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Fuelling our movement: Understanding how carbohydrates influence motor skills?

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  • Full or part time
    Dr Ezio Preatoni
    Dr J Gonzalez
  • Application Deadline
    Applications accepted all year round
  • Self-Funded PhD Students Only
    Self-Funded PhD Students Only

Project Description

Understanding the acquisition and adaptation of motor skills and appropriate neuromuscular performance is important for the entire health and disease spectrum, from preventing falls in the elderly to optimal sports performance in athletes. Although popular sense suggests the type and timing of nutrition can affect motor performance, there is very limited research indicating what dietary strategies could improve or hinder the quality of our movements and the ability to improve our motor skills.

Carbohydrates are a major fuel source during both sports performance and many normal daily activities. Accordingly, without appropriate carbohydrate intake endogenous carbohydrate stores can be depleted. Since carbohydrates are the major fuel source during moderate to high-intensity exercise, it is likely that ingesting carbohydrates before and/or during exercise may improve neuromuscular skills and therefore improve motor skill acquisition.

The overall aim of this studentship will be to understand whether the type and timing of carbohydrate ingestion in relation to exercise influences movement performance and coordination.

The successful applicant will gain expertise in a number of biomechanics, motor control, and computer simulation techniques and will also have the opportunity to collaborate with colleagues of Dr Preatoni and Dr Gonzalez in and outside the University of Bath.

Funding Notes

We consider applications from those who:
- are happy to compete for University and Graduate School funding (see URSA call at, or
- obtain external funding.

Funding is difficult to obtain and highly competitive. You are responsible for researching sources of funding early (in some cases up to 12 months in advance) and applying (in conjunction with your agreed supervisor) for as many as possible.

This PhD opportunity is also available to self-funded students.
Applications must be made through the Faculty of Humanities & Social Sciences Graduate School:

How good is research at University of Bath in Sport and Exercise Sciences, Leisure and Tourism?

FTE Category A staff submitted: 22.00

Research output data provided by the Research Excellence Framework (REF)

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