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Alannah K.A. McKay, Peter Peeling, David B. Pyne, Nicolin Tee, Marijke Welveart, Ida A. Heikura, Avish P. Sharma, Jamie Whitfield, Megan L. Ross, Rachel P.L. van Swelm, Coby M. Laarakkers, and Louise M. Burke

This study implemented a 2-week high carbohydrate (CHO) diet intended to maximize CHO oxidation rates and examined the iron-regulatory response to a 26-km race walking effort. Twenty international-level, male race walkers were assigned to either a novel high CHO diet (MAX = 10 g/kg body mass CHO daily) inclusive of gut-training strategies, or a moderate CHO control diet (CON = 6 g/kg body mass CHO daily) for a 2-week training period. The athletes completed a 26-km race walking test protocol before and after the dietary intervention. Venous blood samples were collected pre-, post-, and 3 hr postexercise and measured for serum ferritin, interleukin-6, and hepcidin-25 concentrations. Similar decreases in serum ferritin (17–23%) occurred postintervention in MAX and CON. At the baseline, CON had a greater postexercise increase in interleukin-6 levels after 26 km of walking (20.1-fold, 95% CI [9.2, 35.7]) compared with MAX (10.2-fold, 95% CI [3.7, 18.7]). A similar finding was evident for hepcidin levels 3 hr postexercise (CON = 10.8-fold, 95% CI [4.8, 21.2]; MAX = 8.8-fold, 95% CI [3.9, 16.4]). Postintervention, there were no substantial differences in the interleukin-6 response (CON = 13.6-fold, 95% CI [9.2, 20.5]; MAX = 11.2-fold, 95% CI [6.5, 21.3]) or hepcidin levels (CON = 7.1-fold, 95% CI [2.1, 15.4]; MAX = 6.3-fold, 95% CI [1.8, 14.6]) between the dietary groups. Higher resting serum ferritin (p = .004) and hotter trial ambient temperatures (p = .014) were associated with greater hepcidin levels 3 hr postexercise. Very high CHO diets employed by endurance athletes to increase CHO oxidation have little impact on iron regulation in elite athletes. It appears that variations in serum ferritin concentration and ambient temperature, rather than dietary CHO, are associated with increased hepcidin concentrations 3 hr postexercise.

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Cassandra Ferguson, Brad Aisbett, Michele Lastella, Spencer Roberts, and Dominique Condo

Objectives: To investigate the effect of evening whey protein supplementation, rich in tryptophan, on sleep in elite male Australian Rules Football players. Design: Double-blinded, counterbalanced, randomized, cross-over study. Methods: Sleep was assessed using wrist activity monitors and sleep diaries in 15 elite male Australian Football League players on two training and nontraining days following evening consumption of an isocaloric whey protein supplement or placebo in preseason. A 5-day preintervention period was implemented to determine habitual dietary intake and baseline sleep measures. These habitual data were used to inform the daily dietary intake and timing of ingestion of the evening whey protein supplement or placebo on the intervention days. The whey protein supplement or placebo was consumed 3 hr prior to habitual bedtime. Results: Separate one-way repeated-measures analyses of covariance revealed no differences between the whey protein supplement and the placebo on sleep duration, sleep onset latency, sleep efficiency, or wake after sleep onset on either training or nontraining days. Conclusions: Evening whey protein supplementation, rich in tryptophan, does not improve acute sleep duration or quality in elite male Australian Football League players. However, elite athletes may be able to ingest a high protein/energy intake close to bedtime without impairing sleep, which is important for athlete recovery. Future research should investigate the effect of evening protein intake, high in tryptophan, on sleep duration and quality, including sleep staging during periods of restricted sleep and in poor-sleeping athletes.

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Jason C. Siegler, Amelia J. Carr, William T. Jardine, Lilia Convit, Rebecca Cross, Dale Chapman, Louise M. Burke, and Megan Ross

Buffering agents have not been comprehensively profiled in terms of their capacity to influence water retention prior to exercise. The purpose of this investigation was to profile the fluid retention characteristics of sodium bicarbonate (BIC) and sodium citrate (CIT) to determine the efficacy of these buffering mediums as hyperhydrating agents. Nineteen volunteers (13 males and six females; age = 28.3 ± 4.9 years) completed three trials (randomized and cross-over design). For each trial, a baseline measurement of body mass, capillary blood, and urine was collected prior to ingestion of their respective condition (control condition [CON] = 25 ml/kg artificially sweetened water; BIC condition = CON + 7.5 g/L of sodium in the form of BIC; CIT condition = CON + 7.5 g/L of sodium in the form of CIT). The fluid loads were consumed in four equal aliquots (0, 20, 40 and 60 min; fluid intake was 1.972 ± 361 ml [CON]; 1.977 ± 360 ml [BIC]; 1.953 ± 352 ml [CIT]). Samples were recorded at 20 (body mass and urine) and 60 min (blood) intervals for 180 min. Blood buffering capacity (HCO3 ) was elevated (p < .001) in both BIC (32.1 ± 2.2 mmol/L) and CIT (28.9 ± 3.8 mmol/L) at 180 min compared with CON (25.1 ± 1.8 mmol/L). Plasma volume expansion was greater (p < .001) in both BIC (8.1 ± 1.3%) and CIT (5.9 ± 1.8%) compared with CON (−1.1 ± 1.4%); whereas, total urine production was lower in BIC and CIT at 180 min (BIC vs. CON, mean difference of 370 ± 85 ml; p < .001; CIT vs. CON, mean difference of 239 ± 102 ml; p = .05). There were no increases observed in body mass (p = .9). Under resting conditions, these data suggest BIC and CIT induce a greater plasma hypervolemic response as compared with water alone.

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Mohamed Nashrudin Naharudin, Ashril Yusof, David J. Clayton, and Lewis J. James

Background: Preexercise food intake enhances exercise performance due, in part, to the provision of exogenous carbohydrate. Food intake also suppresses hunger, but the specific influence of hunger on exercise performance has not been investigated. This study aimed to manipulate hunger by altering preexercise meal viscosity to examine whether hunger influences performance. Methods: Sixteen resistance-trained males completed 2 experimental trials ingesting either high viscosity semisolid (SEM) and low viscosity liquid (LIQ) carbohydrate-containing meals 2 hours before performing 4 sets of back squat (85 [22] kg) and bench press (68 [13] kg) to failure at 90% 10-repetition maximum. Subjective hunger/fullness as well as plasma concentrations of glucose, insulin, ghrelin, and peptide tyrosine–tyrosine were measured before and periodically after the meal. Repetitions completed in sets were used to determine exercise performance. Results: Hunger was lower, and fullness was greater during SEM compared with LIQ immediately before and during exercise (P < .05). Total repetitions completed for back squat were approximately 10% greater in SEM (SEM 57 [9]; LIQ 51 [7] repetitions; P = .001) with no difference in bench press repetitions (SEM 48 [11]; LIQ 48 [10] repetitions; P = .621). Postprandial glucose concentrations were greater during LIQ (12% increase in peak glucose) but were similar throughout exercise. Conclusion: This study demonstrates that exercise performance in back squat was increased in the SEM trial concomitant to a reduction in hunger. Therefore, this study provides novel data that suggest that exercise performance might be influenced by hunger, at least for resistance exercise.

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Marcel Lemire, Romain Remetter, Thomas J. Hureau, Bernard Geny, Evelyne Lonsdorfer, Fabrice Favret, and Stéphane P. Dufour

Purpose: This study aimed to determine the contribution of metabolic, cardiopulmonary, neuromuscular, and biomechanical factors to the energy cost (ECR) of graded running in well-trained runners. Methods: Eight men who were well-trained trail runners (age: 29 [10] y, mean [SD]; maximum oxygen consumption: 68.0 [6.4] mL·min−1·kg−1) completed maximal isometric evaluations of lower limb extensor muscles and 3 randomized trials on a treadmill to determine their metabolic and cardiovascular responses and running gait kinematics during downhill (DR: −15% slope), level (0%), and uphill running (UR: 15%) performed at similar O2 uptake (approximately 60% maximum oxygen consumption). Results: Despite similar O2 demand, ECR was lower in DR versus level running versus UR (2.5 [0.2] vs 3.6 [0.2] vs 7.9 [0.5] J·kg−1·m−1, respectively; all P < .001). Energy cost of running was correlated between DR and level running conditions only (r 2 = .63; P = .018). Importantly, while ECR was correlated with heart rate, cardiac output, and arteriovenous O2 difference in UR (all r 2 > .50; P < .05), ECR was correlated with lower limb vertical stiffness, ground contact time, stride length, and step frequency in DR (all r 2 > .58; P < .05). Lower limb isometric extension torques were not related to ECR whatever the slope. Conclusion: The determining physiological factors of ECR might be slope specific, mainly metabolic and cardiovascular in UR versus mainly neuromuscular and mechanical in DR. This possible slope specificity of ECR during incline running opens the way for the implementation of differentiated physiological evaluations and training strategies to optimize performance in well-trained trail runners.

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Francisco J. Llorente-Cantarero, Francisco J. Aguilar-Gómez, Gloria Bueno-Lozano, Augusto Anguita-Ruiz, Azahara I. Rupérez, Rocío Vázquez-Cobela, Katherine Flores-Rojas, Concepción M. Aguilera, Luis A. Moreno, Ángel Gil, Rosaura Leis, and Mercedes Gil-Campos

Childhood obesity has been related to metabolic syndrome and low-grade chronic inflammation. This study aimed to evaluate the impact of physical activity intensities and practice on inflammation, endothelial damage, and cardiometabolic risk factors in children. There were 513 participants, aged 6–14 years, recruited for the study. Physical activity was measured by accelerometry, and the children were classified into four groups according to quartiles of moderate to vigorous physical activity (MVPA) practice as very low active, low active, moderate active, and high active. Anthropometric measures, blood pressure, and plasma metabolic and proinflammatory parameters were analyzed. Very low active group presented a worse lipid profile and higher insulin, leptin, adiponectin, resistin, matrix metallopeptidase-9, and tissue plasminogen activator inhibitor-1, while lower levels of tumor necrosis factor-alpha, Type 1 macrophages, and interleukin 8 than high-active children. Regression analyses showed that a higher MVPA practice was associated with lower levels of triacylglycerols (β: −0.118; p = .008), resistin (β: −0.151; p = .005), tPAI (β: −0.105; p = .046), and P-selectin (β: −0.160; p = .006), independently of sex, age, and body mass index (BMI). In contrast, a higher BMI was associated with higher levels of insulin (β: 0.370; p < .001), Homeostasis Model Assessment (β: 0.352; p < .001), triacylglycerols (β: 0.209; p < .001), leptin (β: 0.654; p < .001), tumor necrosis factor-alpha (β: 0.182; p < .001), Type 1macrophages (β: 0.181; p < .001), and tissue plasminogen activator inhibitor (β: 0.240; p < .001), independently of sex, age, and MVPA. A better anthropometric, metabolic, and inflammatory profile was detected in the most active children; however, these differences were partly due to BMI. These results suggest that a higher MVPA practice and a lower BMI in children may lead to a better cardiometabolic status.