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Volume 41 (2024): Issue 3 (Jul 2024)

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Volume 34 (2024): Issue 4 (Jul 2024)

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Volume 19 (2024): Issue 7 (Jul 2024)

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Volume 21 (2024): Issue 7 (Jul 2024)

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Volume 38 (2024): Issue 4 (Jul 2024)

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Volume 33 (2024): Issue 5 (Jul 2024)

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Volume 43 (2024): Issue 3 (Jul 2024)

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Caffeine Gum Improves Reaction Time but Reduces Composure Versus Placebo During the Extra-Time Period of Simulated Soccer Match-Play in Male Semiprofessional Players

Adam Field, Liam Corr, Laurence Birdsey, Christina Langley, Ben Marshall, Greg Wood, Mark Hearris, Diogo Martinho, Christa Carbry, Robert Naughton, James Fleming, Magni Mohr, Peter Krustrup, Mark Russell, and Liam David Harper

This study aimed to determine whether caffeine gum influenced perceptual-cognitive and physical performance during the extra-time period of simulated soccer match-play. Semiprofessional male soccer players (n = 12, age: 22 ± 3 years, stature: 1.78 ± 0.06 m, mass: 75 ± 9 kg) performed 120-min soccer-specific exercise on two occasions. In a triple-blind, randomized, crossover design, players chewed caffeinated (200 mg; caffeine) or control (0 mg; placebo) gum for 5 min following 90 min of soccer-specific exercise. Perceptual-cognitive skills (i.e., passing accuracy, reaction time, composure, and adaptability) were assessed using a soccer-specific virtual reality simulator, collected pre- and posttrial. Neuromuscular performance (reactive-strength index, vertical jump height, absolute and relative peak power output, and negative vertical displacement) and sprint performance (15 and 30 m) were measured at pretrial, half-time, 90 min, and posttrial. Caffeine gum attenuated declines in reaction time (pre: 90.8 ± 0.8 AU to post: 90.7 ± 0.8 AU) by a further 4.2% than placebo (pre: 92.1 ± 0.8 AU to post: 88.2 ± 0.8 AU; p < .01). Caffeine gum reduced composure by 4.7% (pre: 69.1 ± 0.8 AU to post: 65.9 ± 0.8 AU) versus placebo (pre: 68.8 ± 0.8 AU to post: 68.3 ± 0.8 AU; p < .01). Caffeine gum did not influence any other variables (p > .05). Where caffeine gum is consumed by players prior to extra-time, reaction time increases but composure may be compromised, and neuromuscular and sprint performance remain unchanged. Future work should assess caffeine gum mixes with substances like L-theanine that promote a relaxed state under stressful conditions.

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Effects of Phenylcapsaicin on Intraocular and Ocular Perfusion Pressure During a 30-Min Cycling Task: A Placebo-Controlled, Triple-Blind, Balanced Crossover Study

Paula M. Lara Vázquez, María Dolores Morenas-Aguilar, Sara Chacón Ventura, Pablo Jiménez-Martínez, Carlos Alix-Fages, Amador García Ramos, Jesús Vera, and Beatriz Redondo

The main objective of this placebo-controlled, triple-blind, balanced crossover study was to assess the acute effects of phenylcapsaicin (PC) intake (2.5 mg) on intraocular pressure (IOP), ocular perfusion pressure (OPP), and heart rate (HR) during a 30-min cycling task performed at 15% of the individual maximal power. Twenty-two healthy young adults performed the cycling task 45 min after ingesting PC or placebo. IOP was measured with a rebound tonometer before exercise, during cycling (every 6 min), and after 5 and 10 min of recovery. OPP was assessed before and after exercise. HR was monitored throughout the cycling task. We found an acute increase of IOP levels related to PC consumption while cycling (mean difference = 1.91 ± 2.24 mmHg; p = .007, η p 2 = .30 ), whereas no differences were observed for OPP levels between the PC and placebo conditions (mean difference = 1.33 ± 8.70 mmHg; p = .608). Mean HR values were higher after PC in comparison with placebo intake (mean difference = 3.11 ± 15.87 bpm, p = .019, η p 2 = .24 ), whereas maximum HR did not differ between both experimental conditions (p = .199). These findings suggest that PC intake before exercise should be avoided when reducing IOP levels is desired (e.g., glaucoma patients or those at risk). Future studies should determine the effects of different ergogenic aids on IOP and OPP levels with other exercise configurations and in the long term.

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“Falling Behind,” “Letting Go,” and Being “Outsprinted” as Distinct Features of Pacing in Distance Running

Carl Foster, Renato Barroso, Daniel Bok, Daniel Boullosa, Arturo Casado Alda, Cristina Cortis, Andrea Fusco, Brian Hanley, Philip Skiba, and Jos J. de Koning

Introduction: In distance running, pacing is characterized by changes in speed, leading to runners dropping off the leader’s pace until a few remain to contest victory with a final sprint. Pacing behavior has been well studied over the last 30 years, but much remains unknown. It might be related to finishing position, finishing time, and dependent on critical speed (CS), a surrogate of physiologic capacity. We hypothesized a relationship between CS and the distance at which runners “fell behind” and “let go” from the leader or were “outsprinted” as contributors to performance. Methods: 100-m split times were obtained for athletes in the men’s 10,000-m at the 2008 Olympics (N = 35). Split times were individually compared with the winner at the point of “falling behind” (successive split times progressively slower than the winner), “letting go” (large increase in time for distance compared with winner), or “outsprinted” (falling behind despite active acceleration) despite being with the leader with 400 m remaining. Results: Race times ranged between 26:55 and 29:23 (world record = 26:17). There were 3 groups who fell behind at ∼1000 (n = 11), ∼6000 (n = 16), and ∼9000 m (n = 2); let go at ∼4000 (n = 10), ∼7000 (n = 14), and ∼9500 m (n = 5); or were outkicked (n = 6). There was a moderate correlation between CS and finishing position (r = .82), individual mean pace (r = .79), “fell behind” distance (r = .77), and “let go” distance (r = .79). D′ balance was correlated with performance in the last 400 m (r = .87). Conclusions: Athletes displayed distinct patterns of falling behind and letting go. CS serves as a moderate predictor of performance and final placing. Final placing during the sprint is related to preservation of D′ balance.