In my 2015 editorial, I selected two research publications with a focus on an applied sports sciences perspective. This year I have chosen to focus on two publications from a methodological viewpoint, highlighting the importance of laboratory procedures and extraction of data through a systematic review respectively. The first publication by Leites and colleagues (J Appl Physiol) addresses questions in relation to thermoregulation and carbohydrate metabolism in young people. This topic is difficult to conduct due to additional ethical and safety concerns due to exercising in the heat. Nonetheless, there are important basic science questions to be answered. Using a range of measurement techniques including rectal thermometry, 13C-enriched carbohydrate isotopes and procedures to standardize the heat stress equally between a group of men and boys, this project demonstrates an exemplary range of experimental skills. In my second selected paper by Lesinski et al., (Brit J Sports Med), both a systematic review and a meta-analyses were conducted to investigate the dose-response relationships of resistance training on physical performance in youth athletes. As the requirement for more evidence based practice is demanded, the move away from a narrative review to a more methodological and rigorous approach is to be encouraged. It is, in my opinion, a skill that we should be encouraging all our early career pediatric researchers to learn from the outset, the outcome of which can only make our discipline stronger.
The author is with the Children’s Health and Exercise Research Centre, University of Exeter, Exeter, UK.