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  • 1 Manouba University, Tunisia
  • 2 Université Paris Nanterre, UFR STAPS, France
  • 3 Sfax University, Tunisia
  • 4 Qatar Orthopaedic and Sports Medicine Hospital, Qatar
  • 5 National Observatory of Sport, Tunisia
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Objectives

Fatigue is a limiting factor for sport performance. For this reason, optimal recovery after training is just as critical as the training program itself, if not more. Indeed, there is a need for strategies that can facilitate recovery after training, and one such strategy is the ingestion of supplements like melatonin (MEL). This study aimed to evaluate if MEL intake could improve recovery of athletes after an intermittent training session (ITS).

Methods

Fifteen elite female athletes (17.4 ± 0.4 years, 76.4 ± 5.6 kg, 1.76 ± 0.04 m; mean ± standard deviation) participated in two testing campaigns. During each period, they performed a battery of physical and cognitive tests before and after an ITS, as well as after ingesting MEL (6 mg tablet) or placebo in a randomized design. The ITS comprised the modified agility T-test, squat jump, counter movement jump, maximum standing ball-throw velocity test, maximum jump ball-throw velocity test, and 20-m sprint. Oral temperature (OT) and vigilance were evaluated before and after the ITS. Rating of perceived exertion (RPE), blood lactate [La], and glucose [Gl] were recorded after each ITS.

Results

Short-term performance, recovery of physical performance, and OT were not affected by MEL ingestion after the ITS. Moreover, MEL did not affect cognitive performance or RPE scores after the ITS. However, [La] and [Gl] (p < 0.05 for both) were decreased after MEL ingestion.

Conclusion

MEL has no effect on the recovery of physical performance but may affect glucose utilization and lactate metabolism during the team-handball training session.

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