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Auditing the Representation of Females Versus Males in Heat Adaptation Research

Monica K. Kelly, Ella S. Smith, Harry A. Brown, William T. Jardine, Lilia Convit, Steven J. Bowe, Dominique Condo, Joshua H. Guy, Louise M. Burke, Julien D. Périard, Rhiannon M.J. Snipe, Rodney J. Snow, and Amelia J. Carr

The aim of this audit was to quantify female representation in research on heat adaptation. Using a standardized audit tool, the PubMed database was searched for heat adaptation literature from inception to February 2023. Studies were included if they investigated heat adaptation among female and male adults (≥18–50 years) who were free from noncommunicable diseases, with heat adaptation the primary or secondary outcome of interest. The number and sex of participants, athletic caliber, menstrual status, research theme, journal impact factor, Altmetric score, Field-Weighted Citation Impact, and type of heat exposure were extracted. A total of 477 studies were identified in this audit, including 7,707 participants with ∼13% of these being female. Most studies investigated male-only cohorts (∼74%, n = 5,672 males), with ∼5% (n = 360 females) including female-only cohorts. Of the 126 studies that included females, only 10% provided some evidence of appropriate methodological control to account for ovarian hormone status, with no study meeting best-practice recommendations. Of the included female participants, 40% were able to be classified to an athletic caliber, with 67% of these being allocated to Tier 2 (i.e., trained/developmental) or below. Exercise heat acclimation was the dominant method of heat exposure (437 interventions), with 21 studies investigating sex differences in exercise heat acclimation interventions. We recommend that future research on heat adaptation in female participants use methodological approaches that consider the potential impact of sexual dimorphism on study outcomes to provide evidence-based guidelines for female athletes preparing for exercise or competition in hot conditions.

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Volume 34 (2024): Issue 1 (Jan 2024)

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Resistance Exercise Training, a Simple Intervention to Preserve Muscle Mass and Strength in Prostate Cancer Patients on Androgen Deprivation Therapy

Lisanne H.P. Houben, Milou Beelen, Luc J.C. van Loon, and Sandra Beijer

Androgen deprivation therapy (ADT) forms the cornerstone in the treatment of advanced prostate cancer. However, by suppressing testosterone ADT results in a decrease of skeletal muscle mass. In this narrative review, we explore the magnitude and mechanisms of ADT-induced muscle mass loss and the consequences for muscle strength and physical performance. Subsequently, we elucidate the effectiveness of supervised resistance exercise training as a means to mitigate these adverse effects. Literature shows that resistance exercise training can effectively counteract ADT-induced loss of appendicular lean body mass and decline in muscle strength, while the effect on physical performances is inconclusive. As resistance exercise training is feasible and can be safely implemented during ADT (with special attention for patients with bone metastases), it should be incorporated in standard clinical care for prostate cancer patients (starting) with ADT.

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Effects of Timing and Types of Protein Supplementation on Improving Muscle Mass, Strength, and Physical Performance in Adults Undergoing Resistance Training: A Network Meta-Analysis

Huan-Huan Zhou, Yuxiao Liao, Xiaolei Zhou, Zhao Peng, Shiyin Xu, Shaojun Shi, Liegang Liu, Liping Hao, and Wei Yang

Precise protein supplementation strategies for muscle improvement are still lacking. The timing or type of protein supplementation has been debated as a window of opportunity to improve muscle mass, strength, and physical performance. We conducted a network meta-analysis of randomized controlled trials with protein supplements and resistance training. PubMed, Web of Science, Cochrane Library, and SPORTDiscus databases were searched until May 1, 2023. We included 116 eligible trials with 4,711 participants that reported on 11 timing and 14 types of protein supplementation. Compared with placebo, protein supplementation after exercise (mean difference [MD]: 0.54 kg [95% confidence intervals 0.10, 0.99] for fat-free mass, MD: 0.34 kg [95% confidence intervals 0.10, 0.58] for skeletal muscle mass) and at night (MD: 2.85 kg [0.49, 5.22] for handgrip strength, MD: 12.12 kg [3.26, 20.99] for leg press strength) was most effective in improving muscle mass and strength, respectively (moderate certainty). Milk proteins (milk, whey protein, yogurt, casein, and bovine colostrum), red meat, and mixed protein were effective for gains in both muscle mass and strength (moderate certainty). No timing or type of protein showed a significant enhancement in physical performance (timed up-to-go test, 6-min walk test, and gait speed). Pre/postexercise and Night are key recommended times of protein intake to increase muscle mass and strength, respectively. Milk proteins are the preferred types of protein supplements for improving muscle mass and strength. Future randomized controlled trials that directly compare the effects of protein timing or types are needed. This trial was registered at International Prospective Register of Systematic Reviews as CRD42022358766.

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Acknowledgments

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Volume 33 (2023): Issue 6 (Nov 2023)

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Partly Substituting Whey for Collagen Peptide Supplementation Improves Neither Indices of Muscle Damage Nor Recovery of Functional Capacity During Eccentric Exercise Training in Fit Males

Ruben Robberechts, Chiel Poffé, Noémie Ampe, Stijn Bogaerts, and Peter Hespel

Previous studies showed that collagen peptide supplementation along with resistance exercise enhance muscular recovery and function. Yet, the efficacy of collagen peptide supplementation in addition to standard nutritional practices in athletes remains unclear. Therefore, the objective of the study was to compare the effects of combined collagen peptide (20 g) and whey protein (25 g) supplementation with a similar daily protein dose (45 g) of whey protein alone on indices of muscle damage and recovery of muscular performance during eccentric exercise training. Young fit males participated in a 3-week training period involving unilateral eccentric exercises for the knee extensors. According to a double-blind, randomized, parallel-group design, before and after training, they received either whey protein (n = 11) or whey protein + collagen peptides (n = 11). Forty-eight hours after the first training session, maximal voluntary isometric and dynamic contraction of the knee extensors were transiently impaired by ∼10% (P time < .001) in whey protein and whey protein + collagen peptides, while creatine kinase levels were doubled in both groups (P time < .01). Furthermore, the training intervention improved countermovement jump performance and maximal voluntary dynamic contraction by respectively 8% and 10% (P time < .01) and increased serum procollagen type 1N-terminal peptide concentration by 10% (P time < .01). However, no differences were found for any of the outcomes between whey and whey protein + collagen peptides. In conclusion, substituting a portion of whey protein for collagen peptide, within a similar total protein dose, improved neither indices of eccentric muscle damage nor functional outcomes during eccentric training.

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Guarana (Paullinia cupana) but Not Low-Dose Caffeine Improves Cycling Time-Trial Performance Versus Placebo

Eduardo M. Penna, Alec Harp, Brian Hack, Tyler N. Talik, and Melinda Millard-Stafford

Guarana (GUA) seed extract, containing caffeine (CAF) and additional bioactive compounds, may positively affect mental performance, but evidence regarding exercise is limited. This investigation assessed acute GUA ingestion compared with CAF on endurance performance. Eleven endurance-trained noncyclists and cyclists ( V ˙ O 2 peak  = 49.7 ± 5.9, 60.4 ± 4.6 ml·kg·min−1) completed a double-blind, crossover experiment after ingesting (a) 100 mg CAF, (b) 500 mg GUA (containing 130 mg CAF), or (c) placebo (P) prior to 60-min fixed cycling workload (FIX) + 15-min time trial. Oxygen uptake, heart rate, respiratory exchange ratio, blood glucose, and lactate were not different (p ≥ .052) during FIX. A significant interaction (p = .042) for perceived exertion was observed at 50-min FIX with lower rating (p = .023) for GUA versus CAF but not compared with P. Work accumulated over 15-min time trial was greater (p = .038) for GUA versus P due to higher early (1–11 min) work outputs. Work performance favored (effect size = 0.18; 95% confidence interval [0.003, 0.355], p = .046) GUA (241.4 ± 39.9 kJ) versus P (232.1 ± 46.6 kJ), but CAF (232.3 ± 43.9) was not different from GUA (effect size = 0.19; 95% confidence interval [−0.022, 0.410], p = .079) or P. Postexercise strength loss was not attenuated with GUA (−5.6 ± 8.5%) or CAF (−8.3 ± 9.4%) versus P (−10.3 ± 5.1%). Acute GUA ingestion improved work performance relative to P, but effects were trivial to small and unrelated to altered substrate oxidation or muscular strength. Ergogenicity may involve central mechanisms reducing perceived effort with GUA (containing 130 mg caffeine). Due to issues related to identical matching of dosage, whether GUA confers additional benefits beyond its CAF content cannot be determined at present.

Open access

Jumping Exercise Combined With Collagen Supplementation Preserves Bone Mineral Density in Elite Cyclists

Luuk Hilkens, Nick van Schijndel, Vera C.R. Weijer, Lieselot Decroix, Judith Bons, Luc J.C. van Loon, and Jan-Willem van Dijk

This study assessed the effect of combined jump training and collagen supplementation on bone mineral density (BMD) in elite road-race cyclists. In this open-label, randomized study with two parallel groups, 36 young (21 ± 3 years) male (n = 8) and female (n = 28) elite road-race cyclists were allocated to either an intervention (INT: n = 18) or a no-treatment control (CON: n = 18) group. The 18-week intervention period, conducted during the off-season, comprised five 5-min bouts of jumping exercise per week, with each bout preceded by the ingestion of 15 g hydrolyzed collagen. Before and after the intervention, BMD of various skeletal sites and trabecular bone score of the lumbar spine were assessed by dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry, along with serum bone turnover markers procollagen Type I N propeptide and carboxy-terminal cross-linking telopeptide of Type I collagen. BMD of the femoral neck decreased in CON (from 0.789 ± 0.104 to 0.774 ± 0.095 g/cm2), while being preserved in INT (from 0.803 ± 0.058 to 0.809 ± 0.066 g/cm2; Time × Treatment, p < .01). No differences between treatments were observed for changes in BMD at the total hip, lumbar spine, and whole body (Time × Treatment, p > .05 for all). Trabecular bone score increased from 1.38 ± 0.08 to 1.40 ± 0.09 in CON and from 1.46 ± 0.08 to 1.47 ± 0.08 in INT, respectively (time effect: p < .01), with no differences between treatments (Time × Treatment: p = .33). Serum procollagen Type I N propeptide concentrations decreased to a similar extent in CON (83.6 ± 24.8 to 71.4 ± 23.1 ng/ml) and INT (82.8 ± 30.7 to 66.3 ± 30.6; time effect, p < .001; Time × Treatment, p = .22). Serum carboxy-terminal cross-linking telopeptide of Type I collagen concentrations did not change over time, with no differences between treatments (time effect, p = .08; Time × Treatment, p = .58). In conclusion, frequent short bouts of jumping exercise combined with collagen supplementation beneficially affects femoral neck BMD in elite road-race cyclists.

Open access

Muscle Mass and Strength Gains Following Resistance Exercise Training in Older Adults 65–75 Years and Older Adults Above 85 Years

Gabriel Nasri Marzuca-Nassr, Andrea Alegría-Molina, Yuri SanMartín-Calísto, Macarena Artigas-Arias, Nolberto Huard, Jorge Sapunar, Luis A. Salazar, Lex B. Verdijk, and Luc J.C. van Loon

Resistance exercise training (RET) can be applied effectively to increase muscle mass and function in older adults (65–75 years). However, it has been speculated that older adults above 85 years are less responsive to the benefits of RET. This study compares the impact of RET on muscle mass and function in healthy older adults 65–75 years versus older adults above 85 years. We subjected 17 healthy older adults 65–75 years (OLDER 65–75, n = 13/4 [female/male]; 68 ± 2 years; 26.9 ± 2.3 kg/m2) and 12 healthy older adults above 85 years (OLDER 85+, n = 7/5 [female/male]; 87 ± 3 years; 26.0 ± 3.6 kg/m2) to 12 weeks of whole-body RET (three times per week). Prior to, and after 6 and 12 weeks of training, quadriceps and lumbar spine vertebra 3 muscle cross-sectional area (computed tomography scan), whole-body lean mass (dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry scan), strength (one-repetition maximum test), and physical performance (timed up and go and short physical performance battery) were assessed. Twelve weeks of RET resulted in a 10% ± 4% and 11% ± 5% increase in quadriceps cross-sectional area (from 46.5 ± 10.7 to 51.1 ± 12.1 cm2, and from 38.9 ± 6.1 to 43.1 ± 8.0 cm2, respectively; p < .001; η2 = .67); a 2% ± 3% and 2% ± 3% increase in whole-body lean mass (p = .001; η2 = .22); and a 38% ± 20% and 46% ± 14% increase in one-repetition maximum leg extension strength (p < .001; η2 = .77) in the OLDER 65–75 and OLDER 85+ groups, respectively. No differences in the responses to RET were observed between groups (Time × Group, all p > .60; all η2 ≤ .012). Physical performance on the short physical performance battery and timed up and go improved (both p < .01; η2 ≥ .22), with no differences between groups (Time × Group, p > .015; η2 ≤ .07). Prolonged RET increases muscle mass, strength, and physical performance in the aging population, with no differences between 65–75 years and 85+ years older adults.