Jeffrey J. Martin
Karim Chamari, Ismail Dergaa, Inigo Mujika, Yorck Olaf Schumacher, Montassar Tabben, and Helmi Ben Saad
Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) resulted in sporting event suspensions and cancellations, affecting competition calendars worldwide during 2020 and 2021. This challenged high-performance athletes’ capacity to complete physical, technical, or tactical training during restricted movement measures (lockdown). With the Football World Cup organized in the last quarter of 2022, the past period of training and match disturbances challenged footballers concerning their performance and potential higher risk of injury at official matches’ resumption. There has been considerable debate about the management of resuming professional football (soccer) during the COVID-19 pandemic. Governing bodies worldwide implemented measures to ensure a safe resumption of football. These precautionary measures aimed to protect the health of players, their support staff, and officials around the pitch and ensure the enjoyment of the event by spectators in the football stadiums. We have therefore narratively reviewed scientific papers about how football has resumed on the pitch and in the stands with special focus on the COVID-19 infection control strategies allowing footballers to perform again and supporters to enjoy the game after the 2020 global stop to sport.
Samuel N. Cheuvront
When will women run a sub-4-minute mile? The answer seems to be a distant future given how women’s progress has plateaued in the mile, or its better studied metric placeholder, the 1500 m. When commonly accepted energetics principles of running, along with useful field validation equations of the same, are applied to probe the physiology underpinning the 10 all-time best women’s mile performances, insights gained may help explain the present 12.34-second shortfall. Insights also afford estimates of how realistic improvements in the metabolic cost of running could shrink the difference and bring the women’s world record closer to the fabled 4-minute mark. As with men in the early 1950s, this might stir greater interest, excitement, participation, and depth in the women’s mile, the present absence of which likely contributes to more pessimistic mathematical modeling forecasts. The purpose of this invited commentary is to provide a succinct, theoretical, but intuitive explanation for how women might get closer to their own watershed moment in the mile.
Andrew T. Askow, Kevin J.M. Paulussen, Colleen F. McKenna, Amadeo F. Salvador, Susannah E. Scaroni, Jade S. Hamann, Alexander V. Ulanov, Zhong Li, Scott A. Paluska, Kayleigh M. Beaudry, Michael De Lisio, and Nicholas A. Burd
Creatine (Cr) supplementation is a well-established strategy to enhance gains in strength, lean body mass, and power from a period of resistance training. However, the effectiveness of creatyl-L-leucine (CLL), a purported Cr amide, is unknown. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to assess the effects of CLL on muscle Cr content. Twenty-nine healthy men (n = 17) and women (n = 12) consumed 5 g/day of either Cr monohydrate (n = 8; 28.5 ± 7.3 years, 172.1 ± 11.0 cm, 76.6 ± 10.7 kg), CLL (n = 11; 29.2 ± 9.3 years, 170.3 ± 10.5 cm, 71.9 ± 14.5 kg), or placebo (n = 10; 30.3 ± 6.9 years, 167.8 ± 9.9 cm, 69.9 ± 11.1 kg) for 14 days in a randomized, double-blind design. Participants completed three bouts of supervised resistance exercise per week. Muscle biopsies were collected before and after the intervention for quantification of muscle Cr. Cr monohydrate supplementation which significantly increased muscle Cr content with 14 days of supplementation. No changes in muscle Cr were observed for the placebo or CLL groups. Cr monohydrate supplementation is an effective strategy to augment muscle Cr content while CLL is not.
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.
Sérgio M. Querido, Régis Radaelli, João Brito, João R. Vaz, and Sandro R. Freitas
Background: Sleep, nutrition, active recovery, cold-water immersion, and massage were recently reported as the most used postmatch recovery methods in professional football. However, the recommendations concerning the effect of these methods remain unclear. Purpose: To systematically review the literature regarding the effectiveness of the most common recovery methods applied to male and female football players (or other team sports) 72 hours postmatches and to provide graded recommendations for their use. Methods: A systematic search of the literature was performed, and the level of evidence of randomized and nonrandomized studies was classified as 1 or 2, respectively, with additional ++, +, and − classification according to the quality of the study and risk of bias. Graded recommendations were provided regarding the effectiveness of recovery methods for physical, physiological, and perceptive variables. Results: From the 3472 articles identified, 39 met the inclusion criteria for analysis. The studies’ levels of evidence varied among methods (sleep: 2+ to 1++; nutrition: 2− to 1+; cold-water immersion: 2− to 1++; active recovery: 2− to 1+; and massage: 1− to 1+). Different graded recommendations were attributed, and none of them favored the effective use of recovery methods for physiological and physical parameters, whereas massage and cold-water immersion were recommended as beneficial for perceptive variables. Conclusions: Cold-water immersion and massage can be recommended to recover up to 72 hours postmatch at a perceptive level. However, there is a current need for high-quality research that identifies effective recovery strategies that enhance recovery at the physical and physiological levels.