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Jason D. Vescovi and Greig Watson

This field-based observational study was designed to examine the intraindividual variation of first morning body mass and urine specific gravity (Usg) in male hockey players (n = 22) during a 10-day training camp. It was also designed to evaluate the prevalence and interrelationship of morning hypohydration and postmatch dehydration using Usg and changes in body mass, respectively. Body mass and Usg were measured upon waking; body mass was also measured before and after matches. Individual means, SD, and coefficient of variation (CV) were calculated for morning body mass and Usg using 3, 6, and 8 days. Daily prevalence for euhydration and postmatch dehydration using morning Usg (<1.020) and changes in body mass (>−2%), respectively, were determined. Measurement of morning body mass and Usg for 3 days had low variability (CV < 1%) with no improvement at 6 or 8 days. Between 36% and 73% of players were considered euhydrated based on morning Usg. Postmatch body mass was reduced >1% in 50–85% of players, with up to 40% experiencing changes >−2%. Postmatch changes in body mass were unrelated to Usg the subsequent morning. These outcomes can be helpful in establishing criteria for detecting meaningful changes in morning body mass and Usg in similar settings, helping to monitor hydration status in elite male athletes. Despite ample fluid availability and consumption, many players experienced hypohydration and dehydration during the camp, indicating that careful monitoring and an individual fluid replacement approach are warranted in these environments.

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Jack M. Burns, Jeremiah J. Peiffer, Chris R. Abbiss, Greig Watson, Angus Burnett and Paul B. Laursen

Purpose:

Manufacturers of uncoupled cycling cranks claim that their use will increase economy of motion and gross efficiency. Purportedly, this occurs by altering the muscle-recruitment patterns contributing to the resistive forces occurring during the recovery phase of the pedal stroke. Uncoupled cranks use an independent-clutch design by which each leg cycles independently of the other (ie, the cranks are not fixed together). However, research examining the efficacy of training with uncoupled cranks is equivocal. The purpose of this study was to determine the effect of short-term training with uncoupled cranks on the performance-related variables economy of motion, gross efficiency, maximal oxygen uptake (VO2max), and muscle-activation patterns.

Methods:

Sixteen trained cyclists were matched-paired into either an uncoupled-crank or a normal-crank training group. Both groups performed 5 wk of training on their assigned cranks. Before and after training, participants completed a graded exercise test using normal cranks. Expired gases were collected to determine economy of motion, gross efficiency, and VO2max, while integrated electromyography (iEMG) was used to examine muscle-activation patterns of the vastus lateralis, biceps femoris, and gastrocnemius.

Results:

No significant changes between groups were observed for economy of motion, gross efficiency, VO2max, or iEMG in the uncoupled- or normal-crank group.

Conclusions:

Five weeks of training with uncoupled cycling cranks had no effect on economy of motion, gross efficiency, muscle recruitment, or VO2max compared with training on normal cranks.

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Paul B. Laursen, Greig Watson, Chris R. Abbiss, Bradley A. Wall and Kazunori Nosaka

Purpose:

To monitor the hydration, core temperature, and speed (pace) of a triathlete performing an Ironman triathlon.

Methods:

A 35-year-old experienced male triathlete participated in the Western Australian Ironman triathlon on December 1, 2006. The participant was monitored for blood Na+ concentration before the race (PRE), at the transitions (T1 and T2), halfway through the run (R21), and after the race (POST; 2hPOST). Core body temperature (T ; pill telemetry) was recorded continuously, and running speed (s3 stride sensor) was measured during the run.

Results:

The participant completed the race in 11 h 38 min, in hot conditions (26.6 ± 5.8°C; 42 ± 19% rel. humidity). His Tc increased from 37.0 to 38.6°C during the 57-min swim, and averaged 38.4°C during the 335-min bike (33.5 km·h-1). After running at 12.4 km·h-1 for 50 min in the heat (33.1°C), T increased to 39.4°C, before slowing to 10.0 km·h-1 for 20 min. T decreased to 38.9°C until he experienced severe leg cramps, after which speed diminished to 6 km·h-1 and T fell to 38.0°C. The athlete’s blood Na+ was constant from PRE to T2 (139-140 mEq·L-1, but fell to 131 mEq·L-1 at R21, 133 mEq·L-1 at POST, and 128 mEq·L-1at 2hPOST The athlete consumed 9.25 L of fuid from PRE to T2, 6.25 L from T2 to POST, and lost 2% of his body mass, indicating sweat losses greater than 15.5 L.

Conclusion:

This athlete slowed during the run phase following attainment of a critically high T and experienced an unusually rapid reduction in blood Na+ that preceded cramping, despite presenting with signs of dehydration.

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João C. Dias, Melissa W. Roti, Amy C. Pumerantz, Greig Watson, Daniel A. Judelson, Douglas J. Casa and Lawrence E. Armstrong

Context:

Dieticians, physiologists, athletic trainers, and physicians have recommended refraining from caffeine intake when exercising because of possible fluid-electrolyte imbalances and dehydration.

Objective:

To assess how 16-hour rehydration is affected by caffeine ingestion.

Design:

Dose–response.

Setting:

Environmental chamber.

Participants:

59 college-age men.

Intervention:

Subjects consumed a chronic caffeine dose of 0 (placebo), 3, or 6 mg · kg−1 · day−1 and performed an exercise heat-tolerance test (EHT) consisting of 90 minutes of walking on a treadmill (5.6 km/h) in the heat (37.7 °C).

Outcome Measures:

Fluid-electrolyte measures.

Results:

There were no between-group differences immediately after and 16 hours after EHT in total plasma protein, hematocrit, urine osmolality, specific gravity, color, and volume. Body weights after EHT and the following day (16 hours) were not different between groups (P > .05).

Conclusion:

Hydration status 16 hours after EHT did not change with chronic caffeine ingestion.

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Lawrence E. Armstrong, Amy C. Pumerantz, Melissa W. Roti, Daniel A. Judelson, Greig Watson, Joao C. Dias, Bülent Sökmen, Douglas J. Casa, Carl M. Maresh, Harris Lieberman and Mark Kellogg

This investigation determined if 3 levels of controlled caffeine consumption affected fluid-electrolyte balance and renal function differently. Healthy males (mean ± standard deviation; age, 21.6 ± 3.3 y) consumed 3 mg caffeine · kg−1 · d−1 on days 1 to 6 (equilibration phase). On days 7 to 11 (treatment phase), subjects consumed either 0 mg (C0; placebo; n = 20), 3 mg (C3; n = 20), or 6 mg (C6; n = 19) caffeine · kg−1 · d−1 in capsules, with no other dietary caffeine intake. The following variables were unaffected (P > 0.05) by different caffeine doses on days 1, 3, 6, 9, and 11 and were within normal clinical ranges: body mass, urineosmolality, urine specific gravity, urine color, 24-h urine volume, 24-h Na+ and K+ excretion, 24-h creatinine, blood urea nitrogen, serum Na+ and K+, serum osmolality, hematocrit, and total plasma protein. Therefore, C0, C3, and C6 exhibited no evidence of hypohydration. These findings question the widely accepted notion that caffeine consumption acts chronically as a diuretic.