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Acute Effects of Dietary Nitrate on Exercise Tolerance, Muscle Oxygenation, and Cardiovascular Function in Patients With Peripheral Arterial Disease

Cindy M.T. van der Avoort, Luc J.C. van Loon, Lex B. Verdijk, Paul P.C. Poyck, Dick T.J. Thijssen, and Maria T.E. Hopman

Previous studies have used supplements to increase dietary nitrate intake in clinical populations. Little is known about whether effects can also be induced through vegetable consumption. Therefore, the aim of this study was to assess the impact of dietary nitrate, through nitrate-rich vegetables (NRV) and beetroot juice (BRJ) supplementation, on plasma nitrate and nitrite concentrations, exercise tolerance, muscle oxygenation, and cardiovascular function in patients with peripheral arterial disease. In a randomized crossover design, 18 patients with peripheral arterial disease (age: 73 ± 8 years) followed a nitrate intake protocol (∼6.5 mmol) through the consumption of NRV, BRJ, and nitrate-depleted BRJ (placebo). Blood samples were taken, blood pressure and arterial stiffness were measured in fasted state and 150 min after intervention. Each intervention was followed by a maximal walking exercise test to determine claudication onset time and peak walking time. Gastrocnemius oxygenation was measured by near-infrared spectroscopy. Blood samples were taken and blood pressure was measured 10 min after exercise. Mean plasma nitrate and nitrite concentrations increased (nitrate; Time × Intervention interaction; p < .001), with the highest concentrations after BRJ (494 ± 110 μmol/L) compared with NRV (202 ± 89 μmol/L) and placebo (80 ± 19 μmol/L; p < .001). Mean claudication onset time and peak walking time did not differ between NRV (413 ± 187 s and 745 ± 220 s, respectively), BRJ (392 ± 154 s and 746 ± 176 s), and placebo (403 ± 176 s and 696 ± 222 s) (p = .762 and p = .165, respectively). Gastrocnemius oxygenation, blood pressure, and arterial stiffness were not affected by the intervention. NRV and BRJ intake markedly increase plasma nitrate and nitrite, but this does not translate to improved exercise tolerance, muscle oxygenation, and/or cardiovascular function.

Open access

Exercise Plus Presleep Protein Ingestion Increases Overnight Muscle Connective Tissue Protein Synthesis Rates in Healthy Older Men

Andrew M. Holwerda, Jorn Trommelen, Imre W.K. Kouw, Joan M. Senden, Joy P.B. Goessens, Janneau van Kranenburg, Annemie P. Gijsen, Lex B. Verdijk, and Luc J.C. van Loon

Protein ingestion and exercise stimulate myofibrillar protein synthesis rates. When combined, exercise further increases the postprandial rise in myofibrillar protein synthesis rates. It remains unclear whether protein ingestion with or without exercise also stimulates muscle connective tissue protein synthesis rates. The authors assessed the impact of presleep protein ingestion on overnight muscle connective tissue protein synthesis rates at rest and during recovery from resistance-type exercise in older men. Thirty-six healthy, older men were randomly assigned to ingest 40 g intrinsically L-[1-13C]-phenylalanine and L-[1-13C]-leucine-labeled casein protein (PRO, n = 12) or a nonprotein placebo (PLA, n = 12) before going to sleep. A third group performed a single bout of resistance-type exercise in the evening before ingesting 40 g intrinsically-labeled casein protein prior to sleep (EX+PRO, n = 12). Continuous intravenous infusions of L-[ring- 2H5]-phenylalanine and L-[1-13C]-leucine were applied with blood and muscle tissue samples collected throughout overnight sleep. Presleep protein ingestion did not increase muscle connective tissue protein synthesis rates (0.049 ± 0.013 vs. 0.060 ± 0.024%/hr in PLA and PRO, respectively; p = .73). Exercise plus protein ingestion resulted in greater overnight muscle connective tissue protein synthesis rates (0.095 ± 0.022%/hr) when compared with PLA and PRO (p < .01). Exercise increased the incorporation of dietary protein-derived amino acids into muscle connective tissue protein (0.036 ± 0.013 vs. 0.054 ± 0.009 mole percent excess in PRO vs. EX+PRO, respectively; p < .01). In conclusion, resistance-type exercise plus presleep protein ingestion increases overnight muscle connective tissue protein synthesis rates in older men. Exercise enhances the utilization of dietary protein-derived amino acids as precursors for de novo muscle connective tissue protein synthesis during overnight sleep.

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Becoming a World Champion Powerlifter at 71 Years of Age: It Is Never Too Late to Start Exercising

Cas J. Fuchs, Jorn Trommelen, Michelle E.G. Weijzen, Joey S.J. Smeets, Janneau van Kranenburg, Lex B. Verdijk, and Luc J.C. van Loon

This case study assessed body composition, muscle strength, cardiorespiratory fitness, and metabolic health of the present female world champion powerlifter in the 70+ age category who started resistance exercise training at 63 years of age with no prior experience with structured exercise training. Measures of body composition (magnetic resonance imaging, computed tomography, and dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry scanning, leg volume); strength (one-repetition maximum leg press and extension, maximum voluntary contraction, and handgrip strength); physical function (short physical performance battery); cardiorespiratory fitness (peak oxygen consumption); and metabolic health (oral glucose tolerance test) were assessed. In addition, a muscle biopsy was collected to assess muscle fiber type distribution and cross-sectional area (CSA). Where possible, data were compared with previously (un)published sex- and age-matched data using z scores. Skeletal muscle mass index was calculated by dividing limb muscle mass by height squared. Data from the control groups are expressed as mean ± 95% confidence interval. Our participant (age: 71 years; body mass: 64.5 kg; body mass index: 27.6 kg/m2) reported a good bone mineral density of 1.09 g/cm2 (T score between −1 and +1) and very low values of abdominal and organ body fat (i.e., between 20% and 70% lower compared with a reference group of postmenopausal women). In addition, she showed a 33% greater skeletal muscle mass index when compared with healthy, older female control subjects (7.9 vs. 5.9 [5.7–6.2] kg/m2; n = 61) as well as 37% greater muscle quadriceps CSA (63.8 vs. 46.6 [44.5–48.7] cm2; n = 48) and 46% greater Type II muscle fiber CSA (4,536 vs. 3,097 [2,707–3,488] μm2; n = 19). Absolute leg press muscle strength was 36% greater (190 vs. 140 [132–147] kg; n = 30) and handgrip strength was 33% greater (33 vs. 25 [23–26] kg; n = 48) when compared with healthy, age-matched controls. In conclusion, even for resistance exercise naïve individuals, starting exercise at an advanced age can lead to improvements in body composition and muscle strength allowing older adults to reduce the risk for developing metabolic syndrome, live independently, and even compete at a world class level.

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Acute Ketone Monoester Supplementation Impairs 20-min Time-Trial Performance in Trained Cyclists: A Randomized, Crossover Trial

Devin G. McCarthy, Jack Bone, Matthew Fong, Phillippe J.M. Pinckaers, William Bostad, Douglas L. Richards, Luc J.C. van Loon, and Martin J. Gibala

Acute ketone monoester (KE) supplementation can alter exercise responses, but the performance effect is unclear. The limited and equivocal data to date are likely related to factors including the KE dose, test conditions, and caliber of athletes studied. We tested the hypothesis that mean power output during a 20-min cycling time trial (TT) would be different after KE ingestion compared to a placebo (PL). A sample size of 22 was estimated to provide 80% power to detect an effect size d z of 0.63 at an alpha level of .05 with a two-tailed paired t test. This determination considered 2.0% as the minimal important difference in performance. Twenty-three trained cyclists (N = 23; peak oxygen uptake: 65 ± 12 ml·kg−1 min−1; M ± SD), who were regularly cycling >5 hr/week, completed a familiarization trial followed by two experimental trials. Participants self-selected and replicated their diet and exercise for ∼24 hr before each trial. Participants ingested either 0.35 g/kg body mass of (R)-3-hydroxybutyl (R)-3-hydroxybutyrate KE or a flavor-matched PL 30 min before exercise in a randomized, triple-blind, crossover manner. Exercise involved a 15-min warm-up followed by the 20-min TT on a cycle ergometer. The only feedback provided was time elapsed. Preexercise venous [β-hydroxybutyrate] was higher after KE versus PL (2.0 ± 0.6 vs. 0.2 ± 0.1 mM, p < .0001). Mean TT power output was 2.4% (0.6% to 4.1%; mean [95% confidence interval]) lower after KE versus PL (255 ± 54 vs. 261 ± 54 W, p < .01; d z  = 0.60). The mechanistic basis for the impaired TT performance after KE ingestion under the present study conditions remains to be determined.

Open access

Muscle Mass and Strength Gains Following Resistance Exercise Training in Older Adults 65–75 Years and Older Adults Above 85 Years

Gabriel Nasri Marzuca-Nassr, Andrea Alegría-Molina, Yuri SanMartín-Calísto, Macarena Artigas-Arias, Nolberto Huard, Jorge Sapunar, Luis A. Salazar, Lex B. Verdijk, and Luc J.C. van Loon

Resistance exercise training (RET) can be applied effectively to increase muscle mass and function in older adults (65–75 years). However, it has been speculated that older adults above 85 years are less responsive to the benefits of RET. This study compares the impact of RET on muscle mass and function in healthy older adults 65–75 years versus older adults above 85 years. We subjected 17 healthy older adults 65–75 years (OLDER 65–75, n = 13/4 [female/male]; 68 ± 2 years; 26.9 ± 2.3 kg/m2) and 12 healthy older adults above 85 years (OLDER 85+, n = 7/5 [female/male]; 87 ± 3 years; 26.0 ± 3.6 kg/m2) to 12 weeks of whole-body RET (three times per week). Prior to, and after 6 and 12 weeks of training, quadriceps and lumbar spine vertebra 3 muscle cross-sectional area (computed tomography scan), whole-body lean mass (dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry scan), strength (one-repetition maximum test), and physical performance (timed up and go and short physical performance battery) were assessed. Twelve weeks of RET resulted in a 10% ± 4% and 11% ± 5% increase in quadriceps cross-sectional area (from 46.5 ± 10.7 to 51.1 ± 12.1 cm2, and from 38.9 ± 6.1 to 43.1 ± 8.0 cm2, respectively; p < .001; η2 = .67); a 2% ± 3% and 2% ± 3% increase in whole-body lean mass (p = .001; η2 = .22); and a 38% ± 20% and 46% ± 14% increase in one-repetition maximum leg extension strength (p < .001; η2 = .77) in the OLDER 65–75 and OLDER 85+ groups, respectively. No differences in the responses to RET were observed between groups (Time × Group, all p > .60; all η2 ≤ .012). Physical performance on the short physical performance battery and timed up and go improved (both p < .01; η2 ≥ .22), with no differences between groups (Time × Group, p > .015; η2 ≤ .07). Prolonged RET increases muscle mass, strength, and physical performance in the aging population, with no differences between 65–75 years and 85+ years older adults.

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Dietary Protein Intake and Distribution Patterns of Well-Trained Dutch Athletes

Jenna B. Gillen, Jorn Trommelen, Floris C. Wardenaar, Naomi Y.J. Brinkmans, Joline J. Versteegen, Kristin L. Jonvik, Christoph Kapp, Jeanne de Vries, Joost J.G.C. van den Borne, Martin J. Gibala, and Luc J.C. van Loon

Dietary protein intake should be optimized in all athletes to ensure proper recovery and enhance the skeletal muscle adaptive response to exercise training. In addition to total protein intake, the use of specific proteincontaining food sources and the distribution of protein throughout the day are relevant for optimizing protein intake in athletes. In the present study, we examined the daily intake and distribution of various proteincontaining food sources in a large cohort of strength, endurance and team-sport athletes. Well-trained male (n=327) and female (n=226) athletes completed multiple web-based 24-hr dietary recalls over a 2-4 wk period. Total energy intake, the contribution of animal- and plant-based proteins to daily protein intake, and protein intake at six eating moments were determined. Daily protein intake averaged 108±33 and 90±24 g in men and women, respectively, which corresponded to relative intakes of 1.5±0.4 and 1.4±0.4 g/kg. Dietary protein intake was correlated with total energy intake in strength (r=0.71, p <.001), endurance (r=0.79, p <.001) and team-sport (r=0.77, p <.001) athletes. Animal and plant-based sources of protein intake was 57% and 43%, respectively. The distribution of protein intake was 19% (19±8 g) at breakfast, 24% (25±13 g) at lunch and 38% (38±15 g) at dinner. Protein intake was below the recommended 20 g for 58% of athletes at breakfast, 36% at lunch and 8% at dinner. In summary, this survey of athletes revealed they habitually consume > 1.2 g protein/kg/d, but the distribution throughout the day may be suboptimal to maximize the skeletal muscle adaptive response to training.

Open access

Coingestion of Collagen With Whey Protein Prevents Postexercise Decline in Plasma Glycine Availability in Recreationally Active Men

Thorben Aussieker, Tom A.H. Janssen, Wesley J.H. Hermans, Andrew M. Holwerda, Joan M. Senden, Janneau M.X. van Kranenburg, Joy P.B. Goessens, Tim Snijders, and Luc J.C. van Loon

Whey protein ingestion during recovery from exercise increases myofibrillar but not muscle connective protein synthesis rates. It has been speculated that whey protein does not provide sufficient glycine to maximize postexercise muscle connective protein synthesis rates. In the present study, we assessed the impact of coingesting different amounts of collagen with whey protein as a nutritional strategy to increase plasma glycine availability during recovery from exercise. In a randomized, double-blind, crossover design, 14 recreationally active men (age: 26 ± 5 years; body mass index: 23.8 ± 2.1 kg·m−2) ingested in total 30 g protein, provided as whey protein with 0 g (WHEY), 5 g (WC05); 10 g (WC10), and 15 g (WC15) of collagen protein immediately after a single bout of resistance exercise. Blood samples were collected frequently over 6 hr of postexercise recovery to assess postprandial plasma amino acid kinetics and availability. Protein ingestion strongly increased plasma amino acid concentrations (p < .001) with no differences in plasma total amino acid availability between treatments (p > .05). The postprandial rise in plasma leucine and essential amino acid availability was greater in WHEY compared with the WC10 and WC15 treatments (p < .05). Plasma glycine and nonessential amino acid concentrations declined following whey protein ingestion but increased following collagen coingestion (p < .05). Postprandial plasma glycine availability averaged −8.9 ± 5.8, 9.2 ± 3.7, 23.1 ± 6.5, and 39.8 ± 11.0 mmol·360 min/L in WHEY, WC05, WC10, and WC15, respectively (incremental area under curve values, p < .05). Coingestion of a small amount of collagen (5 g) with whey protein (25 g) is sufficient to prevent the decline in plasma glycine availability during recovery from lower body resistance-type exercise in recreationally active men.

Open access

PRESENT 2020: Text Expanding on the Checklist for Proper Reporting of Evidence in Sport and Exercise Nutrition Trials

James A. Betts, Javier T. Gonzalez, Louise M. Burke, Graeme L. Close, Ina Garthe, Lewis J. James, Asker E. Jeukendrup, James P. Morton, David C. Nieman, Peter Peeling, Stuart M. Phillips, Trent Stellingwerff, Luc J.C. van Loon, Clyde Williams, Kathleen Woolf, Ron Maughan, and Greg Atkinson

Open access

IOC Consensus Statement: Dietary Supplements and the High-Performance Athlete

Ronald J. Maughan, Louise M. Burke, Jiri Dvorak, D. Enette Larson-Meyer, Peter Peeling, Stuart M. Phillips, Eric S. Rawson, Neil P. Walsh, Ina Garthe, Hans Geyer, Romain Meeusen, Luc van Loon, Susan M. Shirreffs, Lawrence L. Spriet, Mark Stuart, Alan Vernec, Kevin Currell, Vidya M. Ali, Richard G.M. Budgett, Arne Ljungqvist, Margo Mountjoy, Yannis Pitsiladis, Torbjørn Soligard, Uğur Erdener, and Lars Engebretsen

Nutrition usually makes a small but potentially valuable contribution to successful performance in elite athletes, and dietary supplements can make a minor contribution to this nutrition program. Nonetheless, supplement use is widespread at all levels of sport. Products described as supplements target different issues, including the management of micronutrient deficiencies, supply of convenient forms of energy and macronutrients, and provision of direct benefits to performance or indirect benefits such as supporting intense training regimens. The appropriate use of some supplements can offer benefits to the athlete, but others may be harmful to the athlete’s health, performance, and/or livelihood and reputation if an anti-doping rule violation results. A complete nutritional assessment should be undertaken before decisions regarding supplement use are made. Supplements claiming to directly or indirectly enhance performance are typically the largest group of products marketed to athletes, but only a few (including caffeine, creatine, specific buffering agents and nitrate) have good evidence of benefits. However, responses are affected by the scenario of use and may vary widely between individuals because of factors that include genetics, the microbiome, and habitual diet. Supplements intended to enhance performance should be thoroughly trialed in training or simulated competition before implementation in competition. Inadvertent ingestion of substances prohibited under the anti-doping codes that govern elite sport is a known risk of taking some supplements. Protection of the athlete’s health and awareness of the potential for harm must be paramount, and expert professional opinion and assistance is strongly advised before embarking on supplement use.