High Performance Sport Research Centre is a collaborative partnership between
WAIS and the University of Western Australia (UWA) aimed at providing WAIS
sport programs with evidence-based, innovative solutions to performance-driven
questions via uncompromised, high quality research.
centre currently has eight research scholars working on projects at WAIS in
2018. Six of those team members are PhD candidates, whilst the other two are
working on their honours dissertation.
Research Centre Director Pete Peeling has provided a brief summary of the group’s
current research activities:
- Timing of iron consumption for
optimal absorption: defining best practice. Rachel McCormick
Currently, Rachel is exploring the best timing
strategy for the consumption of iron supplements in iron depleted athletes.
Specifically, she is investigating the efficacy of consuming a daily oral iron
supplement, as compared to an alternate day approach. The theory is that a greater rate of
iron absorption may be attainable on the alternate day strategy, primarily a
result of hormone profiles and gut absorption. Hopefully this work will help
refine our current approach to the problem of iron deficiency in athlete
- Ischemic pre-conditioning
prior to competition. Henry Brown
has recently completed a study that shows an athlete’s body composition and
anthropometry can be used to accurately individualise the pressure needed to
invoke an ischemic pre-conditioning (IPC) response. This IPC involves temporary
blood flow restriction, which is being used as a ‘priming’ strategy prior to
competition in order to enhance performance. Henry’s work shows that, as with
most things, individuals all respond quite differently to the IPC approach, and
that we should be attempting to apply a bespoke strategy for each athlete.
- Dietary manipulation, iron
metabolism and immune responses. Alannah McKay
has been working in a collaborative research program with the AIS nutrition
team, led by Professor Louise Burke. Alannah’s recent work has been looking at
the impact of ketogenic diets on athlete health outcomes, relevant to immune
function and iron status in endurance athletes (specifically race walkers).
Some early indications may suggest that extreme macronutrient changes in the
diet, which include the exclusion of carbohydrates, may not be a great idea for
athletes. However, we look forward to the full analysis of these results.
- Training prescription methods
in flat-water sprint kayaking. Cruz Hogan
has been exploring the use of new technology in the sport of sprint kayaking.
Specifically, he has investigated the use of paddles that measure power output.
In an attempt to take lab testing outcomes into the field (or on the water,
that is), Cruz has found that it’s likely a coach’s prescribed power instructions
to their athletes, may not actually represent the power they achieve. As a result, Cruz’s work will help to ensure the
specificity of training in this sport can be optimised.
- Optimising training load in
sprint cycling. Shannon Connolly
has recently joined our team from the Scottish Institute of Sport where he has
worked with swimming and athletics programs. Currently, Shannon is exploring
the details of a variety of project ideas that will determine the impact of
fatigue in sprint cycling, with the ultimate goal to optimise training load and
- Intermittent hypoxic training
and altitude exposure. Myles Dennis
with Shannon, Myles is another recent addition to our team as a new PhD scholar
in 2018. Myles is currently generating a proposal to investigate the best use
protocols of the WAIS altitude facilities in the swimming program. The
combination of hot and hypoxic environments will form the basis of his research
questions, with the ultimate goal to impact athlete adaptation.
- Gelatin and collagen
synthesis. Theodore Kenworthy-Groen
is one of two honours scholars in 2018. Theodore has been looking at
nutritional strategies to enhance markers of collagen synthesis in the WAIS
hockey squad, which may become a potential nutritional strategy to assist in
building soft tissue strength.
- Load monitoring in training
and competition. Sophie Watt
is also a 2018 honours scholar, and her work is focused on the current methods
of assessing hockey player training workload using the session-RPE method.
Sophie is looking to explore the differences in load assessment (using both
session RPE and GPS technology) between training and competition environments
in order to ensure that WAIS processes of load monitoring are adequate, and
reflective of outcome.
Papers with a contribution from WAIS
Below are a list of publications that members of the WAIS research team
have recently been involved in:
1. IOC consensus on
supplement us in sport. Dietary supplements and the high-performance athlete.
British Journal of Sports Medicine. 52(7):439-455, 2018. Link to Paper.
2. Jones MJ, Dunican
IC, Murray K, Peeling P, Dawson B, Halson S, Miller J, Eastwood PR. The
Psychomotor Vigilance Test: A comparison of different test durations in elite
athletes. Journal of Sports Sciences. Accepted and In Press, 2018. Link to
3. Burke LM, Peeling
P. Methodologies for investigating performance changes with supplement use.
International Journal of Sport Nutrition & Exercise Metabolism.
28(2):159-169, 2018. Link to Paper.
4. Peeling P, Binnie MJ, Goods PSR, Sim M, Burke LM.
Evidence-based supplements for the enhancement of athletic performance.
International Journal of Sport Nutrition & Exercise Metabolism.
28(2):178-187, 2018. Link to Paper.
5. Jones MJ, Peeling P, Dawson B, Halson S, Miller J,
Dunican I, Clarke M, Goodman C, Eastwood P. Evening electronic device use: The
effects on alertness, sleep and next-day physical performance in athletes.
Journal of Sports Sciences. 36(2): 162-170, 2018. Link to Abstract.
6. Brown H, Binnie MJ, Dawson B, Bullock N, Scott BR,
Peeling P. Factors affecting occlusion pressure and ischemic preconditioning.
European Journal of Sport Science. 18(3):387-396, 2018. Link to Abstract.
WAIS Research In
Check out our summary slide from one of the 2017
honours projects completed in conjunction with UWA by one of our former
research scholars, Allister Gomes. Allister investigated the potential benefits
of using ultrasound technology to measure body composition in WAIS athletes.
Allister’s results found that the new technology was no better than our current
methods; an outcome which has helped in the decision-making process around best
practice and new equipment expenses at WAIS.