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Lucas Jurado-Fasoli, Wei Yang, Isabelle Kohler, Manuel Dote-Montero, Francisco J. Osuna-Prieto, Xinyu Di, Thomas Hankemeier, Elke H.J. Krekels, Amy C. Harms, Manuel J. Castillo, Francisco J. Amaro-Gahete, and Borja Martinez-Tellez

This study aimed to investigate the effects of different exercise training programs on fasting plasma levels of oxylipins, endocannabinoids (eCBs), and eCBs-like molecules in middle-aged sedentary adults. A 12-week randomized controlled trial was conducted using a parallel group design. Sixty-five middle-aged adults (40–65 years old) were randomly assigned to: (a) no exercise (control group), (b) concurrent training based on international physical activity recommendations (PAR group), (c) high-intensity interval training (HIIT group), and (d) HIIT together with whole-body electromyostimulation (HIIT + EMS group). Plasma levels of oxylipins, eCBs, and eCBs-like molecules were determined in plasma samples before and after the intervention using targeted lipidomics. Body composition was assessed through dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry, and dietary intake through a food frequency questionnaire and three nonconsecutive 24-hr recalls. The physical activity recommendations, HIIT, and HIIT-EMS groups showed decreased plasma levels of omega-6 and omega-3-derived oxylipins, and eCBs and eCBs-like molecules after 12 weeks (all Δ ≤ −0.12; all p < .05). Importantly, after Bonferroni post hoc corrections, the differences in plasma levels of omega-6 and omega-3 oxylipins were not statistically significant compared with the control group (all p > .05). However, after post hoc corrections, plasma levels of anandamide and oleoylethanolamide were increased in the physical activity recommendations group compared with the control group (anandamide: Δ = 0.05 vs. −0.09; oleoylethanolamide: Δ = −0.12 vs. 0.013, all p ≤ .049). In conclusion, this study reports that a 12-week exercise training intervention, independent of the modality applied, does not modify fasting plasma levels of omega-6 and omega-3 oxylipins, eCBs, and eCBs-like molecules in middle-aged sedentary adults.

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Samuel N. Cheuvront and Robert W. Kenefick

This study sought to (a) estimate how the duration of running influences sweat losses and contributes to the daily fluid requirement, and (b) empirically estimate the drinking rates required to prevent significant dehydration (≥2% body weight as body water). Individual sweating data and running duration were obtained from male (n = 83) and female (n = 36) runners (n = 146 total observations) performing under highly heterogeneous conditions and over a range of exercise durations (33–280 min). Running <60 min/day increased daily fluid needs by a factor of 1.3, whereas running >60 min/day increased the daily fluid need by a factor of 1.9–2.3. Running <60 min/day generally required no fluid intake to prevent significant dehydration before run completion (31/35 runners). In contrast, running >60 min/day required more than 50% replacement of sweating rates to prevent the same (65/111 runners). Overall sweat losses ranged from ∼0.2 to ∼5.0 L/day, whereas the drinking rates required to prevent significant dehydration ranged from 0 to 1.4 L/hr. The characterization of sweat losses, sweat rate, and required drinking among runners in this study indicate wide individual variability that warrants personalized hydration practices, particularly when running is prolonged (>60 min) and performance is important. This study may serve as a useful guidepost for sports dietitians when planning and communicating fluid needs to athletes, as well as complement guidance related to both personalized programmed and thirst-driven drinking strategies.

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Danny Christiansen, Casper B.L. Olsen, Frederik Kehler, Anders P. Hansen, Søren Jessen, Peter M. Christensen, and Jens Bangsbo

Purpose: This study tested the hypothesis of whether ischemic exercise preconditioning (IPC-Ex) elicits a better intense endurance exercise performance than traditional ischemic preconditioning at rest (IPC-rest) and a SHAM procedure. Methods: Twelve men (average V˙O2max ∼61 mL·kg−1·min−1) performed 3 trials on separate days, each consisting of either IPC-Ex (3 × 2-min cycling at ∼40 W with a bilateral-leg cuff pressure of ∼180 mm Hg), IPC-rest (4 × 5-min supine rest at 220 mm Hg), or SHAM (4 × 5-min supine rest at <10 mm Hg) followed by a standardized warm-up and a 4-minute maximal cycling performance test. Power output, blood lactate, potassium, pH, rating of perceived exertion, oxygen uptake, and gross efficiency were assessed. Results: Mean power during the performance test was higher in IPC-Ex versus IPC-rest (+4%; P = .002; 95% CI, +5 to 18 W). No difference was found between IPC-rest and SHAM (−2%; P = .10; 95% CI, −12 to 1 W) or between IPC-Ex and SHAM (+2%; P = .09; 95% CI, −1 to 13 W). The rating of perceived exertion increased following the IPC-procedure in IPC-Ex versus IPC-rest and SHAM (P < .001). During warm-up, IPC-Ex elevated blood pH versus IPC-rest and SHAM (P ≤ .027), with no trial differences for blood potassium (P > .09) or cycling efficiency (P ≥ .24). Eight subjects anticipated IPC-Ex to be best for their performance. Four subjects favored SHAM. Conclusions: Performance in a 4-minute maximal test was better following IPC-Ex than IPC-rest and tended to be better than SHAM. The IPC procedures did not affect blood potassium, while pH was transiently elevated only by IPC-Ex. The performance-enhancing effect of IPC-Ex versus IPC-rest may be attributed to a placebo effect, improved pH regulation, and/or a change in the perception of effort.

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Pedro L. Valenzuela, Manuel Mateo-March, Mikel Zabala, Xabier Muriel, Alejandro Lucia, David Barranco-Gil, and Jesús G. Pallarés

Purpose: Ambient temperature affects endurance exercise performance. However, most research has been conducted in a laboratory-based setting, and whether there are sex-specific trends remains unclear. The present study aimed to analyze the influence of ambient temperature on cycling performance in male and female professional cyclists using field-based data collected during both training and racing. Methods: A total of 74 cyclists (48 male and 26 female; age 29 [5] y, 8 [5] y of experience in the professional category) were included in the analyses. We registered the participants’ record power profile using data from both training and competitions over 8 years (2013–2020; 8 [5] seasons per cyclist). We analyzed their mean maximal power (MMP) values attained for efforts lasting 5 seconds, 30 seconds, 5 minutes, and 20 minutes at ambient temperatures ranging from <5°C to >35°C. Results: A significant influence of ambient temperature on MMP values was found in male and female cyclists (P < .001 for both), with no significant differences between sexes (P = .512). Cyclists attained the highest MMP values at temperate conditions (10–30°C in males and 5–25°C in females), whereas an impairment in performance was found at colder and hotter temperatures, particularly for the more extreme conditions (performance impairment at <5°C and >35°C of −18% to −9% and −16% to −9%, respectively). Conclusions: Ambient temperature influences field-based cycling performance, following a reverse U-shaped relationship, with the highest MMP values attained in the range of ∼10°C to 25°C and with no major differences between sexes.

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Salma Alabdulwahed, Natalia Galán-López, Tom Hill, Lewis J. James, Bryna Catherine Rose Chrismas, Sebastien Racinais, Trent Stellingwerff, Diogo V. Leal, Matheus Hausen, Karim Chamari, Hugh H.K. Fullagar, Christopher Esh, and Lee Taylor

Purpose: To survey elite athletes and practitioners to identify (1) knowledge and application of heat acclimation/acclimatization (HA) interventions, (2) barriers to HA application, and (3) nutritional practices supporting HA. Methods: Elite athletes (n = 55) and practitioners (n = 99) completed an online survey. Mann–Whitney U tests (effect size [ES; r]) assessed differences between ROLE (athletes vs practitioners) and CLIMATE (hot vs temperate). Logistic regression and Pearson chi-square (ES Phi [ϕ]) assessed relationships. Results: Practitioners were more likely to report measuring athletes’ core temperature (training: practitioners 40% [athletes 15%]; P = .001, odds ratio = 4.0, 95% CI, 2%–9%; competition: practitioners 25% [athletes 9%]; P = .020, odds ratio = 3.4, 95% CI, 1%–10%). Practitioners (55% [15% athletes]) were more likely to perceive rectal as the gold standard core temperature measurement site (P = .013, ϕ = .49, medium ES). Temperate (57% [22% hot]) CLIMATE dwellers ranked active HA effectiveness higher (P < .001, r = .30, medium ES). Practitioners commonly identified athletes’ preference (48%), accessibility, and cost (both 47%) as barriers to HA. Increasing carbohydrate intake when training in the heat was more likely recommended by practitioners (49%) than adopted by athletes (26%; P = .006, 95% CI, 0.1%–1%). Practitioners (56% [28% athletes]) were more likely to plan athletes’ daily fluid strategies, adopting a preplanned approach (P = .001; 95% CI, 0.1%–1%). Conclusions: Practitioners, and to a greater extent athletes, lacked self-reported key HA knowledge (eg, core temperature assessment/monitoring methods) yet demonstrated comparatively more appropriate nutritional practices (eg, hydration).

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Marie Javet, Stefan Fröhlich, Björn Bruhin, Walter O. Frey, Michael Romann, and Jörg Spörri

Purpose: To explore reasonable application purposes and potential confounders of the Swiss-Ski Power Test (SSPT) that is, since 2004, annually performed by all youth competitive alpine skiers of the under-16-years age category in Switzerland. Methods: Preseason SSPT results (8 individual tests on anaerobic and aerobic capacity, muscle strength, and speed and coordination) of 144 skiers (57 female and 87 male) age 14.5 (0.7) years were analyzed along with anthropometry and biological age. Skiing performance was quantified as the actual performance points according to the Swiss national ranking. After the SSPT tests, skiers were prospectively monitored over 12 months using the Oslo Trauma Research Center questionnaire. Data were analyzed using multivariate analysis of variance, Pearson correlations, and multiple linear/binary logistic regression models. Results: Biological maturation and SSPT results differed between sexes and age (P < .05). For males, SSPT results in the subdisciplines Swiss Cross, 1-leg 5-hop, and standing long jump were correlated to maturity offset, while for females only the obstacle run was related. High box jump and Swiss Cross scores were associated with skiing performance (P < .05). However, none of the SSPT subdisciplines was related to traumatic and overuse injuries (P < .05). Conclusions: The SSPT is a broadly implementable and cost-effective field test providing a general fitness profile of youth skiers. Around the growth spurt, differences in biological maturation should be considered. While SSPT results showed association with skiing performance, the test in its current form is limited for identifying injury-relevant physical deficiencies. Consequently, more specific tests may be required.

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Kobe Vermeire, Michael Ghijs, Jan G. Bourgois, and Jan Boone

Purpose: The purpose of this commentary is to outline some of the pitfalls when using the fitness–fatigue model to unravel the interaction between training load and performance. By doing so, we encourage sport scientists and coaches to interpret the parameters from the model with some extra caution. Conclusions: Caution is needed when interpreting the fitness–fatigue model since the parameter values are influenced by the starting parameter values, the modeling technique, and the input of the model. Also, the use of general constants should be avoided since they do not account for interindividual differences and differences between training-load methods. Therefore, we advise sport scientists and coaches to use the model as a way to work more data-informed rather than working data-driven.

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Iyed Salhi, Abderraouf Ben Aabderrahman, Raoua Triki, Cain C.T. Clark, Sabri Gaed, Anthony C. Hackney, Ayoub Saeidi, Ismail Laher, Jennifer A. Kurtz, Trisha A. VanDusseldorp, and Hassane Zouhal

Purpose: To determine the relationship between gastrointestinal hormones (leptin, glucagon-like peptide-1), ghrelin, cholecystokinin, peptide YY, morphological characteristics, and physical performances in elite soccer players. Methods: Q2 Twenty-two elite male soccer players (age = 23.1 [2.7] y, height = 177.0 [0.1] cm, weight = 70.2 [2.9] kg, body mass index = 22.1 [1.8] kg/m2) completed 3-day food records each week during the 5-week training period. Blood samples were drawn after an overnight fast before and after preseason training to assess gastrointestinal hormones (leptin, glucagon-like peptide-1, ghrelin, cholecystokinin, and peptide YY). Continuous analysis of the training load was used during the training period. Preintervention and postintervention tests assessed jumping (countermovement jump), sprinting (10, 20, and 30 m), and endurance fitness (the Yo-Yo Intermittent Recovery Test Level 1 [YYIRT1]) levels. Results: Preseason training decreased body mass index (P = .001; effect size [ES] = 0.183) and body fat percentage (P = .001; ES = 0.516). There were increases in countermovement jump (P = .032; ES = 0.215), 20- (P = .016; ES = 0.195) and 30-m sprints (P = .001; ES = 0.188), and YYIRT1 performance (P = .001; ES = 0.9). Levels of cholecystokinin, peptide YY, and ghrelin did not change during preseason training, although changes in leptin (P = .001; ES = 0.41) and glucagon-like peptide-1 levels (P = .039; ES = 0.606) were recorded. Leptinemia correlated with anthropometric parameters (body mass index, r = .77, P = .001; percentage of body fat,r = .67, P = .006) and the total distance covered during the YYIRT1 (r = −.54; P = .03). Conclusion: Changes in morphological parameters and physical performance in elite-level male soccer players are related to variations in selected gastrointestinal hormones.

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Jonathon Weakley, Shona L. Halson, and Iñigo Mujika

Context: To understand overtraining syndrome (OTS), it is important to detail the physiological and psychological changes that occur in athletes. Objectives: To systematically establish and detail the physiological and psychological changes that occur as a result of OTS in athletes. Methods: Databases were searched for studies that were (1) original investigations; (2) English, full-text articles; (3) published in peer-reviewed journals; (4) investigations into adult humans and provided (5) objective evidence that detailed changes in performance from prior to the onset of OTS diagnosis and that performance was suppressed for more than 4 weeks and (6) objective evidence of psychological symptoms. Results: Zero studies provided objective evidence of detailed changes in performance from prior to the onset of OTS diagnosis and demonstrated suppressed performance for more than 4 weeks accompanied by changes in psychological symptoms. Conclusions: All studies failed to provide evidence of changes in performance and mood from “healthy” to an overtrained state with evidence of prolonged suppression of performance. While OTS may be observed in the field, little data is available describing how physiological and psychological symptoms manifest. This stems from vague terminology, difficulties in monitoring for prolonged periods of time, and the need for prospective testing. Real-world settings may facilitate the collection of such data, but the ideal testing battery that can easily be conducted on a regular basis does not yet exist. Consequently, it must be concluded that an evidence base of sufficient scientific quality for understanding OTS in athletes is lacking.

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Nicola Giovanelli, Lara Mari, Asia Patini, and Stefano Lazzer

Purpose: The aim of this study was to compare pole walking (PW) and walking without poles (W) on a steep uphill mountain path (1.3 km, 433 m of elevation gain) at 2 different intensities: a maximal effort that would simulate a vertical kilometer intensity and a lower intensity (80% of maximal) simulating an ultratrail race. Methods: On the first day, we tested the participants in the laboratory to determine their maximal physiological parameters, respiratory compensation point, and gas exchange threshold. Then, they completed 4 uphill tests along a mountain path on 4 separate days, 2 at their maximum effort (PWmax and Wmax, randomized order) and 2 at 80% of the mean vertical velocity maintained during the first 2 trials (PW80 and W80, randomized order). We collected metabolic data, heart rate, blood lactate concentration, and rating of perceived exertion at the end of each trial. We also collected rating of perceived exertion at every 100 m of elevation gain during PW80 and W80. Results: Participants completed the maximal effort faster with poles versus without poles (18:51 [03:12] vs 19:19 [03:01] in min:s, P = .013, d = 0.08, small). Twelve of the 15 participants (80%) improved their performance when they used poles. During PW80 and W80, none of the physiological or biomechanical parameters were different. Conclusion: In the examined condition, athletes should use poles during steep uphill maximal efforts to obtain the best performance. Conversely, during submaximal effort, the use of poles does not provide advantages in uphill PW.