Ice hockey continually overloads athletes with limited time for recovery, which may affect several physiological responses and alter body composition. The purpose of this study was to identify changes in physiological parameters and body composition profiles over the competitive season in elite collegiate ice hockey players. Forty-four players, twenty-four males (age = 22.7 ± 1.3 years, height = 1.82 ± 0.6 m, weight = 86.87 ± 6.44 kg) and twenty females (age = 19.9 ± 1.8 years, height = 1.66 ± 0.7 m, weight = 68.76 ± 5.91 kg) participated in 4-minute submaximal exercise tests and body composition assessments at pre-season, mid-season, and end-season. Changes in physiological parameters and body composition were analyzed using repeated-measures ANCOVA controlling for age. Males’ post-exercise blood lactate concentration decreased (p ≤ 0.05) from pre- to mid-season (9.3 vs. 6.2 mmol/L) and increased (p ≤ 0.05) from mid- to end-season (6.2 vs. 8.0 mmol/L). Heart rate increased (p ≤ 0.05) after the 3rd and 4th minute of the submaximal test in both sexes from pre- to end-season and from mid- to end-season. Males’ body fat percentage decreased (p ≤ 0.05) from mid-season (17.4 vs. 16.1%), while increases were observed (p ≤ 0.05) in both sexes from mid- to end-season. This study produced evidence that male and female collegiate hockey athletes’ physiological responses and body composition profiles change over the season. Sport scientists working with collegiate hockey teams, may need to revise annual training programs to attenuate reductions in fitness and hopefully prevent injuries.
McGill University, Department of Kinesiology and Physical Education, Health and Fitness Promotion Laboratory, Montreal, Quebec, Canada.
Affiliation Address: Health and Fitness Promotion Lab Room 101, Department of Kinesiology and Physical Education (KPE), McGill University, Currie Gymnasium, 475 Pine Avenue West, Montreal, Quebec H2W 1S4, Tel.: 514-398-4184 x0578
Corresponding Author Contact: Patrick Delisle-Houde, Health and Fitness Promotion Lab Room 101, Department of Kinesiology and Physical Education (KPE), McGill University, Currie Gymnasium, 475 Pine Avenue West, Montreal, Quebec H2W 1S4, Tel: 418-318-7715, Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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