Matthias Hovorka, Peter Leo, Dieter Simon, Clemens Rumpl, and Alfred Nimmerichter
Purpose: The purpose of the current investigation was to retrospectively assess possible differences in physiological performance characteristics between junior cyclists signing a contract with an under-23 (U23) development team versus those failing to sign such a contract. Methods: Twenty-five male junior cyclists (age: 18.1 [0.7] y, stature: 181.9 [6.0] cm, body mass: 69.1 [7.9] kg, peak oxygen uptake: 71.3 [6.2] mL·min−1·kg−1) were assigned to this investigation. Between September and October of the last year in the junior category, each cyclist performed a ramp incremental exercise test to determine certain physiological performance characteristics. Subsequently, participants were divided in 2 groups: (1) those signing a contract with a U23 development team (JUNIORU23) and (2) those failing to sign such a contract (JUNIORNON-U23). Unpaired t tests were used to assess possible between-groups differences in physiological performance characteristics. The level of statistical significance was set at P < .05 two tailed. Results: No significant between-groups differences in submaximal (ie, gas exchange threshold, respiratory compensation point) and maximal physiological performance characteristics (ie, peak work rate, peak oxygen uptake) expressed in absolute values (ie, L·min−1, W) were observed (P > .05). However, significant between-groups differences were observed when physiological performance characteristics were expressed relative to the cyclists’ body weights (P < .05). Conclusions: The current investigation showed that junior cyclists stepping up to a U23 development team might be retrospectively differentiated from junior cyclists not stepping up based on certain physiological performance characteristics, which might inform practitioners and/or federations working with young cyclists during the long-term athletic development process.
Timothy D. Griest, Michael J. Saunders, Christopher J. Womack, and Nicholas D. Luden
Purpose: The primary objective was to assess the performance benefits of caffeine (CAF) supplementation in habitual users. Importantly, this investigation was designed to account for the potential confounding effects of CAF withdrawal (CAFW), which are inherent and common in previous work. Methods: Ten CAF-consuming (394  mg·d−1) recreational cyclists (age 39.1 [14.9] y; maximum oxygen consumption 54.2 [6.2] mL·kg–1·min–1) completed four 10-km time trials (TTs) on a cycle ergometer. On each trial day, 8 hours before reporting to the laboratory, subjects consumed 1.5 mg·kg–1 CAF to prevent withdrawal (no withdrawal [N]) or a placebo (PLA; withdrawal [W]). Then, 1 hour prior to exercise, they received either 6 mg·kg–1 CAF or PLA. These protocols were repeated 4 times, employing all combinations of N/W and CAF/PLA. Results: CAFW did not impair TT power output (PLAW vs PLAN P = .13). However, preexercise CAF only improved TT performance when compared to PLA in the W condition (CAFN vs PLAW P = .008, CAFW vs PLAW P = .04), not when W was mitigated (PLAN vs CAFN P = .33). Conclusions: These data indicate that preexercise CAF only improves recreational cycling performance when compared to bouts preceded by CAF abstinence, suggesting that habitual users may not benefit from 6 mg·kg–1 of CAF and that previous work may have overstated the value of CAF supplementation for habitual users. Future work should examine higher doses of CAF for habitual users.
Emily Bremer, Kelly P. Arbour-Nicitopoulos, Brianna Tsui, Kathleen A. Martin Ginis, Sarah A. Moore, Krista L. Best, and Christine Voss
Purpose: To examine the feasibility and utility of the Fitbit Charge HR to estimate physical activity among ambulatory children and youth with disabilities. Method: Participants (4–17 y old) with disabilities were recruited and asked to wear a Fitbit for 28 days. Feasibility was assessed as the number of participants who adhered to the 28-day protocol. Heat maps were generated to visually examine variability in step count by age, gender, and disability group. Between-group differences for wear time and step counts by age, gender, and disability type were assessed by independent sample t tests for gender and disability group, and a 1-way analysis of variance for age group. Results: Participants (N = 157; median age = 10 y; 71% boys; 71% nonphysical disabilities) averaged 21 valid days of wear time. Wear time was higher in girls than boys (mean difference = 18.0; 95% confidence interval [CI], 6.8 to 29.1), and in preadolescents (mean difference = 27.6; 95% CI, 15.5 to 39.7) and adolescents (mean difference = −21.2; 95% CI, −33.6 to −8.7) than children. More daily steps were taken by boys than girls (mean difference = −1040; 95% CI, −1465 to −615) and individuals with a nonphysical disability than a physical disability (mean difference = −1120; 95% CI, −1474 to −765). The heat maps showed peaks in physical activity on weekdays before school, at recess, lunchtime, and after school. Conclusion: The Fitbit is a feasible tool for monitoring physical activity among ambulatory children and youth with disabilities and may be useful for population-level surveillance and intervention.
Ricardo J.S. Costa, Kayla Henningsen, Stephanie K. Gaskell, Rebekah Alcock, Alice Mika, Christopher Rauch, Samuel N. Cheuvront, Phil Blazy, and Robert Kenefick
The study aimed to determine the effects of two differing amino acid beverage interventions on biomarkers of intestinal epithelial integrity and systemic inflammation in response to an exertional-heat stress challenge. One week after the initial assessment, participants (n = 20) were randomly allocated to complete two exertional-heat stress trials, with at least 1 week washout. Trials included a water control trial (CON), and one of two possible amino acid beverage intervention trials (VS001 or VS006). On VS001 (4.5 g/L) and VS006 (6.4 g/L), participants were asked to consume two 237-ml prefabricated doses daily for 7 days before the exertional-heat stress, and one 237-ml dose immediately before, and every 20 min during 2-hr running at 60% maximal oxygen uptake in 35 °C ambient conditions. A water volume equivalent was provided on CON. Whole blood samples were collected pre-, immediately post-, 1 and 2 hr postexercise, and analyzed for plasma concentrations of cortisol, intestinal fatty acid protein, soluble CD14, and immunoglobulin M (IgM) by ELISA, and systemic inflammatory cytokines by multiplex. Preexercise resting biomarker concentrations for all variables did not significantly differ between trials (p > .05). A lower response magnitude for intestinal fatty acid protein (mean [95% CI]: 249 [60, 437] pg/ml, 900 [464, 1,336] pg/ml), soluble CD14 (−93 [−458, 272] ng/ml, 12 [−174, 197] ng/ml), and IgM (−6.5 [−23.0, 9.9] MMU/ml, −10.4 [−16.2, 4.7] MMU/ml) were observed on VS001 and V006 compared with CON (p < .05), respectively. Systemic inflammatory response profile was lower on VS001, but not VS006, versus CON (p < .05). Total gastrointestinal symptoms did not significantly differ between trials. Amino acid beverages’ consumption (i.e., 4.5–6.4 g/L), twice daily for 7 days, immediately before, and during exertional-heat stress ameliorated intestinal epithelial integrity and systemic inflammatory perturbations associated with exercising in the heat, but without exacerbating gastrointestinal symptoms.
Manoel Rios, Rodrigo Zacca, Rui Azevedo, Pedro Fonseca, David B. Pyne, Victor Machado Reis, Daniel Moreira-Gonçalves, and Ricardo J. Fernandes
Aim: To quantify the physiological demands and impact of muscle function t of the Fran workout, one of the most popular CrossFit benchmarks. Methods: Twenty experienced CrossFitters—16 male: 29 (6) years old and 4 female: 26 (5) years old— performed 3 rounds (with 30-s rests in between) of 21–21, 15–15, and 9–9 front squats to overhead press plus pull-up repetitions. Oxygen uptake and heart rate were measured at baseline, during the workout, and in the recovery period. Rating of perceived exertion, blood lactate, and glucose concentrations were assessed at rest, during the intervals, and in the recovery period. Muscular fatigue was also monitored at rest and at 5 minutes, 30 minutes, and 24 hours postexercise. Repeated-measures analysis of variance was performed to compare time points. Results: Aerobic (52%–29%) and anaerobic alactic (30%–23%) energy contributions decreased and the anaerobic lactic contribution increased (18%–48%) across the 3 rounds of the Fran workout. Countermovement jump height decreased by 8% (−12 to −3) mean change (95% CI), flight duration by 14% (−19 to −7), maximum velocity by 3% (−5 to −0.1), peak force 4% (−7 to −0.1), and physical performance (plank prone 47% [−54 to −38]) were observed. Conclusions: It appears that the Fran workout is a physically demanding activity that recruits energy from both aerobic and anaerobic systems. This severe-intensity workout evokes substantial postexercise fatigue and corresponding reduction in muscle function.