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Analysis Of Newspaper Article

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Analysis of Newspaper Article

LaToya L. Allen, RN

HCS 438: Statistical Applications

University of Phoenix

Saran Wilkins, PhD

September 15, 2006

Analysis of Newspaper Article

Exercising daily is beneficial to a person's health. While many people exercise for this reason, they are seeking methods to improve endurance and performance. In an attempt to offer durability and better endurance, sports drink manufacturers have started to add protein to their products. "Sports drinks improve performance during prolonged exercise because of two key ingredients, carbohydrates and sodium (Preidt, 2006)." The carbohydrates provide the fuel and the sodium aids in maintaining fluid balance. While sports drinks may be helpful during exercise, added protein may or may not increase performance. Gatorade and Accelerade sports drink companies sponsored two studies to determine if this is true. One study thinks that adding protein increases performance, the other does not.

Type of statistical procedure used

Sometimes individuals are aware of the experiment and may not be honest about the results from the test. In this test, experimenters were trying to avoid the placebo effect. The placebo effect is when people improve because they think that they are receiving useful treatment (Bennett, Briggs, & Triola, 2003). To rule out the possibility of the placebo effect, the athletes were told that some of the drinks will contain protein; they were not told which ones. The placebo effect would alter the test and the results would be biased because the athletes would claim performance improvement, thinking that their drinks contained protein. When using a placebo, the athletes must know that the drinks may or may not contain protein. But, they must also know that they will not be able to tell the difference in taste. The placebo appears to be the same but lacks the active ingredient; in this case there was no protein present in some of the drinks. The participants were not aware of which drinks had protein, thus their answers would more likely be real.

The studies

The studies used 10 trained cyclists to determine if adding protein to sports drinks would increase performance and endurance. In the studies, the cyclists did not know which sports drink they were consuming. In both studies the cyclists were given one of three drinks. They were either given a regular sports drink, one with protein added, or a placebo. This trial was taken on three different occasions.


The Canadian study, sponsored by Gatorade, found that adding protein does not improve exercise performance (Preidt, 2006). Martin Gibala was the lead researcher for this study. Of the three sports drinks, the results showed that sports drinks overall did improve performance when compared to the placebo. But, the study also showed that the sports drink with the protein was no more beneficial than the regular one (Preidt, 2006). Gibala states "our study shows that protein confers no performance benefit during



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