New insights in professional horse racing; “in-race” heart rate data, elevated fracture risk, hydration, nutritional and lifestyle analysis of elite professional jockeys

John O'REILLY, Hoi Lun CHENG, Tsz Chun Eric POON

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlespeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Weight-making practices have been shown to impair musculoskeletal and physiological function of jockeys. This study investigated the “in-race” heart rate (HR) responses and hydration status during competitive racing, as well as selected physiological and lifestyle parameters of professional jockeys based in Hong Kong. “In-race” HR responses and early morning hydration status of 20 male jockeys were examined in hot and moderate climactic occasions. Additionally, bone mineral density (BMD), dietary intake and lifestyle choices were assessed. Osteopenia was observed in the calcanei of jockeys (left: 0.51 ± 0.06; right: 0.46 ± 0.12 g · cm−2). Energy and protein intake were significantly lower on a race day compared to a non-race day (P < 0.05). “In-race” HRmax values were similar to those from VO2max laboratory tests (186 ± 14 vs. 185 ± 8 bpm). Hypohydration was observed on both racing days. (USG: 1.0247 ± 0.006 and 1.0256 ± 0.0258 mg · L−1 for hot and moderate conditions, respectively). Sauna usage (25.5%) and food restriction (20.4%) were the most common weight-making practices. Current lifestyle choices of jockeys result in suboptimal bone health, hydration status and nutritional intake, which can significantly enhance the fracture risk. Further research should develop exercise and nutrition guidelines for optimising their skeletal health. Copyright © 2016 Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)441-448
JournalJournal of Sports Sciences
Volume35
Issue number5
Early online dateApr 2016
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2017

Citation

O'Reilly, J., Cheng, H. L., & Poon, E. T.-C. (2017). New insights in professional horse racing; “in-race” heart rate data, elevated fracture risk, hydration, nutritional and lifestyle analysis of elite professional jockeys. Journal of Sports Sciences, 35(5), 441-448. doi: 10.1080/02640414.2016.1171890

Keywords

  • Horse racing jockeys
  • Exercise intensity
  • Bone mineral density
  • Hydration
  • Nutrition

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