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  • Author: Helen T. O’Connor x
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Inge Spronk, Susan E. Heaney, Tania Prvan and Helen T. O’Connor

This study investigated the association between general nutrition knowledge and dietary quality in a convenience sample of athletes (> state level) recruited from four Australian State Sport Institutes. General nutrition knowledge was measured by the validated General Nutrition Knowledge Questionnaire and diet quality by an adapted version of the Australian Recommended Food Score (A-ARFS) calculated from food frequency questionnaire data. Analysis of variance and linear modeling were used to assess relationships between variables. Data: mean (Standard Deviation). A total of 101 athletes (Males: 37; Females: 64), 18.6 (4.6) years were recruited mainly from team sports (72.0%). Females scored higher than males for both nutrition knowledge (Females: 59.9%; Males: 55.6%; p = .017) and total A-ARFS (Females: 54.2% Males: 49.4%; p = .016). There was no significant influence of age, level of education, athletic caliber or team/individual sport participation on nutrition knowledge or total A-ARFS. However, athletes engaged in previous dietetic consultation had significantly higher nutrition knowledge (61.6% vs. 56.6%; p = .034) but not total A-ARFS (53.6% vs. 52.0%; p = .466). Nutrition knowledge was weakly but positively associated with total A-ARFS (r = .261, p= .008) and A-ARFS vegetable subgroup (r = .252, p = .024) independently explaining 6.8% and 5.1% of the variance respectively. Gender independently explained 5.6% of the variance in nutrition knowledge (p = .017) and 6.7% in total A-ARFS (p = .016). Higher nutrition knowledge and female gender were weakly but positively associated with better diet quality. Given the importance of nutrition to health and optimal sports performance, intervention to improve nutrition knowledge and healthy eating is recommended, especially for young male athletes.

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Catriona A. Burdon, Nathan A. Johnson, Phillip G. Chapman and Helen T. O’Connor

Beverage palatability is known to influence fluid consumption during exercise and may positively influence hydration status and help prevent fatigue, heat illness, and decreased performance.

Purpose:

The aims of this review were to evaluate the effect of beverage temperature on fluid intake during exercise and investigate the influence of beverage temperature on palatability.

Methods:

Citations from multiple databases were searched from the earliest record to November 2010 using the terms beverage, fluid, or water and palatability, preference, feeding, and drinking behavior and temperature. Included studies (N = 14) needed to use adult (≥18 yr) human participants, have beverage temperatures ≤50 °C, and measure consumption during exercise and/or palatability.

Results:

All studies reporting palatability (n = 10) indicated that cold (0–10 °C) or cool (10–22 °C) beverages were preferred to warmer ones (control, ≥22 °C). A meta-analysis on studies reporting fluid consumption (n = 5) revealed that participants consumed ~50% (effect size = 1.4, 0.75–2.04, 95% CI) more cold/cool beverages than control during exercise. Subanalysis of studies assessing hydration status (n = 4) with consumption of cool/cold vs. warm beverages demonstrated that dehydration during exercise was reduced by 1.3% of body weight (1.6–0.9%, 95% CI; p < .001).

Conclusion:

Cool beverage temperatures (<22 °C) significantly increased fluid palatability, fluid consumption, and hydration during exercise vs. control (≥22 °C).

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Catriona A. Burdon, Matthew W. Hoon, Nathan A. Johnson, Phillip G. Chapman and Helen T. O’Connor

Purpose:

The purpose of this study was to establish whether sensory factors associated with cold-beverage ingestion exert an ergogenic effect on endurance performance independent of thermoregulatory or cardiovascular factors.

Methods:

Ten males performed three trials involving 90 min of steady state cycling (SS; 62% VO2max) in the heat (32.1 ± 0.9 °C, 40 ± 2.4% relative humidity) followed by a 4 kJ/kg body mass time trial (TT). During SS, participants consumed an identical volume (260 ± 38g) of sports beverage (7.4% carbohydrate) every 15 min as either ice slushy (–1 °C; ICE), thermoneutral liquid (37 °C; CON), or thermoneutral liquid consumption with expectorated ice slushy mouthwash (WASH).

Results:

Rectal temperature, hydration status, heart rate, and skin blood flow were not different between trials. Gastrointestinal (pill) temperature was lower in ICE (35.6 ± 2.7 °C) versus CON (37.4 ± 0.7 °C, p = .05). Heat storage tended to be lower with ICE during SS (14.7 ± 8.4W.m−2, p = .08) and higher during TT (68.9 ± 38.6W.m−2, p = .03) compared with CON (22.1 ± 6.6 and 31.4 ± 27.6W.m−2). ICE tended to lower the rating of perceived exertion (RPE, 12.9 ± 0.6, p = .05) and improve thermal comfort (TC, 4.5 ± 0.2; p = .01) vs. CON (13.8 ± 1.0 and 5.2 ± 0.2 respectively). WASH RPE (13.0 ± 0.8) and TC (4.8 ± 0.2) tended to be lower versus CON (p = .07 and p = .09 respectively). ICE improved performance (18:28 ± 1:03) compared with CON (20:24 ± 1:46) but not WASH (19:45 ± 1:43).

Conclusion:

Improved performance with ICE ingestion likely resulted from the creation of a gastrointestinal heat sink, reducing SS heat storage. Although the benefits of cold-beverage consumption are more potent when there is ingestion, improved RPE, TC, and meaningful performance improvement with WASH supports an independent sensory effect of presenting a cold stimulus to the mouth.

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Catriona A. Burdon, Helen T. O’Connor, Janelle A. Gifford and Susan M. Shirreffs

Purpose:

Increased core temperature (Tc), impaired cardiovascular function, and dehydration contribute to fatigue during prolonged exercise in the heat. Although many studies have examined mechanisms addressing these factors, few have investigated the effect of cold beverage temperature on thermoregulation and exercise performance in the heat.

Methods:

Citations from MEDLINE (Ovid), Sport Discus (EBSCOhost), AUSPORT and AusportMed (Informit), Web of Science, and SCOPUS were identified from the earliest record until September 2008 using the search terms drink temperature, beverage temperature, fluid temperature, water temperature, and cold fluid combined with body temperature and thermoregulation. To be included, studies needed to assess core or rectal temperature during exercise in moderate or hot environmental conditions. After quality rating was completed by two reviewers, the difference in mean Tc and exercise performance was calculated.

Results:

Ten studies meeting search inclusion criteria were available for analysis. Three were excluded because sufficient detail or statistical data were not reported. A meta-analysis was not performed because the studies were deemed too different to group. Three of the remaining 7 studies found modulated Tc with cold beverage consumption, and from the 4 that conducted exercise performance tests, performance improved by 10% with cold fluids.

Conclusion:

Cold fluid may attenuate Tc rise and improve exercise performance in the heat; however, study findings are mixed. Research using well-trained athletes and fluid-ingestion protocols replicating competition scenarios is required. Potential sensory effects of cold fluid in maintaining motivation also need to be assessed as a mechanism underpinning improved performance.

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Catriona A. Burdon, Nathan A. Johnson, Phillip G. Chapman, Ahmad Munir Che Muhamed and Helen T. O’Connor

Purpose:

The aim of this study was to measure the effect of environmental conditions and aid-station beverage-cooling practices on the temperature of competitor beverages.

Methods:

Environmental and beverage temperatures were measured at three cycling and two run course aid stations at the 2010 Langkawi, Malaysia (MA), and Port Macquarie, Australia (AU), Ironman triathlon events. To measure the specific effect of radiant temperature, additional fluid-filled (600 ml) drink bottles (n = 12) were cooled overnight (C) and then placed in direct sun (n = 6) or shade (n = 6) near to a cycle aid station at AU.

Results:

During both events, beverage temperature increased over time (p < .05) as environmental conditions, particularly radiant temperature increased (p < .05). Mean beverage temperature ranged between 14–26°C and during both events was above the palatable range (15–22°C) for extended periods. At AU, bottles placed in direct sunlight heated faster (6.9 ± 2.3 °C·h−1) than those in the shade (4.8 ± 1.1°C·h−1, p = .05).

Conclusion:

Simple changes to Ironman aidstation practices, including shade and chilling beverages with ice, result in the provision of cooler beverages. Future studies should investigate whether provision of cool beverages at prolonged endurance events influences heat-illness incidence, beverage-consumption patterns, and competitor performance.

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Louise Capling, Janelle A. Gifford, Kathryn L. Beck, Victoria M. Flood, Gary J. Slater, Gareth S. Denyer and Helen T. O’Connor

Food-based diet indices provide a practical, rapid, and inexpensive way of evaluating dietary intake. Rather than nutrients, diet indices assess the intake of whole foods and dietary patterns, and compare these with nutrition guidelines. An athlete-specific diet index would offer an efficient and practical way to assess the quality of athletes’ diets, guide nutrition interventions, and focus sport nutrition support. This study describes the development and validation of an Athlete Diet Index (ADI). Item development was informed by a review of existing diet indices, relevant literature, and in-depth focus groups with 20 sports nutritionists (median of 11 years’ professional experience) from four elite athlete sporting institutes. Focus group data were analyzed (NVivo 11 Pro; QSR International Pty. Ltd., 2017, Melbourne, Australia), and key themes were identified to guide the development of athlete-relevant items. A modified Delphi survey in a subgroup of sports nutritionists (n = 9) supported item content validation. Pilot testing with athletes (n = 15) subsequently informed face validity. The final ADI (n = 68 items) was categorized into three sections. Section A (n = 45 items) evaluated usual intake, special diets or intolerances, dietary habits, and culinary skills. Section B (n = 15 items) assessed training load, nutrition supporting training, and sports supplement use. Section C (n = 8 items) captured the demographic details, sporting type, and caliber. All of the athletes reported the ADI as easy (40%) or very easy (60% of participants) to use and rated the tool as relevant (37%) or very relevant (63% of participants) to athletes. Further evaluation of the ADI, including the development of a scoring matrix and validation compared with established dietary methodology, is warranted.