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Open access

Assessment of Exercise-Associated Gastrointestinal Perturbations in Research and Practical Settings: Methodological Concerns and Recommendations for Best Practice

Ricardo J.S. Costa, Pascale Young, Samantha K. Gill, Rhiannon M.J. Snipe, Stephanie Gaskell, Isabella Russo, and Louise M. Burke

Strenuous exercise is synonymous with disturbing gastrointestinal integrity and function, subsequently prompting systemic immune responses and exercise-associated gastrointestinal symptoms, a condition established as “exercise-induced gastrointestinal syndrome.” When exercise stress and aligned exacerbation factors (i.e., extrinsic and intrinsic) are of substantial magnitude, these exercise-associated gastrointestinal perturbations can cause performance decrements and health implications of clinical significance. This potentially explains the exponential growth in exploratory, mechanistic, and interventional research in exercise gastroenterology to understand, accurately measure and interpret, and prevent or attenuate the performance debilitating and health consequences of exercise-induced gastrointestinal syndrome. Considering the recent advancement in exercise gastroenterology research, it has been highlighted that published literature in the area is consistently affected by substantial experimental limitations that may affect the accuracy of translating study outcomes into practical application/s and/or design of future research. This perspective methodological review attempts to highlight these concerns and provides guidance to improve the validity, reliability, and robustness of the next generation of exercise gastroenterology research. These methodological concerns include participant screening and description, exertional and exertional heat stress load, dietary control, hydration status, food and fluid provisions, circadian variation, biological sex differences, comprehensive assessment of established markers of exercise-induced gastrointestinal syndrome, validity of gastrointestinal symptoms assessment tool, and data reporting and presentation. Standardized experimental procedures are needed for the accurate interpretation of research findings, avoiding misinterpreted (e.g., pathological relevance of response magnitude) and overstated conclusions (e.g., clinical and practical relevance of intervention research outcomes), which will support more accurate translation into safe practice guidelines.

Open access

Retraction: Medeiros et al. (2022)

James A. Betts

Open access

Ketone Monoester Ingestion Alters Metabolism and Simulated Rugby Performance in Professional Players

Oliver J. Peacock, Javier T. Gonzalez, Simon P. Roberts, Alan Smith, Scott Drawer, and Keith A. Stokes

Ketone ingestion can alter metabolism but effects on exercise performance are unclear, particularly with regard to the impact on intermittent-intensity exercise and team-sport performance. Nine professional male rugby union players each completed two trials in a double-blind, randomized, crossover design. Participants ingested either 90 ± 9 g carbohydrate (CHO; 9% solution) or an energy matched solution containing 20 ± 2 g CHO (3% solution) and 590 mg/kg body mass β-hydroxybutyrate monoester (CHO + BHB-ME) before and during a simulated rugby union-specific match-play protocol, including repeated high-intensity, sprint and power-based performance tests. Mean time to complete the sustained high-intensity performance tests was reduced by 0.33 ± 0.41 s (2.1%) with CHO + BHB-ME (15.53 ± 0.52 s) compared with CHO (15.86 ± 0.80 s) placebo (p = .04). Mean time to complete the sprint and power-based performance tests were not different between trials. CHO + BHB-ME resulted in blood BHB concentrations that remained >2 mmol/L during exercise (p < .001). Serum lactate and glycerol concentrations were lower after CHO + BHB-ME than CHO (p < .05). Coingestion of a BHB-ME with CHO can alter fuel metabolism (attenuate circulating lactate and glycerol concentrations) and may improve high-intensity running performance during a simulated rugby match-play protocol, without improving shorter duration sprint and power-based efforts.

Open access

Sweating Rate and Sweat Chloride Concentration of Elite Male Basketball Players Measured With a Wearable Microfluidic Device Versus the Standard Absorbent Patch Method

Lindsay B. Baker, Michelle A. King, David M. Keyes, Shyretha D. Brown, Megan D. Engel, Melissa S. Seib, Alexander J. Aranyosi, and Roozbeh Ghaffari

The purpose of this study was to compare a wearable microfluidic device and standard absorbent patch in measuring local sweating rate (LSR) and sweat chloride concentration ([Cl]) in elite basketball players. Participants were 53 male basketball players (25 ± 3 years, 92.2 ± 10.4 kg) in the National Basketball Association’s development league. Players were tested during a moderate-intensity, coach-led practice (98 ± 30 min, 21.0 ± 1.2 °C). From the right ventral forearm, sweat was collected using an absorbent patch (3M Tegaderm + Pad). Subsequently, LSR and local sweat [Cl] were determined via gravimetry and ion chromatography. From the left ventral forearm, LSR and local sweat [Cl] were measured using a wearable microfluidic device and associated smartphone application-based algorithms. Whole-body sweating rate (WBSR) was determined from pre- to postexercise change in body mass corrected for fluid/food intake (ad libitum), urine loss, and estimated respiratory water and metabolic mass loss. The WBSR values predicted by the algorithms in the smartphone application were also recorded. There were no differences between the absorbent patch and microfluidic patch for LSR (1.25 ± 0.91 mg·cm−2·min−1 vs. 1.14 ±0.78 mg·cm−2·min−1, p = .34) or local sweat [Cl] (30.6 ± 17.3 mmol/L vs. 29.6 ± 19.4 mmol/L, p = .55). There was no difference between measured and predicted WBSR (0.97 ± 0.41 L/hr vs. 0.89 ± 0.35 L/hr, p = .22; 95% limits of agreement = 0.61 L/hr). The wearable microfluidic device provides similar LSR, local sweat [Cl], and WBSR results compared with standard field-based methods in elite male basketball players during moderate-intensity practices.

Open access

Celebrating the Professional Life of Professor Kevin D. Tipton (1961–2022)

Oliver C. Witard, Arny A. Ferrando, and Stuart M. Phillips

This invited editorial celebrates the distinguished professional life of Professor Kevin D. Tipton, who sadly passed away on January 9, 2022. Professor Tipton made an outstanding contribution to the scientific field of sport nutrition and exercise metabolism over an exceptional 30-year career. He dedicated his academic career to understanding the response of muscle protein metabolism to exercise and nutrition. The impact of his work is far-reaching with application to athletes in terms of promoting training adaptation, recovery, and performance, alongside clinical implications for injury management and healthy aging. Notable scientific contributions included the first in vivo human study to demonstrate the role of orally ingested essential amino acids in stimulating muscle protein synthesis during acute post-exercise recovery. This finding laid the foundation for future studies to interrogate the response of muscle protein synthesis to the ingestion of different protein types. Professor Tipton’s work also included investigating the maximally effective dose and timing (regarding exercise) of ingested protein for the stimulation of muscle protein synthesis. Kevin will be remembered fondly by academics, applied scientists, and students across the sport nutrition and exercise metabolism community as a leading researcher in the field, a critical thinker, and an inspirational teacher. His mission was to educate the next generation of exercise scientists by sharing his distinct wealth of knowledge accrued over three decades. Above all else, Kevin was kind, generous (with his time and knowledge), honest, and incredibly social. He was a unique character and will be greatly missed among our community but certainly never forgotten.

Open access

Dietary Supplements for Athletic Performance in Women: Beta-Alanine, Caffeine, and Nitrate

Molly J. Murphy, Blake R. Rushing, Susan J. Sumner, and Anthony C. Hackney

Beta-alanine, caffeine, and nitrate are dietary supplements generally recognized by the sport and exercise science community as evidence-based ergogenic performance aids. Evidence supporting the efficacy of these supplements, however, is greatly skewed due to research being conducted primarily in men. The physiological differences between men and women, most notably in sex hormones and menstrual cycle fluctuations, make generalizing male data to the female athlete inappropriate, and potentially harmful to women. This narrative review outlines the studies conducted in women regarding the efficacy of beta-alanine, caffeine, and nitrate supplementation for performance enhancement. Only nine studies on beta-alanine, 15 on caffeine, and 10 on nitrate in healthy women under the age of 40 years conducted in normoxia conditions were identified as relevant to this research question. Evidence suggests that beta-alanine may lower the rate of perceived exertion and extend training bouts in women, leading to greater functional adaptations. Studies of caffeine in women suggest the physiological responder status and caffeine habituation may contribute to caffeine’s efficacy, with a potential plateau in the dose–response relationship of performance enhancement. Nitrate appears to vary in influence based on activity type and primary muscle group examined. However, the results summarized in the limited literature for each of these three supplements provide no consensus on dosage, timing, or efficacy for women. Furthermore, the literature lacks considerations for hormonal status and its role in metabolism. This gap in sex-based knowledge necessitates further research on these ergogenic supplements in women with greater considerations for the effects of hormonal status.

Open access

Erratum: Hurst, Saunders, & Coleman (2020)

James A. Betts

Open access

Methodology Review: A Protocol to Audit the Representation of Female Athletes in Sports Science and Sports Medicine Research

Ella S. Smith, Alannah K.A. McKay, Kathryn E. Ackerman, Rachel Harris, Kirsty J. Elliott-Sale, Trent Stellingwerff, and Louise M. Burke

Female-specific research on sports science and sports medicine (SSSM) fails to mirror the increase in participation and popularity of women’s sport. Females have historically been excluded from SSSM research, particularly because their physiological intricacy necessitates more complex study designs, longer research times, and additional costs. Consequently, most SSSM practices are based on research with men, despite potential problems in translation to females due to sexual dimorphism in biological and phenotypical parameters as well as differences in event characteristics (e.g., race distances/durations). Recognition that erroneous extrapolations may hamper the efforts of females to maximize their athletic potential has created an impetus to acknowledge and readdress the sex disparity in SSSM research. To direct the priorities for future research, it is prudent to first develop a comprehensive understanding of the gaps in current knowledge by systematically “auditing” the literature. By conducting audits of the literature to highlight underdeveloped topics or identify potential problems with the quality of research, this information can then be used to expediently direct new research activities. This paper therefore presents a standardized audit methodology to establish the representation of female athletes in subdisciplines of existing SSSM research, including a template for reporting the results of key metrics. This standardized audit process will enable comparisons over time and between research subdisciplines. This working guide provides an important step toward achieving sex equity across SSSM research, with the eventual goal of providing evidence-based recommendations specific to the female athlete.

Open access

Abstracts From the 2021 International Sport + Exercise Nutrition Conference

Open access

Acute Ingestion of Ketone Monoesters and Precursors Do Not Enhance Endurance Exercise Performance: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis

Emma Brooks, Gilles Lamothe, Taniya S. Nagpal, Pascal Imbeault, Kristi Adamo, Jameel Kara, and Éric Doucet

There has been much consideration over whether exogenous ketone bodies have the capacity to enhance exercise performance through mechanisms such as altered substrate metabolism, accelerated recovery, or neurocognitive improvements. This systematic review aimed to determine the effects of both ketone precursors and monoesters on endurance exercise performance. A systematic search was conducted in PubMed, SPORTDiscus, and CINAHL for randomized controlled trials investigating endurance performance outcomes in response to ingestion of a ketone supplement compared to a nutritive or nonnutritive control in humans. A meta-analysis was performed to determine the standardized mean difference between interventions using a random-effects model. Hedge’s g and 95% confidence intervals (CI) were reported. The search yielded 569 articles, of which eight were included in this review (80 participants; 77 men and three women). When comparing endurance performance among all studies, no significant differences were found between ketone and control trials (Hedges g = 0.136; 95% CI [−0.195, 0.467]; p = .419). Subanalyses based on type of endurance tests showed no significant differences in time to exhaustion (Hedge’s g = −0.002; 95% CI [−0.312, 0.308]; p = .989) or time trial (Hedge’s g = 0.057; 95% CI [−0.282, 0.395]; p = .744) values. Based on these findings, exogenous ketone precursors and monoesters do not exert significant improvements on endurance exercise performance. While all studies reported an increase in blood ketone concentrations after ingestion, ketone monoesters appear to be more effective at raising concentrations than precursors.