Purpose: To assess elite racewalkers’ preparation strategies, knowledge, and general practices for competition in the heat and their health status during the World Athletics Race Walking Teams Championships (WRW) Muscat 2022. Methods: Sixty-six elite racewalkers (male: n = 42; mean age = 25.8 y) completed an online survey prior to WRW Muscat 2022. Athletes were grouped by sex (males vs females) and climate (self-reported) they live/trained in (hot vs temperate/cold), with differences/relationships between groups assessed. Relationships between ranking (medalist/top 10 vs nonmedalist/nontop 10) and precompetition use of heat acclimation/acclimatization (HA) were assessed. Results: All surveyed medalists (n = 4) implemented, and top 10 finishers were more likely to report using (P = .049; OR = 0.25; 95% CI, 0.06%–1%), HA before the championships. Forty-three percent of athletes did not complete specific HA training. Females (8% [males 31%]) were less likely to have measured core temperature (P = .049; OR = 0.2; 95% CI, 0.041–0.99) and more likely to not know expected conditions in Muscat (42% vs 14%; P = .016; OR = 4.3; 95% CI, 1%–14%) or what wet bulb globe temperature is (83% vs 55%; P = .024; OR = 4.1; 95% CI, 1%–14%). Conclusions: Athletes who implemented HA before the championships tended to place better than those who did not. Forty-three percent of athletes did not prepare for the expected hot conditions at the WRW Muscat 2022, primarily attributed to challenges in accessing and/or cost of equipment/facilities for HA strategies. Further efforts to bridge the gap between research and practice in this elite sport are needed, particularly in female athletes.
Natalia Galan-Lopez, Chris J. Esh, Diogo Vaz Leal, Silvia Gandini, Ronan Lucas, Frederic Garrandes, Stephane Bermon, Paolo Emilio Adami, Alma Kajeniene, Yuri Hosokawa, Bryna Catherine Rose Chrismas, Christopher J. Stevens, and Lee Taylor
Alannah K.A. McKay, Megan L.R. Ross, Nicolin Tee, Avish P. Sharma, Jill J. Leckey, and Louise M. Burke
Purpose: To examine the effects of a high-carbohydrate diet (HCHO), periodized-carbohydrate (CHO) diet (PCHO), and ketogenic low-CHO high-fat diet (LCHF) on training capacity. Methods: Elite male racewalkers completed 3 weeks of periodic training while adhering to their dietary intervention. Twenty-nine data sets were collected from 21 athletes. Each week, 6 mandatory training sessions were completed, with additional sessions performed at the athlete’s discretion. Mandatory sessions included an interval session (10 × 1-km efforts on a 6-min cycle), tempo session (14 km with a 450-m elevation gain), 2 long walks (25–40 km), and 2 easy walks (8–12 km) where “sleep-low” and “train-low” dietary strategies were employed for PCHO. Racewalking speed, heart rate, rating of perceived exhaustion, and blood metabolites were collected around key sessions. Results: LCHF covered less total distance than HCHO and PCHO (P < .001); however, no differences in training load between groups were evident (P = .285). During the interval sessions, walking speed was slower in LCHF (P = .001), equating to a 2.8% and 5.6% faster speed in HCHO and PCHO, respectively. LCHF was also 3.2% slower in completing the tempo session than HCHO and PCHO (P = .001). Heart rate was higher (P = .002) and lactate concentrations were lower (P < .001) in LCHF compared to other groups, despite slower walking speeds during the interval session. No between-groups differences in rating of perceived exhaustion were evident (P = .077). Conclusion: Athletes adhering to an LCHF diet showed impaired training capacity relative to their high-CHO-supported counterparts, completing lower training volumes at slower speeds, with higher heart rates.
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.
Colleen X. Muñoz and Michael F. Bergeron
First morning urine (FMU) assessment would be a practical and convenient solution for clinically acceptable detection of underhydration prior to competition/training, and for the general public. Thus, we thus sought to determine the diagnostic accuracy of FMU as a valid indicator of recent (previous 24 hr, 5 days average) hydration practices. For 5 consecutive days and one final morning, 67 healthy women (n = 38) and men (n = 29; age: 20  years, body mass index: 25.9 [5.5]) completed 24-hr diet logs for total water intake (from beverages and foods, absolute and relative to body mass), 24-hr urine and FMU collection (last morning only) for osmolality (Osm), specific gravity (SG), and color (Col), and morning blood sampling for plasma osmolality and copeptin. Correlations determined significance and relationship strength among FMU and all other variables. Area under the receiver operating characteristic curves, sensitivity, specificity, and positive likelihood ratios were employed using previously reported values to indicate underhydration (total water intake < 30 ml/kg, osmolality > 500, and >800 mOsm/kg, specific gravity > 1.017, and copeptin > 6.93 pmol/L). FMU_Osm and FMU_SG were significantly correlated (p < .05) to all variables except the previous 5-day plasma osmolality. FMU_Col was only significantly correlated with other color time intervals and total water intake per gram. FMU_Osm held greatest utility (area under the receiver operating characteristic curve, sensitivity, and specificity >80%) overall, with the best outcome being FMU_Osm indicating a previous 24-hr osmolality threshold of 500 mOsm/kg (FMU_Osm criterion >710 mOsm/kg and positive likelihood ratio = 5.9). With less effort and cost restriction, FMU is a viable metric to assess underhydration.
Sarah R. Jackman, Gareth A. Wallis, Jinglei Yu, Andrew Philp, Keith Baar, Kevin D. Tipton, and Oliver C. Witard
Branched-chain amino acids (BCAA) and carbohydrate (CHO) are commonly recommended postexercise supplements. However, no study has examined the interaction of CHO and BCAA ingestion on myofibrillar protein synthesis (MyoPS) rates following exercise. We aimed to determine the response of MyoPS to the co-ingestion of BCAA and CHO following an acute bout of resistance exercise. Ten resistance-trained young men completed two trials in counterbalanced order, ingesting isocaloric drinks containing either 30.6-g CHO plus 5.6-g BCAA (B + C) or 34.7-g CHO alone following a bout of unilateral, leg resistance exercise. MyoPS was measured postexercise with a primed, constant infusion of L-[ring13C6] phenylalanine and collection of muscle biopsies pre- and 4 hr postdrink ingestion. Blood samples were collected at time points before and after drink ingestion. Serum insulin concentrations increased to a similar extent in both trials (p > .05), peaking at 30 min postdrink ingestion. Plasma leucine (514 ± 34 nmol/L), isoleucine (282 ± 23 nmol/L), and valine (687 ± 33 nmol/L) concentrations peaked at 0.5 hr postdrink in B + C and remained elevated for 3 hr during exercise recovery. MyoPS was ∼15% greater (95% confidence interval [−0.002, 0.028], p = .039, Cohen’s d = 0.63) in B + C (0.128%/hr ± 0.011%/hr) than CHO alone (0.115%/hr ± 0.011%/hr) over the 4 hr postexercise period. Co-ingestion of BCAA and CHO augments the acute response of MyoPS to resistance exercise in trained young males.
Cristina Cortis, Andrea Fusco, Renato Barroso, Daniel Bok, Daniel Boullosa, Daniele Conte, and Carl Foster
Olivier Girard, Benjamin D. Levine, Robert F. Chapman, and Randall Wilber
Background: Altitude training is often regarded as an indispensable tool for the success of elite endurance athletes. Historically, altitude training emerged as a key strategy to prepare for the 1968 Olympics, held at 2300 m in Mexico City, and was limited to the “Live High-Train High” method for endurance athletes aiming for performance gains through improved oxygen transport. This “classical” intervention was modified in 1997 by the “Live High-Train Low” (LHTL) model wherein athletes supplemented acclimatization to chronic hypoxia with high-intensity training at low altitude. Purpose: This review discusses important considerations for successful implementation of LHTL camps in elite athletes based on experiences, both published and unpublished, of the authors. Approach : The originality of our approach is to discuss 10 key “lessons learned,” since the seminal work by Levine and Stray-Gundersen was published in 1997, and focusing on (1) optimal dose, (2) individual responses, (3) iron status, (4) training-load monitoring, (5) wellness and well-being monitoring, (6) timing of the intervention, (7) use of natural versus simulated hypoxia, (8) robustness of adaptative mechanisms versus performance benefits, (9) application for a broad range of athletes, and (10) combination of methods. Successful LHTL strategies implemented by Team USA athletes for podium performance at Olympic Games and/or World Championships are presented. Conclusions : The evolution of the LHTL model represents an essential framework for sport science, in which field-driven questions about performance led to critical scientific investigation and subsequent practical implementation of a unique approach to altitude training.
Mary-Grace Kang, Audrey Anne Esguerra, Aila Nica Bandong, Roselle Guisihan, Frances Rom Lunar, Kristofferson Mendoza, Carlos Dominic Olegario, Yves Palad, Esmerita Rotor, and Gabriella Isabel Tablante
A comprehensive evaluation of physical activity (PA) engagement and policy implementation among Filipino children and adolescents with disabilities is vital in the promotion of an active healthy lifestyle. This is the first Para Report Card of the Philippines that presents the available evidence on the 10 commonly used PA indicators. Published and gray literature were searched for country-specific evidence on PA behaviors, physical fitness, and sources of influence. Stakeholders representing relevant national institutions, special education schools, and advocacy groups also provided input on the grades. Only Organized Sport and Government indicators had sufficient data to be graded F and B, respectively. The rest of the indicators were graded as incomplete due to the limited availability of nationally representative data. Findings of the Philippines 2022 Para Report Card on PA highlight the need to strengthen the documentation and evaluation of these indicators among Filipino children and adolescents with disabilities.