The impact of winning or losing a padel match on heart rate variability
Villafaina, S., Fuentes-García, J.P., Fernandes, O., Muñoz, D., Batalha, N., & Parraca, J.A.
International Journal of Sports Science & Coaching, in press, 1-10.
Padel is an intermittent sport that has significantly increased its practice in the past years. Previous studies showed that physical demands significantly differed depending on the results of the match (win or lose). However, no previous studies have investigated the effects on the heart rate variability (HRV) of padel players. The present study examined the impact of winning or losing a padel match on the player’s HRV. A total of 27 players, with a mean age of 37.26 (9.42) years old and a body mass index (BMI) of 26.26 (3.21) participated in our study. The participant’s HRV was assessed before, during and after a padel match. The match results were used to divide the sample between winners and losers. Time domain, frequency domain and non-linear measures were extracted. Results showed that both groups significantly decreased their HRV during and after the match. However, significant differences (p > 0.05) were not found between winners and losers in the HRV while playing padel or after the match. These differences could indicate that the physical load was similar in the two groups. Results highlight the importance and usefulness of analysing the HRV as an indicator of post-competitive fatigue in medium-level padel players.