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Short-Term, Combined Fasting and Exercise Improves Body Composition in Healthy Males

Giuseppe delli Paoli, Denise van de Laarschot, Edith C.H. Friesema, Remco Verkaik, Antonia Giacco, Rosalba Senese, Pascal P. Arp, P. Mila Jhamai, Stefano M. Pagnotta, Linda Broer, André G. Uitterlinden, Antonia Lanni, M. Carola Zillikens, and Pieter de Lange

Fasting enhances the beneficial metabolic outcomes of exercise; however, it is unknown whether body composition is favorably modified on the short term. A baseline–follow-up study was carried out to assess the effect of an established protocol involving short-term combined exercise with fasting on body composition. One hundred seven recreationally exercising males underwent a 10-day intervention across 15 fitness centers in the Netherlands involving a 3-day gradual decrease of food intake, a 3-day period with extremely low caloric intake, and a gradual 4-day increase to initial caloric intake, with daily 30-min submaximal cycling. Using dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry analysis, all subjects substantially lost total body mass (−3.9 ± 1.9 kg; p < .001) and fat mass (−3.3 ± 1.3 kg; p < .001). Average lean mass was lost (−0.6 ± 1.5 kg; p < .001), but lean mass as a percentage of total body mass was not reduced. The authors observed a loss of −3.9 ± 1.9% android fat over total fat mass (p < .001), a loss of −2.2 ± 1.9% gynoid over total fat mass (p < .001), and reduced android/gynoid ratios (−0.05 ± 0.1; p < .001). Analyzing 15 preselected single-nucleotide polymorphisms in 13 metabolism-related genes revealed trending associations for thyroid state–related single-nucleotide polymorphisms rs225014 (deiodinase 2) and rs35767 (insulin-like growth factor1), and rs1053049 (PPARD). In conclusion, a short period of combined fasting and exercise leads to a substantial loss of body and fat mass without a loss of lean mass as a percentage of total mass.

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Caffeinated Chewing Gum Improves Bicycle Motocross Time-Trial Performance

Amin Daneshfar, Carl J. Petersen, Majid S. Koozehchian, and Daniel E. Gahreman

This study aimed to identify the acute effects of caffeinated chewing gum (CAF) on bicycle motocross (BMX) time-trial (TT) performance. In a randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind cross-over design, 14 male BMX riders (age = 20.0 ± 3.3 years; height = 1.78 ± 0.04 m; body mass = 72 ± 4 kg), consumed either (300 mg; 4.2 ± 0.2 mg/kg) caffeinated (300 mg caffeine, 6 g sugars) or a placebo (0 mg caffeine, 0 g sugars) gum, and undertook three BMX TTs. Repeated-measure analysis revealed that CAF has a large ergogenic effect on TT time, F(1, 14) = 33.570, p = .001, η p 2 = .71 ; −1.5% ± 0.4 compared with the placebo. Peak power and maximal power to weight ratio also increased significantly compared with the placebo condition, F(1, 14) = 54.666, p = .001, η p 2 = .79 ; +3.5% ± 0.6, and F(1, 14) = 57.399, p = .001, η p 2 = .80 ; +3% ± 0.3, respectively. Rating of perceived exertion was significantly lower F(1, 14) = 25.020, p = .001, η p 2 = .64 in CAF (6.6 ± 1.3) compared with the placebo (7.2 ± 1.7). Administering a moderate dose (300 mg) of CAF could improve TT time by enhancing power and reducing the perception of exertion. BMX coaches and riders may consider consuming CAF before a BMX race to improve performance and reduce rating of perceived exertion.

Open access

Rank, Remit, and Resources

James A. Betts

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Postexercise Inflammasome Activation and IL-1β Production Mitigated by Flavonoid Supplementation in Cyclists

David C. Nieman, Francesca Ferrara, Alessandra Pecorelli, Brittany Woodby, Andrew T. Hoyle, Andrew Simonson, and Giuseppe Valacchi

Inflammasomes are multiprotein signaling platforms of the innate immune system that detect markers of physiological stress and promote the maturation of caspase-1 and interleukin 1 beta (IL-1β), IL-18, and gasdermin D. This randomized, cross-over trial investigated the influence of 2-week mixed flavonoid (FLAV) versus placebo (PL) supplementation on inflammasome activation and IL-1β and IL-18 production after 75-km cycling in 22 cyclists (42 ± 1.7 years). Blood samples were collected before and after the 2-week supplementation, and then 0 hr, 1.5 hr, and 21 hr postexercise (176 ± 5.4 min, 73.4 ± 2.0 %VO2max). The supplement (678 mg FLAVs) included quercetin, green tea catechins, and bilberry anthocyanins. The pattern of change in the plasma levels of the inflammasome adaptor oligomer ASC (apoptosis-associated speck-like protein containing caspase recruitment domain) was different between the FLAV and PL trials, with the FLAV ASC levels 52% lower (Cohen’s d = 1.06) than PL immediately following 75-km cycling (interaction effect, p = .012). The plasma IL-1β levels in FLAV were significantly lower than PL (23–42%; Cohen’s d = 0.293–0.644) throughout 21 hr of recovery (interaction effect, p = .004). The change in plasma gasdermin D levels were lower immediately postexercise in FLAV versus PL (15% contrast, p = .023; Cohen’s d = 0.450). The patterns of change in plasma IL-18 and IL-37 did not differ between the FLAV and PL trials (interaction effects, p = .388, .716, respectively). These data indicate that 2-week FLAV ingestion mitigated inflammasome activation, with a corresponding decrease in IL-1β release in cyclists after a 75-km cycling time trial. The data from this study support the strategy of ingesting high amounts of FLAV to mitigate postexercise inflammation.

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Creatine Supplementation Does Not Influence the Ratio Between Intracellular Water and Skeletal Muscle Mass in Resistance-Trained Men

Alex S. Ribeiro, Ademar Avelar, Witalo Kassiano, João Pedro Nunes, Brad J. Schoenfeld, Andreo F. Aguiar, Michele C.C. Trindade, Analiza M. Silva, Luís B. Sardinha, and Edilson S. Cyrino

The authors aimed to compare the effects of creatine (Cr) supplementation combined with resistance training on skeletal muscle mass (SMM), total body water, intracellular water (ICW), and extracellular water (ECW) in resistance-trained men as well as to determine whether the SMM/ICW ratio changes in response to the use of this ergogenic aid. Twenty-seven resistance-trained men received either Cr (n = 14) or placebo (n = 13) over 8 weeks. During the same period, subjects performed two split resistance training routines four times per week. SMM was estimated from appendicular lean soft tissue assessed by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry. Total body water, ICW, and ECW were determined by spectral bioelectrical impedance. Both groups showed improvements (p < .05) in SMM, total body water, and ICW, with greater values observed for the Cr group compared with placebo. ECW increased similarly in both groups (p < .05). The SMM/ICW ratio did not change in either group (p > .05), whereas the SMM/ECW ratio decreased only in the Cr group (p < .05). A positive correlation was observed (p < .05) between SMM and ICW changes (r = .71). The authors’ results suggest that the increase in muscle mass induced by Cr combined with resistance training occurs without alteration of the ratio of ICW to SMM in resistance-trained men.

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Effect of Dark Chocolate Supplementation on Tissue Oxygenation, Metabolism, and Performance in Trained Cyclists at Altitude

Keely Shaw, Jyotpal Singh, Luke Sirant, J. Patrick Neary, and Philip D. Chilibeck

Dark chocolate (DC) is high in flavonoids and has been shown to increase nitric oxide in the blood. Increased nitric oxide has the potential to improve delivery of oxygen to muscle, especially in hypoxic conditions, such as altitude. Our aim was to assess the impact of DC supplementation on cycling performance at altitude. Twelve healthy, trained cyclists (n = 2 females, n = 10 males; age = 35 [12] years; height = 177 [7] cm; mass = 75.2 [11.0] kg; VO2max = 55 [6] ml·kg−1·min−1) were randomized to supplement with 60 g of DC or placebo twice per day for 14 days in a double-blind crossover study. After the 2 weeks of supplementation, the participants attended a laboratory session in which they consumed 120 g of DC or placebo and then cycled for 90 min at 50% peak power output, followed immediately by a 10-km time trial (TT) at simulated altitude (15% O2). The plasma concentration of blood glucose and lactate were measured before and at 15, 30, 60, and 90 min during the steady-state exercise and post TT, while muscular and prefrontal cortex oxygenation was measured continuously throughout exercise using near-infrared spectroscopy. DC resulted in a higher concentration of blood glucose (5.5 [0.5] vs. 5.3 [0.9] mmol/L) throughout the trial and lower blood lactate concentration following the TT (7.7 [1.92] vs. 10.0 [4.6] mmol/L) compared with the placebo. DC had no effect on the TT performance (19.04 [2.16] vs. 19.21 ± 1.96 min) or oxygenation status in either the prefrontal cortex or muscle. The authors conclude that, although it provided some metabolic benefit, DC is not effective as an ergogenic aid during TT cycling at simulated altitude.

Open access

Postprandial Metabolism and Vascular Function: Impact of Aging and Physical Activity Level

Nicholas A. Koemel, Christina M. Sciarrillo, Katherine B. Bode, Madison D. Dixon, Edralin A. Lucas, Nathaniel D.M. Jenkins, and Sam R. Emerson

The consumption of a high-fat meal can induce postprandial lipemia and endothelial dysfunction. The authors assessed the impact of age and physical activity on metabolic and vascular outcomes following meal consumption in healthy adults. The authors recruited four groups: younger active (age 22.1 ± 1.4 years; n = 9), younger inactive (age 22.6 ± 3.7 years; n = 8), older active (age 68.4 ± 7.7 years; n = 8), and older inactive (age 67.7 ± 7.2 years; n = 7). The metabolic outcomes were measured at the baseline and hourly for 6 hr post high-fat meal consumption (12 kcal/kg; 63% fat). Flow-mediated dilation was measured at the baseline, 2 hr, and 4 hr postmeal. The total area under the curve for triglycerides was significantly lower in the more active groups, but did not differ based on age (younger active = 6.5 ± 1.4 mmol/L × 6 hr, younger inactive = 11.7 ± 4.8, older active = 6.8 ± 2.7, older inactive = 12.1 ± 1.7; p = .0004). After adjusting for artery diameter, flow-mediated dilation differed between groups at the baseline (younger active = 4.8 ± 1.6%, younger inactive = 2.5 ± 0.5, older active = 3.4 ± 0.9, older inactive = 2.2 ± 0.4; p < .001) and decreased significantly across groups 4 hr postmeal (mean difference = 0.82; 95% CI [0.02, 1.6]; p = .04). These findings highlight the beneficial effect of regular physical activity on postprandial lipemia, independent of age.

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Volume 30 (2020): Issue 5 (Sep 2020)

Open access

High Prevalence of Cannabidiol Use Within Male Professional Rugby Union and League Players: A Quest for Pain Relief and Enhanced Recovery

Andreas M. Kasper, S. Andy Sparks, Matthew Hooks, Matthew Skeer, Benjamin Webb, Houman Nia, James P. Morton, and Graeme L. Close

Rugby is characterized by frequent high-intensity collisions, resulting in muscle soreness. Players consequently seek strategies to reduce soreness and accelerate recovery, with an emerging method being cannabidiol (CBD), despite anti-doping risks. The prevalence and rationale for CBD use in rugby has not been explored; therefore, we recruited professional male players to complete a survey on CBD. Goodness of fit chi-square (χ2) was used to assess CBD use between codes and player position. Effects of age on use were determined using χ2 tests of independence. Twenty-five teams provided 517 player responses. While the majority of players had never used CBD (p < .001, V = 0.24), 26% had either used it (18%) or were still using it (8%). Significantly more CBD use was observed in rugby union compared with rugby league (p = .004, V = 0.13), but player position was not a factor (p = .760, V = 0.013). CBD use increased with players’ age (p < .001, V = 0.28), with mean use reaching 41% in the players aged 28 years and older category (p < .0001). The players using CBD primarily used the Internet (73%) or another teammate (61%) to obtain information, with only 16% consulting a nutritionist. The main reasons for CBD use were improving recovery/pain (80%) and sleep (78%), with 68% of players reporting a perceived benefit. These data highlight the need for immediate education on the risks of CBD, as well as the need to explore the claims regarding pain and sleep.

Open access

A Tool to Explore Discrete-Time Data: The Time Series Response Analyser

Benjamin J. Narang, Greg Atkinson, Javier T. Gonzalez, and James A. Betts

The analysis of time series data is common in nutrition and metabolism research for quantifying the physiological responses to various stimuli. The reduction of many data from a time series into a summary statistic(s) can help quantify and communicate the overall response in a more straightforward way and in line with a specific hypothesis. Nevertheless, many summary statistics have been selected by various researchers, and some approaches are still complex. The time-intensive nature of such calculations can be a burden for especially large data sets and may, therefore, introduce computational errors, which are difficult to recognize and correct. In this short commentary, the authors introduce a newly developed tool that automates many of the processes commonly used by researchers for discrete time series analysis, with particular emphasis on how the tool may be implemented within nutrition and exercise science research.