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Glen Davison and Michael Gleeson

The aim of the present study was to investigate the effect of vitamin C with or without carbohydrate consumed acutely in beverages before and during prolonged cycling on immunoendocrine responses. In a single blind, randomized manner six healthy, moderately trained males exercised for 2.5 h at 60% VO2max and consumed either placebo (PLA), carbohydrate (CHO, 6% w/v), vitamin C (VC, 0.15% w/v) or CHO+VC beverages before and during the bouts; trials were separated by 1 wk. CHO and CHO+VC significantly blunted the post-exercise increase in plasma concentrations of cortisol, ACTH, total leukocyte, and neutrophil counts and limited the decrease in plasma glucose concentration and bacteria-stimulated neutrophil degranulation. VC increased plasma antioxidant capacity (PAC) during exercise (P < 0.05) but had no effect on any of the immunoendocrine responses (P > 0.05). CHO+VC increased PAC compared to CHO but had no greater effects, above those observed with CHO alone, on any of the immunoendocrine responses. In conclusion, acute supplementation with a high dose of VC has little or no effect on the hormonal, interleukin-6, or immune response to prolonged exercise and combined ingestion of VC with CHO provides no additional effects compared with CHO alone.

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Hawkar S. Ahmed, Samuele M. Marcora, David Dixon, and Glen Davison

Context: Referees’ physical and cognitive performance are important for successful officiating in team sports. There is a lack of research on cognitive performance of referees in general, and none in futsal. Purpose: To assess referees’ performance on the psychomotor vigilance task (PVT) before and after competitive futsal matches during the Football Association (FA) National Futsal League 2015/16. Methods: Fourteen futsal referees (mean [SD] age 34.3 [10.0] y) from the FA National Futsal group were included. The referees were required to undertake a 10-min PVT 60 min before the match kickoff time (pretest) and immediately after matches (posttest). They also completed the Brunel Mood Scale (BRUMS) questionnaire before the prematch PVT and after the postmatch PVT. Result: Data were analyzed by paired t tests comparing prematch and postmatch results. There was a significant difference in BRUMS parameters vigor (9.5 [2.5] prematch vs 6.3 [2.4] postmatch, P = .001) and fatigue (1.4 [1.3] prematch vs 5.6 [3.1] postmatch, P < .001). However, PVT performance was significantly improved (mean reaction time 248.3 [26.2] ms prematch vs 239.7 [22.4] ms postmatch, P = .023). Conclusions: The present results show, contrary to the authors’ initial hypothesis, that psychomotor performance is improved as opposed to decreased after a single match. The postmatch improvement suggests that exercise can acutely enhance cognitive performance, which could be used to inform warm-up practices (eg, optimal duration and intensity) geared toward optimizing referees’ cognitive performance during matches.

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Hannah F. Sangan, James G. Hopker, Glen Davison, and Shaun J. McLaren

Purpose: To assess the reliability and construct validity of a self-paced, submaximal run test (SRTRPE) for monitoring aerobic fitness. The SRTRPE monitors running velocity (v), heart rate (HRex), and blood lactate concentration (B[La]), during three 3-minute stages prescribed by ratings of perceived exertion (RPEs) of 10, 13, and 17. Methods: Forty (14 female) trained endurance runners completed a treadmill graded exercise test for the determination of maximal oxygen consumption (VO2max), v at VO2max (vVO2max), and v at 2 mmol·L−1 (vLT1) and 4 mmol·L−1 (vLT2) B[La]. Within 7 days, participants completed the SRTRPE. Convergent validity between the SRTRPE and graded exercise test parameters was assessed through linear regression. Eleven participants completed a further 2 trials of the SRTRPE within a 72-hour period to quantify test–retest reliability. Results: There were large correlations between v at all stages of the SRTRPE and VO2max (r range = .57–.63), vVO2max (.50–.66), and vLT2 (.51–.62), with vRPE 17 displaying the strongest associations (r > .60). Intraclass correlation coefficients (ICC3,1) were moderate to high for parameters v (range = .76–.84), HRex (.72–.92), and %HRmax (.64–.89) at all stages of the SRTRPE. The corresponding coefficients of variation were 2.5% to 5.6%. All parameters monitored at intensity RPE 17 displayed the greatest reliability. Conclusions: The SRTRPE was shown to be a valid and reliable test for monitoring parameters associated with aerobic fitness, displaying the potential of this submaximal, time-efficient test to monitor responses to endurance training.