The use of sport supplements presents a dilemma for many of those involved in supporting athletes, including coaches, families, support staff, and the athletes themselves. Often the information that they source can be incorrect and promote a biased view regarding the use of nutritional supplements. The aim of this case study was to describe the process that occurred around the development of a series of targeted educational fact sheets on a range of nutritional supplements for Irish athletes. It describes the initiation and support of the process by the Irish Sports Council; one of its subgroups, the Food and Food Supplements Committee; and the Irish Institute of Sport. A needs assessment through questionnaires was carried out to establish the most commonly used sport nutrition supplements by athletes age 16 or over in Ireland. Respondents completed 105 questionnaires over a 4-mo period in 2008–09 that led to the production of 20 supplement fact sheets. These supplement fact sheets will enable Irish athletes to access high-quality, up-to-date, scientific information about the supplements they have reported consuming. Since personal reading had a strong influence over athletes’ decision-making process for taking nutritional supplements, as did scientific research, fact sheets available on the Internet from a reliable source are an ideal way to educate Irish athletes.
Kate L. Pumpa, Sharon M. Madigan, Ruth E. Wood-Martin, Richelle Flanagan, and Noreen Roche
Naroa Etxebarria, Nicole A. Beard, Maree Gleeson, Alice Wallett, Warren A. McDonald, Kate L. Pumpa, and David B. Pyne
Gastrointestinal disturbances are one of the most common issues for endurance athletes during training and competition in the heat. The relationship between typical dietary intake or nutritional interventions and perturbations in or maintenance of gut integrity is unclear. Twelve well-trained male endurance athletes (peak oxygen consumption = 61.4 ± 7.0 ml·kg−1·min−1) completed two trials in a randomized order in 35 °C (heat) and 21 °C (thermoneutral) conditions and kept a detailed nutritional diary for eight consecutive days between the two trials. The treadmill running trials consisted of 15 min at 60% peak oxygen consumption, 15 min at 75% peak oxygen consumption, followed by 8 × 1-min high-intensity efforts. Venous blood samples were taken at the baseline, at the end of each of the three exercise stages, and 1 hr postexercise to measure gut integrity and the permeability biomarker concentration for intestinal fatty-acid-binding protein, lipopolysaccharide, and lipopolysaccharide-binding protein. The runners self-reported gut symptoms 1 hr postexercise and 3 days postexercise. The heat condition induced large (45–370%) increases in intestinal fatty-acid-binding protein, lipopolysaccharide-binding protein, and lipopolysaccharide concentrations compared with the baseline, but induced mild gastrointestinal symptoms. Carbohydrate and polyunsaturated fat intake 24 hr preexercise were associated with less lipopolysaccharide translocation. Protein, carbohydrate, total fat, and polyunsaturated fat intake (8 days) were positively associated with the percentage increase of intestinal fatty-acid-binding protein in both conditions (range of correlations, 95% confidence interval = .62–.93 [.02, .98]). Typical nutrition intake partly explained increases in biomarkers and the attenuation of symptoms induced by moderate- and high-intensity exercise under both heat and thermoneutral conditions.