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Robert J. Schutz and David Goodman

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David Preen, Brian Dawson, Carmel Goodman, John Beilby and Simon Ching

The purposes of this investigation were first to determine the impact of 3 different creatine (Cr) loading procedures on skeletal muscle total Cr (TCr) accumulation and, second, to evaluate the effectiveness of 2 maintenance regimes on retaining intramuscular TCr stores, in the 6 weeks following a 5-day Cr loading program (20 g · day−1). Eighteen physically active male subjects were divided into 3 equal groups and administered either: (a) Cr (4 X 5 g · day−1 X 5 days), (b) Glucose+Cr (1 g · kg−1 of body mass twice per day), or (c) Cr in conjunction with 60 min of daily muscular (repeated-sprint) exercise. Following the 5-day loading period, subjects were reassigned to 3 maintenance groups and ingested either 0 g · day−1, 2 g · day−1 or 5 g · day−1 of Cr for a period of 6 weeks. Muscle biopsy samples (vastus lateralis) were taken pre- and post-loading as well as post-maintenance and analyzed for skeletal muscle ATP, phosphocreatine (PCr), Cr, and TCr concentrations. Twenty-four hour urine samples were collected for each of the loading days and last 2 maintenance days, and used to determine whole body Cr retention. Post-loading TCr stores were significantly (p < .05) increased in all treatment conditions. The Glucose+Cr condition produced a greater elevation (p < .05) in TCr concentrations (25%) than the Cr Only (16%) or Exercise+Cr (18%) groups. Following the maintenance period, muscle TCr stores were still similar to post-loading values for both the 2 g · day−1 and 5 g · day−1 conditions. Intramuscular TCr values for the 0 g · day−1 condition were significantly lower than the other conditions after the 6-week period. Although not significantly different from pre-loading concentrations, muscle TCr for the 0 g · day−1 group had not fully returned to baseline levels at 6 weeks post-loading. The data suggests that Glucose+Cr (but with a much smaller glucose intake than currently accepted) is potentially the most effective means of elevating TCr accumulation in human skeletal muscle. Furthermore, after 5 days of Cr loading, elevated muscle TCr concentrations can be maintained by the ingestion of small daily Cr doses (2-5 g) for a period of 6 weeks and that TCr concentrations may take longer than currently accepted to return to baseline values after such a Cr loading regime.

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Flavio T.P. Oliveira, Digby Elliott and David Goodman

Anecdotal and scientific evidence suggest humans tend to undershoot targets in rapid movements. We investigated whether this undershoot bias derives from energy minimization mechanisms. Participants performed 200 trials of two tasks: (1) a simple slider push to a target, and (2) a modified version of (1), designed so overshooting was less energy consuming than undershooting. Results support that the undershoot bias found in (1), as well as the overshoot bias found in (2), results from an energy minimization mechanism. Energy minimization might be inherent to biological systems. Movement biases were undesirable for maximal performance. Nonetheless, participants presented biases despite financial incentives to perform maximally. Participants did, however, appear sensitive to systematic errors produced by the attraction to less energy costly responses. We suggest that the motor system is constrained such that maximal performance trades off with energetic optimality although humans are able to learn and compensate for the energy minimization biases.

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David C. Nieman, Courtney L. Goodman, Christopher R. Capps, Zack L. Shue and Robert Arnot

This study measured the influence of 2-weeks ingestion of high chlorogenic acid (CQA) coffee on postexercise inflammation and oxidative stress, with secondary outcomes including performance and mood state. Cyclists (N = 15) were randomized to CQA coffee or placebo (300 ml/day) for 2 weeks, participated in a 50-km cycling time trial, and then crossed over to the opposite condition with a 2-week washout period. Blood samples were collected pre- and postsupplementation, and immediately postexercise. CQA coffee was prepared using the Turkish method with 30 g lightly roasted, highly ground Hambela coffee beans in 300 ml boiling water, and provided 1,066 mg CQA and 474 mg caffeine versus 187 mg CQA and 33 mg caffeine for placebo. Plasma caffeine was higher with CQA coffee versus placebo after 2-weeks (3.3-fold) and postexercise (21.0-fold) (interaction effect, p < .001). Higher ferric reducing ability of plasma (FRAP) levels were measured after exercise with CQA coffee versus placebo (p = .01). No differences between CQA coffee and placebo were found for postexercise increases in plasma IL-6 (p = .74) and hydroxyoctadecadienoic acids (9 + 13 HODEs) (p = .99). Total mood disturbance (TMD) scores were lower with CQA coffee versus placebo (p = .04). 50-km cycling time performance and power did not differ between trials, with heart rate and ventilation higher with CQA coffee, especially after 30 min. In summary, despite more favorable TMD scores with CQA coffee, these data do not support the chronic use of coffee highly concentrated with chlorogenic acids and caffeine in mitigating postexercise inflammation or oxidative stress or improving 50-km cycling performance.

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David B. Preen, Brian T. Dawson, Carmel Goodman, John Beilby and Simon Ching

This study attempted to determine the relationship between creatine (Cr) accumulation in human skeletal muscle and erythrocytes following Cr supplementation. If a strong relationship exists, a blood test might provide a practical, less invasive alternative than muscle biopsy for evaluating cellular Cr accumulation. Eighteen active, but not well-trained males were supplemented with Cr (4 × 5g/d) for 5 d. Muscle biopsies (vastus lateralis) were obtained pre- and post-loading and analyzed for Cr, phosphocreatine (PCr), and total Cr (TCr) content. Venous blood was also drawn at these times to determine erythrocyte Cr concentrations. Muscle Cr, PCr, and TCr concentrations were elevated (P < 0.05) by 39.8%, 7.5%, and 20.1% respectively following supplementation. Erythrocyte Cr concentrations were also elevated (P < 0.01) following the loading period, although to a greater relative degree than tissue concentrations (129.6%). Pre- and post-loading erythrocyte Cr concentrations were poorly and nonsignificantly correlated with that observed in skeletal muscle. Further, loading-mediated increases in erythrocyte Cr concentrations were poorly correlated with elevations in muscle Cr (r = 0.07), PCr (r = 0.06) or TCr (r = 0.04) concentrations. Erythrocyte Cr concentrations can be augmented by 5 d of Cr supplementation, however, this elevation does not reflect that observed in skeletal muscle obtained by muscle biopsy. Consequently, erythrocyte response to Cr loading is not a reliable measure of skeletal muscle Cr/TCr accumulation.