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Benjamin M. Jackson, Ted Polglaze, Brian Dawson, Trish King and Peter Peeling

Purpose: To compare data from conventional global positioning system (GPS-) and new global navigation satellite system (GNSS-) enabled tracking devices and to examine the interunit reliability of GNSS devices. Methods: Interdevice differences between 10-Hz GPS and GNSS devices were examined during laps (n = 40) of a simulated game circuit and during elite hockey matches (n = 21); GNSS interunit reliability was also examined during laps of the simulated game circuit. Differences in distance values and measures in 3 velocity categories (low <3 m·s−1; moderate 3–5 m·s−1; and high >5 m·s−1) and acceleration/deceleration counts (>1.46 and <−1.46 m·s−2) were examined using 1-way analysis of variance. Interunit GNSS reliability was examined using the coefficient of variation (CV) and intraclass correlation coefficient. Results: Interdevice differences (P < .05) were found for measures of peak deceleration, low-speed distance, percentage of total distance at low speed, and deceleration count during the simulated game circuit and for all measures except total distance and low-speed distance during hockey matches. Interunit (GNSS) differences (P < .05) were not found. The coefficient of variation was below 5% for total distance, average and peak speeds and distance and percentage of total distance of low-speed running. The GNSS devices had a lower horizontal dilution of precision score than GPS devices in all conditions. Conclusions: These findings suggest that GNSS devices may be more sensitive than GPS devices in quantifying the physical demands of team-sport movements, but further study into the accuracy of GNSS devices is required.

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Rachel McCormick, Brian Dawson, Marc Sim, Leanne Lester, Carmel Goodman and Peter Peeling

The authors compared the effectiveness of two modes of daily iron supplementation in athletes with suboptimal iron stores: oral iron (PILL) versus transdermal iron (PATCH). Endurance-trained runners (nine males and 20 females), with serum ferritin concentrations <50 μg/L, supplemented with oral iron or iron patches for 8 weeks, in a parallel group study design. Serum ferritin was measured at baseline and fortnightly intervals. Hemoglobin mass and maximal oxygen consumption (V˙O2max) were measured preintervention and postintervention in PATCH. A linear mixed effects model was used to assess the effectiveness of each mode of supplementation on sFer. A repeated-measures analysis of variance was used to assess hemoglobin mass and V˙O2max outcomes in PATCH. There was a significant time effect (p < .001), sex effect (p = .013), and Time × Group interaction (p = .009) for sFer. At Week 6, PILL had significantly greater sFer compared with PATCH (15.27 μg/L greater in PILL; p = .019). Serum ferritin was 15.53 μg/L greater overall in males compared with females (p = .013). There were no significant differences in hemoglobin mass (p = .727) or V˙O2max (p = .929) preintervention to postintervention in PATCH. Finally, there were six complaints of severe gastrointestinal side effects in PILL and none in PATCH. Therefore, this study concluded that PILL effectively increased sFer in athletes with suboptimal iron stores, whereas PATCH showed no beneficial effects.

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Rachel McCormick, Alex Dreyer, Brian Dawson, Marc Sim, Leanne Lester, Carmel Goodman and Peter Peeling

The authors compared the effectiveness of daily (DAY) versus alternate day (ALT) oral iron supplementation in athletes with suboptimal iron. Endurance-trained runners (nine males and 22 females), with serum ferritin (sFer) concentrations <50 μg/L, supplemented with oral iron either DAY or ALT for 8 weeks. Serum ferritin was measured at baseline and at fortnightly intervals. Hemoglobin mass (Hbmass) was measured pre- and postintervention in a participant subset (n = 10). Linear mixed-effects models were used to assess the effectiveness of the two strategies on sFer and Hbmass. There were no sFer treatment (p = .928) or interaction (p = .877) effects; however, sFer did increase (19.7 μg/L; p < .001) over the 8-week intervention in both groups. In addition, sFer was 21.2 μg/L higher (p < .001) in males than females. No Hbmass treatment (p = .146) or interaction (p = .249) effects existed; however, a significant effect for sex indicated that Hbmass was 140.85 g higher (p = .004) in males compared with females. Training load (p = .001) and dietary iron intake (p = .015) also affected Hbmass. Finally, there were six complaints of severe gastrointestinal side effects in DAY, but only one in ALT. In summary, both supplement strategies increased sFer in athletes with suboptimal iron status; however, the ALT approach was associated with lower incidence of gastrointestinal upset.

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Peter Peeling, Linda M. Castell, Wim Derave, Olivier de Hon and Louise M. Burke

Athletes are exposed to numerous nutritional products, attractively marketed with claims of optimizing health, function, and performance. However, there is limited evidence to support many of these claims, and the efficacy and safety of many products is questionable. The variety of nutritional aids considered for use by track-and-field athletes includes sports foods, performance supplements, and therapeutic nutritional aids. Support for sports foods and five evidence-based performance supplements (caffeine, creatine, nitrate/beetroot juice, β-alanine, and bicarbonate) varies according to the event, the specific scenario of use, and the individual athlete’s goals and responsiveness. Specific challenges include developing protocols to manage repeated use of performance supplements in multievent or heat-final competitions or the interaction between several products which are used concurrently. Potential disadvantages of supplement use include expense, false expectancy, and the risk of ingesting banned substances sometimes present as contaminants. However, a pragmatic approach to the decision-making process for supplement use is recommended. The authors conclude that it is pertinent for sports foods and nutritional supplements to be considered only where a strong evidence base supports their use as safe, legal, and effective and that such supplements are trialed thoroughly by the individual before committing to use in a competition setting.

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Franco M. Impellizzeri, Elisabet Borg, Aaron J. Coutts, Michael Ian Lambert, Jill Borresen, Jason Kai Wei Lee and Peter Peeling

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Sam S.X. Wu, Jeremiah J. Peiffer, Peter Peeling, Jeanick Brisswalter, Wing Y. Lau, Kazunori Nosaka and Chris R. Abbiss


To investigate the effect of 3 swim-pacing profiles on subsequent performance during a sprint-distance triathlon (SDT).


Nine competitive/trained male triathletes completed 5 experimental sessions including a graded running exhaustion test, a 750-m swim time trial (STT), and 3 SDTs. The swim times of the 3 SDTs were matched, but pacing was manipulated to induce positive (ie, speed gradually decreasing from 92% to 73% STT), negative (ie, speed gradually increasing from 73% to 92% STT), or even pacing (constant 82.5% STT). The remaining disciplines were completed at a self-selected maximal pace. Speed over the entire triathlon, power output during the cycle discipline, rating of perceived exertion (RPE) for each discipline, and heart rate during the cycle and run were determined.


Faster cycle and overall triathlon times were achieved with positive swim pacing (30.5 ± 1.8 and 65.9 ± 4.0 min, respectively), as compared with the even (31.4 ± 1.0 min, P = .018 and 67.7 ± 3.9 min, P = .034, effect size [ES] = 0.46, respectively) and negative (31.8 ± 1.6 min, P = .011 and 67.3 ± 3.7 min, P = .041, ES = 0.36, respectively) pacing. Positive swim pacing elicited a lower RPE (9 ± 2) than negative swim pacing (11 ± 2, P = .014). No differences were observed in the other measured variables.


A positive swim pacing may improve overall SDT performance and should be considered by both elite and age-group athletes during racing.

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Alannah K. A. McKay, Ida A. Heikura, Louise M. Burke, Peter Peeling, David B. Pyne, Rachel P.L. van Swelm, Coby M. Laarakkers and Gregory R. Cox

Sleeping with low carbohydrate (CHO) availability is a dietary strategy that may enhance training adaptation. However, the impact on an athlete’s health is unclear. This study quantified the effect of a short-term “sleep-low” dietary intervention on markers of iron regulation and immune function in athletes. In a randomized, repeated-measures design, 11 elite triathletes completed two 4-day mixed cycle run training blocks. Key training sessions were structured such that a high-intensity training session was performed in the field on the afternoon of Days 1 and 3, and a low-intensity training (LIT) session was performed on the following morning in the laboratory (Days 2 and 4). The ingestion of CHO was either divided evenly across the day (HIGH) or restricted between the high-intensity training and LIT sessions, so that the LIT session was performed with low CHO availability (LOW). Venous blood and saliva samples were collected prior to and following each LIT session and analyzed for interleukin-6, hepcidin 25, and salivary immunoglobulin-A. Concentrations of interleukin-6 increased acutely after exercise (p < .001), but did not differ between dietary conditions or days. Hepcidin 25 increased 3-hr postexercise (p < .001), with the greatest increase evident after the LOW trial on Day 2 (2.5 ± 0.9 fold increase ±90% confidence limit). The salivary immunoglobulin-A secretion rate did not change in response to exercise; however, it was highest during the LOW condition on Day 4 (p = .046). There appears to be minimal impact to markers of immune function and iron regulation when acute exposure to low CHO availability is undertaken with expert nutrition and coaching input.

Open access

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.

Open access

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

Louise M. Burke, Linda M. Castell, Douglas J. Casa, Graeme L. Close, Ricardo J. S. Costa, Ben Desbrow, Shona L. Halson, Dana M. Lis, Anna K. Melin, Peter Peeling, Philo U. Saunders, Gary J. Slater, Jennifer Sygo, Oliver C. Witard, Stéphane Bermon and Trent Stellingwerff

The International Association of Athletics Federations recognizes the importance of nutritional practices in optimizing an Athlete’s well-being and performance. Although Athletics encompasses a diverse range of track-and-field events with different performance determinants, there are common goals around nutritional support for adaptation to training, optimal performance for key events, and reducing the risk of injury and illness. Periodized guidelines can be provided for the appropriate type, amount, and timing of intake of food and fluids to promote optimal health and performance across different scenarios of training and competition. Some Athletes are at risk of relative energy deficiency in sport arising from a mismatch between energy intake and exercise energy expenditure. Competition nutrition strategies may involve pre-event, within-event, and between-event eating to address requirements for carbohydrate and fluid replacement. Although a “food first” policy should underpin an Athlete’s nutrition plan, there may be occasions for the judicious use of medical supplements to address nutrient deficiencies or sports foods that help the athlete to meet nutritional goals when it is impractical to eat food. Evidence-based supplements include caffeine, bicarbonate, beta-alanine, nitrate, and creatine; however, their value is specific to the characteristics of the event. Special considerations are needed for travel, challenging environments (e.g., heat and altitude); special populations (e.g., females, young and masters athletes); and restricted dietary choice (e.g., vegetarian). Ideally, each Athlete should develop a personalized, periodized, and practical nutrition plan via collaboration with their coach and accredited sports nutrition experts, to optimize their performance.