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Physiological and Metabolic Responses to Exercise on Treadmill, Elliptical Trainer, and Stepper: Practical Implications for Training

Andrew N. Bosch, Kirsten C. Flanagan, Maaike M. Eken, Adrian Withers, Jana Burger, and Robert P. Lamberts

Elliptical trainers and steppers are proposed as useful exercise modalities in the rehabilitation of injured runners due to the reduced stress on muscles and joints when compared to running. This study compared the physiological responses to submaximal running (treadmill) with exercise on the elliptical trainer and stepper devices at three submaximal but identical workloads. Authors had 18 trained runners (male/female: N = 9/9, age: mean ± SD = 23 ± 3 years) complete randomized maximal oxygen consumption tests on all three modalities. Submaximal tests of 3 min were performed at 60%, 70%, and 80% of peak workload individually established for each modality. Breath-by-breath oxygen consumption, heart rate, fuel utilization, and energy expenditure were determined. The value of maximal oxygen consumption was not different between treadmill, elliptical, and stepper (49.3 ± 5.3, 48.0 ± 6.6, and 46.7 ± 6.2 ml·min−1·kg−1, respectively). Both physiological measures (oxygen consumption and heart rate) as well as carbohydrate and fat oxidation differed significantly between the different exercise intensities (60%, 70%, and 80%) but did not differ between the treadmill, elliptical trainer, and stepper. Therefore, the elliptical trainer and stepper are suitable substitutes for running during periods when a reduced running load is required, such as during rehabilitation from running-induced injury.

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A Review of Nonpharmacological Strategies in the Treatment of Relative Energy Deficiency in Sport

Megan A. Kuikman, Margo Mountjoy, Trent Stellingwerff, and Jamie F. Burr

Relative energy deficiency in sport (RED-S) can result in negative health and performance outcomes in both male and female athletes. The underlying etiology of RED-S is low energy availability (LEA), which occurs when there is insufficient dietary energy intake to meet exercise energy expenditure, corrected for fat-free mass, leaving inadequate energy available to ensure homeostasis and adequate energy turnover (optimize normal bodily functions to positively impact health), but also optimizing recovery, training adaptations, and performance. As such, treatment of RED-S involves increasing energy intake and/or decreasing exercise energy expenditure to address the underlying LEA. Clinically, however, the time burden and methodological errors associated with the quantification of energy intake, exercise energy expenditure, and fat-free mass to assess energy availability in free-living conditions make it difficult for the practitioner to implement in everyday practice. Furthermore, interpretation is complicated by the lack of validated energy availability thresholds, which can result in compromised health and performance outcomes in male and female athletes across various stages of maturation, ethnic races, and different types of sports. This narrative review focuses on pragmatic nonpharmacological strategies in the treatment of RED-S, featuring factors such as low carbohydrate availability, within-day prolonged periods of LEA, insufficient intake of bone-building nutrients, lack of mechanical bone stress, and/or psychogenic stress. This includes the implementation of strategies that address exacerbating factors of LEA, as well as novel treatment methods and underlying mechanisms of action, while highlighting areas of further research.

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Factors Influencing Blood Alkalosis and Other Physiological Responses, Gastrointestinal Symptoms, and Exercise Performance Following Sodium Citrate Supplementation: A Review

Charles S. Urwin, Rodney J. Snow, Dominique Condo, Rhiannon Snipe, Glenn D. Wadley, and Amelia J. Carr

This review aimed to identify factors associated with (a) physiological responses, (b) gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms, and (c) exercise performance following sodium citrate supplementation. A literature search identified 33 articles. Observations of physiological responses and GI symptoms were categorized by dose (< 500, 500, and > 500 mg/kg body mass [BM]) and by timing of postingestion measurements (in minutes). Exercise performance following sodium citrate supplementation was compared with placebo using statistical significance, percentage change, and effect size. Performance observations were categorized by exercise duration (very short < 60 s, short ≥ 60 and ≤ 420 s, and longer > 420 s) and intensity (very high > 100% VO2max and high 90–100% VO2max). Ingestion of 500 mg/kg BM sodium citrate induced blood alkalosis more frequently than < 500 mg/kg BM, and with similar frequency to >500 mg/kg BM. The GI symptoms were minimized when a 500 mg/kg BM dose was ingested in capsules rather than in solution. Significant improvements in performance following sodium citrate supplementation were reported in all observations of short-duration and very high–intensity exercise with a 500 mg/kg BM dose. However, the efficacy of supplementation for short-duration, high-intensity exercise is less clear, given that only 25% of observations reported significant improvements in performance following sodium citrate supplementation. Based on the current literature, the authors recommend ingestion of 500 mg/kg BM sodium citrate in capsules to induce alkalosis and minimize GI symptoms. Supplementation was of most benefit to performance of short-duration exercise of very high intensity; further investigation is required to determine the importance of ingestion duration and timing.

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Tart Cherry Supplementation and Recovery From Strenuous Exercise: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

Jessica Amie Hill, Karen Mary Keane, Rebecca Quinlan, and Glyn Howatson

The aim of this study was to determine the efficacy of tart cherry (TC) supplementation on recovery following strenuous exercise. A systematic review and meta-analysis were conducted using studies investigating TC supplementation on measures of muscle soreness, muscular strength, muscular power, creatine kinase, C-reactive protein, Interleukin-6, and tumor necrosis factor alpha. A literature search ending in July 2020 was conducted in three databases (SPORTDiscus, Web of Science, and PubMed). Data from 14 studies were extracted and pooled for analysis. Tart cherry supplementation had a small beneficial effect in reducing muscle soreness (effect size [ES] = −0.44, 95% confidence interval [CI] [−0.87, −0.02]). A moderate beneficial effect was observed for recovery of muscular strength (ES = −0.78, 95% CI [−1.11, −0.46]). A moderate effect was observed for muscular power (ES = −0.53, 95% CI [−0.77, −0.29]); a further subgroup analysis on this variable indicated a large effect of TC supplementation on recovery of jump height (ES = −0.82, 95% CI [−1.18, −0.45]) and a small significant effect of supplementation on sprint time (ES = −0.32, 95% CI [−0.60, −0.04]). A small effect was observed for both C-reactive protein (ES = −0.46, 95% CI [−0.93, −0.00]) and Interleukin-6 (ES = −0.35, 95% CI [−0.68, −0.02]. No significant effects were observed for creatine kinase and tumor necrosis factor alpha. These results indicate that the consumption of a TC supplement can aid aspects of recovery from strenuous exercise.

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Evaluation of Pragmatic Methods to Rapidly Assess Habitual Beverage Intake and Hydration Status in U.S. Collegiate Athletes

Samantha B. Kostelnik, Michelle S. Rockwell, Kevin P. Davy, Valisa E. Hedrick, D. Travis Thomas, and Brenda M. Davy

Fluid intake recommendations have been established for the athletic population in order to promote adequate hydration. The Beverage Intake Questionnaire (BEVQ-15) is a quick and reliable food frequency questionnaire that quantifies habitual beverage intake, which has been validated in children, adolescents, and adults. However, no validated beverage consumption questionnaire is available for collegiate athletes. Urine color (UC), while feasible for determining hydration status, has not been validated within a variety of collegiate athletes. The purpose of this investigation was to evaluate the comparative validity and reliability of pragmatic methods to rapidly assess BEVQ-15 and UC rating in U.S. Division I collegiate athletes. Student-athletes (n = 120; 54% females; age 19 ± 1 years) from two universities were recruited to complete three study sessions. At the first and third sessions, the participants completed the BEVQ-15 and provided a urine sample to determine UC and urinary specific gravity. All sessions included completion of a 24-hr dietary recall. Total fluid intake (fl oz) was 111 ± 107 and 108 ± 42 using the BEVQ-15 and the mean of three 24-hr dietary recalls, respectively, which was not different between methods (p > .05). There were moderate associations between the BEVQ-15 and dietary recall results for total beverage intake fl oz and kcal(r = .413 and r = 4.65; p ≤ .05, respectively). Strong associations were noted between both researcher-rated and participant-rated UC with urinary specific gravity measures (r = .675 and r = .884; p ≤ .05, respectively). Therefore, these rapid assessment methods demonstrated acceptable validity and may be used as practical methods to determine whether athletes are meeting their hydration recommendations.

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Volume 31 (2021): Issue 1 (Jan 2021)

Open access

Erratum: Naclerio et al. (2017)

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Increasing Meal Frequency in Isoenergetic Conditions Does Not Affect Body Composition Change and Appetite During Weight Gain in Japanese Athletes

Motoko Taguchi, Akiko Hara, Hiroko Murata, Suguru Torii, and Takayuki Sako

For athletes to gain body mass, especially muscle, an increase in energy consumption is necessary. To increase their energy intake, many athletes consume more meals, including supplementary meals or snacks. However, the influence of meal frequency on changes in body composition and appetite is unclear. The aim of this study was to determine the effect of meal frequency on changes in body composition and appetite during weight gain in athletes through a well-controlled dietary intervention. Ten male collegiate rowers with weight gain goals were included in this study. The subjects were randomly classified into two groups, and dietary intervention was implemented using a crossover method. During the intervention period, all subjects were provided identical meals aimed to provide a positive energy balance. The meals were consumed at a frequency of either three times (regular frequency) or six times (high frequency) a day. Body composition was measured using dual energy X-ray absorptiometry, and the visual analog scale was used for the evaluation of appetite. In both trials, body weight, fat-free mass, and fat mass significantly increased; however, an interaction (Trial × Time) was not observed. Visual analog scale did not vary between trials. Our data suggest that partitioning identical excess dietary intakes over three or six meals does not influence changes in body composition or appetite during weight gain in athletes.

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Inside the Belly of a Beast: Individualizing Nutrition for Young, Professional Male Rugby League Players: A Review

Vincent G. Kelly, Liam S. Oliver, Joanna Bowtell, and David G. Jenkins

Professional rugby league (RL) football is a contact sport involving repeated collisions and high-intensity efforts; both training and competition involve high energy expenditure. The present review summarizes and critiques the available literature relating the physiological demands of RL to nutritional requirements and considers potential ergogenic supplements that could improve players’ physical capacity, health, and recovery during the preparatory and competition phases of a season. Although there may not be enough data to provide RL-specific recommendations, the available data suggest that players may require approximately 6–8 g·kg−1·day−1 carbohydrate, 1.6–2.6 g·kg−1·day−1 protein, and 0.7–2.2 g·kg−1·day−1 fat, provided that the latter also falls within 20–35% of total energy intake. Competition nutrition should maximize glycogen availability by consuming 1–4 g/kg carbohydrate (∼80–320 g) plus 0.25 g/kg (∼20–30 g) protein, 1–4 hr preexercise for 80–120 kg players. Carbohydrate intakes of approximately 80–180 g (1.0–1.5 g/kg) plus 20–67 g protein (0.25–0.55 g/kg) 0–2 hr postexercise will optimize glycogen resynthesis and muscle protein synthesis. Supplements that potentially improve performance, recovery, and adaptation include low to moderate dosages of caffeine (3–6 mg/kg) and ∼300 mg polyphenols consumed ∼1 hr preexercise, creatine monohydrate “loading” (0.3 g·kg−1·day−1) and/or maintenance (3–5 g/day), and beta-alanine (65–80 mg·kg−1·day−1). Future research should quantify energy expenditures in young, professional male RL players before constructing recommendations.

Open access

Erratum: delli Paoli et al. (2020)