Interaction between training load, sleep and immunology
Follow-up the training load and sleep patterns of elite gymnasts (High Performance School in Ghent) through an application for smartphone/tablet, which can give immediate feedback towards the coaches.
Measuring Immunoglobulin A based on weekly saliva samples, which provides insight in the first line defense mechanism for infections.
Providing information to the coaches to optimize the training process, formulating guidelines and suggesting possible interventions to optimize sleep and maintain health to achieve training results.
Excessive training loads and/or inadequate sleep may make athletes more susceptible to infections of the respiratory tract, leading to deteriorations in performance.
This interaction has rarely been measured in elite athletes due to methodological issues (measurement of training load, sleep and immune function).
Use of non-invasive techniques only.
Results are immediately visible for the coaches who can interfere rapidly in their training programs.
Reducing the risk for respiratory infections in elite athletes.
Further development of the application to generate clean graphs and easy-to-understand output.
Broadening the use of the application to different sports.