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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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Arilene M.S. Santos, Alberto J. Maldonado, Antônio V.M. de Sousa Junior, Susi O.S. Brito, Rayane C. de Moura, Caique Figueiredo, Paula A. Monteiro, Lucas M. Neves, Ismael F. Freitas Junior, Marcos A.P. dos Santos, Sergio L.G. Ribeiro, and Fabrício E. Rossi

Purpose: To analyze peripheral brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) levels and psychophysiological parameters in youth badminton athletes during the season and to determine the relationship between variables. Methods: Fourteen young badminton athletes were assessed over the season (preseason, middle season, and final season). Serum BDNF (sBDNF) was determined during the preseason and final season. Sleep time, total physical activity, and time in vigorous activity were measured using an accelerometer. The fat-free mass, skeletal muscle mass, fat mass, handgrip strength, cardiorespiratory fitness (VO2max), and dietary intake were evaluated during the season. The Stroop Color and Word Test was employed to assess cognitive tasks. To evaluate the mood, the Brunel Mood Scale was used. Results: There  were lower sBDNF levels (−16.3% [46.8%]; P = .007) and sleep time (final season = 5.7 [1.1] vs preseason = 6.6 [1.1] h·night−1, P = .043) during the end of the season. The total calories and carbohydrate intake decreased across the season (P < .05). Conversely, better cognitive function was found in the final season with respect to the preseason (P < .05). There were significant correlations between BDNF and VO2max only in the preseason (r = .61, P = .027), but no significant relationship was found among sBDNF and cognitive performance, sleep time, and percentage of won games. Conclusions: Youth badminton athletes decreased their sBDNF levels, sleep time, carbohydrate, and calorie intake across the season. The athletes improved in cognitive function; however, only the females improved in body composition, and the males improved their VO2max in the middle season. The sBDNF levels were positively correlated with the VO2max in the preseason, and no correlations were observed among the sBDNF and psychological parameters, sleep time, and sport performance during the season.

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Zachary A. Soulliard, Hannah F. Fitterman-Harris, Joanne E. Perry, Lindsey M. Poe, and Michael J. Ross

The present study examined differences in body appreciation and functionality appreciation between student-athletes and nonathletes. Additionally, the present study assessed differences in these constructs among female and male athletes outside of their sport and directly following participation in their sport. Seventy-five student-athletes and 211 nonathletes from a National Collegiate Athletic Association Division I university completed online measures, including the State-Based Body Appreciation Scale and Functionality Appreciation Scale. Student-athletes completed the same measures following a sport practice. Student-athletes reported higher levels of body appreciation and functionality appreciation compared to nonathletes. No differences in body appreciation were found among student-athletes outside of their sport compared to directly following participation in their sport; however, student-athletes reported higher levels of functionality appreciation after their sport practice. Implications for coaches and athletic staff are discussed, including placing a greater emphasis on body functionality rather than specific body ideals.

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Rebecca M. Steins, Gordon Bloom, and Jeffrey Caron

Concussions result in a multitude of somatic, cognitive, and/or emotional symptoms as well as physical and behavior changes and disturbances in balance, cognition, and sleep. Moreover, some concussed athletes can experience these symptoms, changes, and disturbances for extended periods of time. This qualitative study explored the coping skills used by five female university athletes who suffered persistent concussion symptoms for more than 6 weeks. Our analysis of the interview data indicated that the athletes used emotion-focused coping strategies, such as avoidance and acceptance, throughout their recovery. In addition, the lack of perceived control over their injuries, a lack of a symptom-specific treatment protocol, and the type of social support they received influenced their coping abilities. These results add to the limited, yet growing, body of literature on the psychology of sport-related concussions, particularly with respect to identifying the types of resources that athletes may use to cope and manage concussion symptoms.

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Steven Orr, Andrew Cruickshank, and Howie J. Carson

While debate continues on “optimal” attentional focus, little empirical knowledge exists on the way that attention is operationalized across training and performance in elite golf. Accordingly, this study aimed to (a) explore the attentional foci promoted or used by coaches and players for different types of shots in training, plus their underpinning rationale and (b) explore the attentional foci promoted or used by coaches and players in competition, plus their underpinning rationale. Our findings revealed that (a) various foci were used across training and competition; (b) all players used different combinations of foci across training and competition, and within different aspects of training itself (e.g., short vs. long game); and (c) players often used alternative or additional foci in training to those promoted by coaches, and self-generated foci for competition. These results highlight the complexity and practical reality that needs to underpin future advances in theory, research, and practice.

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Erin J. Reifsteck, Jamian D. Newton, Melinda B. Smith, DeAnne Davis Brooks, and Shelby N. Anderson

There is growing interest in how athletes’ physical activity participation may be impacted when they transition out of competitive sport; however, few studies have examined the process of physical activity transitions in collegiate student-athletes using a qualitative approach. The purpose of our study was to explore student-athletes’ perceptions of, and experiences with, physical activity in the transition out of collegiate sport. Our analysis of transcripts from 13 focus groups conducted with current and former student-athletes (n = 59) suggests that student-athletes experienced a journey from control to liberation as they transitioned into their postcompetitive lives. In this exciting yet challenging transitional journey, participants were faced with navigating newfound autonomy over their physical activity outside of the controlled environment of collegiate sports and were considering the value and meaning of physical activity within a health promoting context. We offer practical recommendations from these findings to support student-athletes in this transition.