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Benita J. Lalor, Shona L. Halson, Jacqueline Tran, Justin G. Kemp and Stuart J. Cormack

Purpose: To assess relationships between objective sleep characteristics, external training loads, and subjective ratings of well-being in elite Australian football (AF) players. Methods: A total of 38 elite male AF players recorded objective sleep characteristics over a 15-day period using an activity monitor. External load was assessed during main field sessions, and ratings of well-being were provided each morning. Canonical correlation analysis was used to create canonical dimensions for each variable set (sleep, well-being, and external load). Relationships between dimensions representing sleep, external load, and well-being were quantified using Pearson r. Results: Canonical correlations were moderate between pretraining sleep and external training load (r = .32–.49), pretraining sleep and well-being (r = .32), and well-being and posttraining sleep (r = .36). Moderate to strong correlations were observed between dimensions representing external training load and posttraining sleep (r = .31–.67), and well-being and external training load (r = .32–.67). Player load and Player load 2D (PL2D) showed the greatest association to pretraining and posttraining objective sleep characteristics and well-being. Fragmented sleep was associated with players completing the following training with a higher PL2D. Conclusions: Maximum speed, player load, and PL2D were the common associations between objective sleep characteristics and well-being in AF players. Improving pretraining sleep quality and quantity may have a positive impact on AF players’ well-being and movement strategy during field sessions. Following training sessions that have high maximum speed and PL2D, the increased requirement for sleep should be considered by ensuring that subsequent sessions do not start earlier than required.

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Christopher John Stevens, Megan L. Ross, Julien D. Périard, Brent S. Vallance and Louise M. Burke

Purpose: The core temperature responses during exercise and effects of different cooling strategies on endurance performance under heat stress have been investigated in recreational athletes. This investigation aimed to determine peak rectal temperatures during elite racewalking competitions and to detail any cooling strategies used. Methods: Rectal temperature was measured in 14 heat-adapted elite/preelite race walkers (9 females) via a telemetric capsule across 4 outdoor events, including the 2018 Commonwealth Games (race 1: 20 km, 25°C, 74% relative humidity [RH], n = 2) and 3 International Association of Athletics Federations–sanctioned 10-km events (race 2: 19°C, 34% RH, n = 2; race 3: 29°C, 47% RH, n = 14; and race 4: 23°C, 72% RH, n = 11). All athletes completed race 3, and a subsample completed the other events. Their use of cooling strategies and symptoms of heat illness were determined. Results: Peak rectal temperatures >40°C were observed in all events. The highest rectal temperature observed during an event was 41.2°C. These high rectal temperatures were observed without concomitant heat illness, with the exception of cramping in one athlete during race 1. The rectal temperatures tended to reach a steady state in the second half of the 20-km event, but no steady state was observed in the 10-km events. The athletes used cooling strategies in race 1 only, implementing different combinations of cold-water immersion, ice-slurry ingestion, ice-towel application, ice-vest application, and facial water spraying. Conclusions: Elite/preelite race walkers experience rectal temperatures >40°C during competition despite only moderate-warm conditions, and even when precooling and midcooling strategies are applied.

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David N. Borg, Ian B. Stewart, John O. Osborne, Christopher Drovandi, Joseph T. Costello, Jamie Stanley and Geoffrey M. Minett

Purpose: To examine the effects of daily cold- and hot-water recovery on training load (TL) during 5 days of heat-based training. Methods: Eight men completed 5 days of cycle training for 60 minutes (50% peak power output) in 4 different conditions in a block counter-balanced-order design. Three conditions were completed in the heat (35°C) and 1 in a thermoneutral environment (24°C; CON). Each day after cycling, participants completed 20 minutes of seated rest (CON and heat training [HT]) or cold- (14°C; HTCWI) or hot-water (39°C; HTHWI) immersion. Heart rate, rectal temperature, and rating of perceived exertion (RPE) were collected during cycling. Session-RPE was collected 10 minutes after recovery for the determination of session-RPE TL. Data were analyzed using hierarchical regression in a Bayesian framework; Cohen d was calculated, and for session-RPE TL, the probability that d > 0.5 was also computed. Results: There was evidence that session-RPE TL was increased in HTCWI (d = 2.90) and HTHWI (d = 2.38) compared with HT. The probabilities that d > 0.5 were .99 and .96, respectively. The higher session-RPE TL observed in HTCWI coincided with a greater cardiovascular (d = 2.29) and thermoregulatory (d = 2.68) response during cycling than in HT. This result was not observed for HTHWI. Conclusion: These findings suggest that cold-water recovery may negatively affect TL during 5 days of heat-based training, hot-water recovery could increase session-RPE TL, and the session-RPE method can detect environmental temperature-mediated increases in TL in the context of this study.

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Mohamed Romdhani, Nizar Souissi, Yassine Chaabouni, Kacem Mahdouani, Tarak Driss, Karim Chamari and Omar Hammouda

Purpose: To investigate the effects of napping after partial sleep deprivation (PSD) on reaction time, mood, and biochemical response to repeated-sprint exercise in athletes. Methods: Nine male judokas performed 4 test sessions in a counterbalanced and randomized order. Participants accomplished 1 control session after a normal sleep night (NSN) and 3 after PSD with (1) no nap, (2) ∼20-min nap (N20), and (3) ∼90-min nap (N90) opportunities. Test sessions included the running-based anaerobic sprint test, reaction time, Hooper index, and Epworth Sleepiness Scale. Muscle-damage biomarkers and antioxidant status were evaluated before and after exercise. Results: PSD decreased maximum (P < .001, d = 1.12), mean (P < .001, d = 1.33), and minimum (P < .001, d = 1.15) powers compared with NSN. However, N20 and N90 enhanced maximum power compared with PSD (P < .05, d = 0.54; P < .001, d = 1.06, respectively). Minimum power and mean power increased only after N90 (P < .001, d = 1.63; P < .001, d = 1.16, respectively). Epworth Sleepiness Scale increased after PSD (P < .001, d = 0.86) and decreased after N20 (P < .001, d = 1.36) and N90 (P < .001, d = 2.07). N20 reduced multiple-choice reaction time (P < .001, d = 0.61). Despite performance decrement, PSD increased postexercise aspartate aminotransferase (P < .001, d = 4.16) and decreased glutathione peroxidase (P < .001, d = 4.02) compared with NSN. However, the highest performances after N90 were accompanied with lesser aspartate aminotransferase (P < .001, d = 1.74) and higher glutathione peroxidase (P < .001, d = 0.86) compared with PSD. Conclusions: Napping could be preventive against performance degradation caused by sleep loss. A short nap opportunity could be more beneficial when the subsequent effort is brief and requires frequent decision making. However, a longer nap opportunity could be preventive against muscle and oxidative damage, even for higher performances.

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Sarah J. Willis, Grégoire P. Millet and Fabio Borrani

Purpose: To assess tissue oxygenation, along with metabolic and physiological responses during blood flow restriction (BFR, bilateral vascular occlusion) and systemic hypoxia conditions during submaximal leg- versus arm-cycling exercise. Methods: In both legs and arms, 4 randomized sessions were performed (normoxia 400 m, fraction of inspired oxygen [FIO2] 20.9% and normobaric hypoxia 3800 m, FIO2 13.1% [0.1%]; combined with BFR at 0% and 45% of resting pulse elimination pressure). During each session, a single 6-minute steady-state submaximal exercise was performed to measure physiological changes and oxygenation (near-infrared spectroscopy) of the muscle tissue in both the vastus lateralis (legs) and biceps brachii (arms). Results: Total hemoglobin concentration ([tHb]) was 65% higher (P < .001) in arms versus legs, suggesting that arms had a greater blood perfusion capacity than legs. Furthermore, there were greater changes in tissue blood volume [tHb] during BFR compared with control conditions (P = .017, F = 5.45). The arms elicited 7% lower tissue saturation (P < .001) and were thus more sensitive to the hypoxia-induced reduction in oxygen supply than legs, no matter the condition. This indicates that legs and arms may elicit different regulatory hemodynamic mechanisms (ie, greater blood flow in arms) for limiting the decreased oxygen delivery during exercise with altered arterial oxygen content. Conclusions: The combination of BFR and/or hypoxia led to increased [tHb] in both limbs likely due to greater vascular resistance; further, arms were more responsive than legs. This possibly influences the maintenance of oxygen delivery and enhances perfusion pressure, suggesting greater vascular reactivity in arms than in legs.

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Paulo H.C. Mesquita, Emerson Franchini, Marco A. Romano-Silva, Guilherme M. Lage and Maicon R. Albuquerque

Purpose: To investigate the effects of anodal transcranial direct current stimulation (a-tDCS) on the aerobic performance, heart rate (HR), and rating of perceived exertion (RPE) of highly trained taekwondo athletes. Methods: Twelve (8 men and 4 women) international/national-level athletes received a-tDCS or sham treatment over the M1 location in a randomized, single-blind crossover design. The stimulation was delivered at 1.5 mA for 15 min using an extracephalic bihemispheric montage. Athletes performed the progressive-specific taekwondo test 10 min after stimulation. HR was monitored continuously during the test, and RPE was registered at the end of each stage and at test cessation. Results: There were no significant differences between sham and a-tDCS in time to exhaustion (14.6 and 14.9, respectively, P = .53, effect size = 0.15) and peak kicking frequency (52 and 53.6, respectively, P = .53, effect size = 0.15) or in HR (P > .05) and RPE responses (P > .05). Conclusions: Extracephalic bihemispheric a-tDCS over M1 did not influence the aerobic performance of taekwondo athletes or their psychophysiological responses, so athletes and staff should be cautious when using it in a direct-to-consumer manner.

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Filipe M. Clemente, Ana F. Silva, Cain C.T. Clark, Daniele Conte, João Ribeiro, Bruno Mendes and Ricardo Lima

Purpose: The purposes of this study were to (1) analyze the variations of acute and chronic training load and well-being measures during 3 periods of the season (early, mid, and end) and (2) test the associations between weekly training load and well-being measures during different periods of the season. Methods: Thirteen professional volleyball players from a team competing in the Portuguese Volleyball First Division (age 31.0 [5.0] y) were monitored during an entire season. Weekly acute (wAL) and chronic load (wCL), acute to chronic workload ratio (wACWL), and training monotony (wTM) were calculated during all weeks of the season. The weekly values of muscle soreness (wDOMS), stress (wStress), fatigue (wFatigue), sleep (wSleep), and Hooper index (wHI) were also obtained across the season. Results: The midseason had meaningfully low values of wAL (−26.9%; effect size [ES]: −1.12) and wCL (−28.0%; ES: −2.81), and greater values of wACWL (+38.9%; ES: 2.81) compared with early season. The wCL (+10.6%; ES: 0.99), wStress (44.6%; ES: 0.87), and wHI (29.0%; ES: 0.62) were meaningfully greater during the end of season than in midseason. Overall, wAL presented very large correlations with wDOMS (r = .80), wSleep (r = .72), and wFatigue (r = .82). Conclusions: The results of this study suggest that the load was meaningfully higher during early season; however, stress was higher during the final stages of the season. Overall, it was also found that the acute load is more highly correlated with well-being status and its variations than chronic load or training monotony.

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Daniel J. Peart, Michael Graham, Callum Blades and Ian H. Walshe

Purpose: To examine whether the use of a carbohydrate mouth rinse (CMR) can improve multiple choice reaction time in amateur boxers during sparring. Methods: A total of 8 male amateur boxers (age 22 [3] y, stature 1.78 [0.07] m, mass 73.6 [14.2] kg) with at least 18 months of experience in the sport volunteered to participate in the study. All participants attended a familiarization session, followed by an experimental (CMR; 6% dextrose) and placebo trials in a randomized order. Participants undertook 3 × 2 minutes of sparring against an ability- and size-matched (stature and mass) opponent. Multiple choice reaction time and perceived exertion were measured before round 1 and then after each round. The respective mouth rinse was administered in a 25-mL solution for 10 seconds before each round. Magnitude-based inferences were used to compare the results of each round (mean difference; ±90% confidence limits). Results: The CMR was unlikely to have a beneficial effect on multiple choice reaction time compared with placebo (mean ± 90% confidence limits: 5 ± 9.5, 4 ± 3.4, −1 ± 8.5 lights for rounds 1 to 3, respectively) and had a possibly harmful effect on perceived exertion in round 1 (10 ± 20). There was an unlikely harmful effect on perceived exertion in rounds 2 (1 ± 12) and 3 (9 ± 23). Conclusion: There is no evidence to support the use of CMR during sparring in amateur boxers.

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Michele Lastella, Gregory D. Roach, Grace E. Vincent, Aaron T. Scanlan, Shona L. Halson and Charli Sargent

Purpose: To quantify the sleep/wake behaviors of adolescent, female basketball players and to examine the impact of daily training load on sleep/wake behaviors during a 14-day training camp. Methods: Elite, adolescent, female basketball players (N = 11) had their sleep/wake behaviors monitored using self-report sleep diaries and wrist-worn activity monitors during a 14-day training camp. Each day, players completed 1 to 5 training sessions (session duration: 114 [54] min). Training load was determined using the session rating of perceived exertion model in arbitrary units. Daily training loads were summated across sessions on each day and split into tertiles corresponding to low, moderate, and high training load categories, with rest days included as a separate category. Separate linear mixed models and effect size analyses were conducted to assess differences in sleep/wake behaviors among daily training load categories. Results: Sleep onset and offset times were delayed (P < .05) on rest days compared with training days. Time in bed and total sleep time were longer (P < .05) on rest days compared with training days. Players did not obtain the recommended 8 to 10 hours of sleep per night on training days. A moderate increase in sleep efficiency was evident during days with high training loads compared with low. Conclusions: Elite, adolescent, female basketball players did not consistently meet the sleep duration recommendations of 8 to 10 hours per night during a 14-day training camp. Rest days delayed sleep onset and offset times, resulting in longer sleep durations compared with training days. Sleep/wake behaviors were not impacted by variations in the training load administered to players.

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Nicola Giovanelli, Lea Biasutti, Desy Salvadego, Hailu K. Alemayehu, Bruno Grassi and Stefano Lazzer

Purpose: To evaluate the effects of a trail-running race on muscle oxidative function by measuring pulmonary gas exchange variables and muscle fractional O2 extraction. Methods: Eighteen athletes were evaluated before (PRE) and after (POST) a trail-running competition of 32 or 50 km with 2000 or 3500 m of elevation gain, respectively. During the week before the race, runners performed an incremental uphill running test and an incremental exercise by utilizing a 1-leg knee extension ergometer. The knee extension exercise was repeated after the end of the race. During the knee extension test, the authors measured oxygen uptake (V˙O2) and micromolar changes in deoxygenated hemoglobin (Hb)+myoglobin (Mb) concentrations (Δ[deoxy(Hb+Mb)]) on vastus lateralis with a portable near-infrared spectroscopy. Results: V˙O2peak was lower at POST versus PRE (−23.9% [9.0%]; P < .001). V˙O2peak at POST was lower than V˙O2 at the same workload at PRE (−8.4% [15.6%]; P < .050). Peak power output and time to exhaustion decreased at POST by −23.7% (14.3%) and −18.3% (11.3%), respectively (P < .005). At POST, the increase of Δ[deoxy(Hb+Mb)] as a function of work rate, from unloaded to peak, was less pronounced (from 20.2% [10.1%] to 64.5% [21.1%] of limb ischemia at PRE to 16.9% [12.7%] to 44.0% [18.9%] at POST). Peak Δ[deoxy(Hb+Mb)] values were lower at POST (by −31.2% [20.5%]; P < .001). Conclusions: Trail running leads to impairment in skeletal muscle oxidative metabolism, possibly related to muscle damage from repeated eccentric contractions. In association with other mechanisms, the impairment of skeletal muscle oxidative metabolism is likely responsible for the reduced exercise capacity and tolerance during and following these races.