Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
ISSN: 1303 - 2968   
Ios-APP Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
Androit-APP Journal of Sports Science and Medicine
from September 2014
©Journal of Sports Science and Medicine (2011) 10, 301 - 305

Research article
DHA- Rich Fish Oil Improves Complex Reaction Time in Female Elite Soccer Players
José F. Guzmán1, , Hector Esteve1, Carlos Pablos1, Ana Pablos2, Cristina Blasco1, José A. Villegas3
Author Information
1 Faculty of Physical Activity and Sport Sciences, University of Valencia, Valencia, Spain
2 Faculty of Physical Activity and Sport Sciences, Catholic University of Valencia, Spain
3 Catholic University of Murcia, Murcia, Spain

José F. Guzmán
✉ Universitat de València, Facultat de Ciències de l'Activitat física i l'Esport, C/ Gascó Oliag, n° 3, 46010, Valencia, Spain
Publish Date
Received: 11-06-2010
Accepted: 15-02-2011
Published (online): 01-06-2011
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Omega-3 fatty acids (n-3) has shown to improve neuromotor function. This study examined the effects of docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) on complex reaction time, precision and efficiency, in female elite soccer players. 24 players from two Spanish female soccer Super League teams were randomly selected and assigned to two experimental groups, then administered, in a double-blind manner, 3.5 g·day-1 of either DHA-rich fish oil (FO =12) or olive oil (OO = 12) over 4 weeks of training. Two measurements (pre- and post-treatment) of complex reaction time and precision were taken. Participants had to press different buttons and pedals with left and right hands and feet, or stop responding, according to visual and auditory stimuli. Multivariate analysis of variance displayed an interaction between supplement administration (pre/post) and experimental group (FO/OO) on complex reaction time (FO pre = 0.713 ± 0.142 ms, FO post = 0.623 ± 0.109 ms, OO pre = 0.682 ± 1.132 ms, OO post = 0.715 ± 0.159 ms; p = 0.004) and efficiency (FO pre = 40.88 ± 17.41, FO post = 57.12 ± 11.05, OO pre = 49.52 ± 14.63, OO post = 49. 50 ± 11.01; p = 0.003). It was concluded that after 4 weeks of supplementation with FO, there was a significant improvement in the neuromotor function of female elite soccer players.

Key words: Fatty acids, omega 3, efficiency, decision-making

           Key Points
  • The results obtained from the study suggest that supplementation with DHA produced perceptual-motor benefits in female elite athletes.
  • DHA could be a beneficial supplement in sports where decision making and reaction time efficiency are of importance.
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