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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

“It Looks Good on Paper, But It Was Never Meant to Be Real”: Mixed-Gender Events in the Paralympic Movement

Nikolaus A. Dean, Andrea Bundon, P. David Howe, and Natalie Abele

Although the Paralympic Games have been around for over 60 years, women remain underrepresented in almost all aspects of the Paralympic Movement. It has been suggested that a way to increase women’s involvement is through the implementation of mixed-gender events. On paper, this approach makes sense. However, when it comes to the implementation of mixed-gender opportunities for women, it is less clear how effective these events are in increasing participation by women in Para sport. Through document analysis and interviews with athletes and organizers of mixed-gender Paralympic sport, we explore the various strategies that four mixed-gender sports have used to address the issue of gender parity. Using critical feminist theories, we illustrate how larger social, political, and cultural ideas about gender influence women’s experiences within these events and discuss the potential of using mixed-gender initiatives to address gender parity within the Paralympic Movement.

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Physiological Responses and Swimming-Performance Changes Induced by Altering the Sequence of Training Sets

Ioannis S. Nikitakis, Gregory C. Bogdanis, Giorgos P. Paradisis, and Argyris G. Toubekis

Purpose: Interval-training sets may be applied in a different sequence within a swimming training session. The aim of this study was to investigate the effect of different set sequences on performance and physiological responses in a training session. Methods: Twelve highly trained male swimmers performed 4 sessions in randomized order. Each session included a different combination of 2 training sets: set A–set C, set C–set A, set B–set C, or set C–set B. Set A consisted of 8 × 200 m at speed corresponding to lactate threshold (30-s recovery), set B included 8 × 100 m at maximum aerobic speed (30-s recovery), and set C included 4 × 50-m all-out swimming (2-min recovery). Performance and physiological responses (lactate concentration, pH, base excess, bicarbonate, heart rate, and heart-rate variability) were measured. Results: Performance in each set was similar between sessions irrespective of set sequence. Blood lactate, heart rate, and acid–base responses during set C were similar in all sessions, but blood lactate was higher in sets A and B during C–A and C–B sessions (P = .01). The overall blood lactate and acid–base response was higher in C–A and C–B sessions compared with A–C and B–C sessions, respectively (P = .01). Heart-rate variability in each set, separately as well as the overall session effect, did not differ and was thus independent to the set sequence applied. Conclusions: Training sessions including all-out swimming as a first set increase the magnitude of metabolic responses to the subsequent aerobic-dominated training set.

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.

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Load–Velocity Profile and Active Drag in Young Female Swimmers: An Age-Group Comparison

Christina Wettengl, Rebecca Karlsson, Bjørn H. Olstad, and Tomohiro Gonjo

Purpose: The present study aimed to establish differences in load–velocity profiling, active drag (AD), and drag coefficient (Cd) between 3 age groups of female swimmers. Methods: Thirty-three swimmers (11, 13, or 16 y old) were recruited. The individual load–velocity profile was determined for the 4 competitive swimming strokes. The maximal velocity (V0), maximal load (L0), L0 normalized to the body mass, AD, and Cd were compared between the groups. A 2-way analysis of variance and correlation analysis were conducted. Results: Compared with their younger counterparts, 16-year-old swimmers generally had larger V0, L0, and AD, which was particularly evident when comparing them with 11-year-old swimmers (P ≤ .052). The exception was breaststroke, where no differences were observed in L0 and AD and Cd was smaller in the 16-year-old group than the 11-year-old group (P = .03). There was a negative correlation between Cd and V0 for all groups in backstroke (P ≤ .038) and for the 11-year-old group and 13-year-old group in breaststroke (P ≤ .022) and front crawl (P ≤ .010). For the 16-year-old group, large correlations with V0 were observed for L0, L0 normalized to the body mass, and AD (P ≤ .010) in breaststroke and for L0 and AD with V0 in front crawl (P ≤ .042). In butterfly, large negative correlations with V0 were observed in the 13-year-old group for all parameters (P ≤ .027). Conclusions: Greater propulsive force is likely the factor that differentiates the oldest age group from the younger groups, except for breaststroke, where a lower Cd (implying a better technique) is evident in the oldest group.

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Thermal Sensation After the 10-km Open-Water Swimming in Cool Water Depends on the Skin’s Thermal Sensitivity Rather Than Core Temperature

Tomomi Fujimoto, Yuiko Matsuura, Yasuhiro Baba, and Reira Hara

Purpose: To assess the core temperature fluctuations during 10-km open-water swimming (OWS) in cool water and the relationship between thermal sensation (TS) after 10-km OWS, core temperature, and local skin thermal sensitivity. Methods: Nine highly trained OWS swimmers (4 female; age 22 [3] y) completed a single 10-km trial in cool water (22.3 °C) wearing swimsuits for OWS. During the trial, core temperature was continuously recorded via ingestible temperature sensors, and TS after trial was also measured. Then, local skin warm/cool sensitivity was measured in the forearm. Results: All swimmers completed the 10-km OWS. Mean swimming speed for males and females were 1.39 (1.37–1.42 m/s) and 1.33 m/s (1.29–1.38 m/s), respectively. Core temperature increased in 8 out of 9 swimmers during 10-km OWS (P = .047), with an average increase of 0.8 °C. TS after 10-km OWS varied among swimmers. There were no correlations between post-OWS TS and post-OWS core temperature (P = .9333), whereas there was a negative correlation between post-OWS TS and local skin cool sensitivity (P = .0056). Conclusion: These results suggest that core temperature in elite swimmers might not decrease during 10-km OWS in the cool water temperature of official OWS. In addition, individual differences in TS after 10-km OWS may be related to skin cool sensitivity rather than core temperature.

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Exploring Physical Educators’ Self-Efficacy to Teach Students With Disabilities in General Physical Education

Lindsey A. Nowland

The purpose of this study was to explore the ways in which in-service physical education teachers construct their self-efficacy beliefs toward teaching students with disabilities in general physical education classes. Using a qualitative descriptive approach situated within self-efficacy theory, data were collected via semistructured audio-recorded interviews with 16 in-service physical educators. Three interrelated themes were constructed: (a) The more I do it, the better I feel: the importance of professional experiences; (b) I’ve learned from others: the influence of colleagues; and (c) Being in the general educational setting is a challenge: the impact of contextual factors. Findings supported the influence of the four sources of self-efficacy (i.e., mastery experience, vicarious experience, social persuasion, and affective and physiological state), in addition to potential contextual factors (i.e., class sizes and availability of hands-on support), impacting participants’ self-efficacy to teach students with disabilities in general physical education classes.

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Erratum. Match Running Performance in Australian Football Is Related to Muscle Fiber Typology

International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance

Free access

Performance Management in Elite Football: A Teamwork Modeling Approach

Joao Marques and Karim Chamari