALT trial (F(1,8) = 5.21, P = .05, ηp = .40) with an increase from pre (81.2 ± 8.3%) to post (87.6 ± 9.4%), whereas there was no significant change during the placebo (pre 82.1 ± 8.8%, post 78.8 ± 6.4%). There were no recorded differences between conditions in response time to congruent (F(1,8) = .33, P = .58, ηp = .04) or incongruent stimuli (F(1,8) = .19, P = .68, ηp = .02). The study indicates that when fatigued mouth rinsing MALT significantly improves accuracy of skill-specific fencing performance but no corresponding influence on reaction time was observed.
Keywords: Epee; fatigue; mouth rinsing; reaction time; skill.