Lean muscle mass reduces risk of injury to GAA players
INTER county GAA players, who have higher lean muscle mass throughout the entire playing season, are less likely to sustain injuries.
New research by Dr Carmel Silke in Our Lady's Hospital, Manorhamilton, and other specialists, say that while athletes are commonly concerned about fat mass, it is becoming clear that lean muscle mass is more important in injury prevention.
Studies in Australian Rugby League players have noted that, at the beginning of a season, most players engage in strength training but then do more cardiovascular work as the season progresses and matches are played.
Results showed that both lean muscle mass and fat mass dropped, resulting in increased rates of injury. These studies highlighted the importance of maintaining lean muscle mass and continuing strength training.
The Irish study followed concerns that a similar risk for injury could be occurring in GAA players.
The Irish research on senior inter county GAA football players during the 2013-2014 playing season was led by Our Lady's Hospital, Manorhamilton, along with Sligo IT, UCD and NUI Galway.
It found that players who remained injury free had a higher lean body mass pre-season than those who sustained injuries.
Players suffering from chronic injuries had a higher fat mass and lower lean muscle mass.
There is a link between low vitamin D intake and muscle strength. The players' fat intake at the season start was higher than expected.
Health & Living