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Kelsey Dow, Robert Pritchett, Karen Roemer and Kelly Pritchett

Chocolate milk is an effective recovery beverage following endurance exercise. The purpose of this study was to determine its efficacy, compared to a traditional sports drink, for recovery from intermittent, tournament-style exercise through measures of performance, perception, and rehydration. On 2 days, 7 days apart, female collegiate volleyball players completed an exercise session, rested for 2 h, and repeated the exercise. Participants consumed one of two recovery beverages in a randomized, counterbalanced crossover design. The volume of chocolate milk (CM) was calculated to meet the post-exercise carbohydrate recommendation (1.0 g carbohydrate·kg body weight−1·h−1), and the sports drink (carbohydrate-electrolyte beverage; CE) was matched for volume. The beverages had similar effects on performance and perception variables; no significant differences were noted between treatments. Total urine volume collected over the 2-h recovery period was significantly lower for CM than CE (CM: M = 217, SD = 115 ml vs. CE: M = 412, SD = 245 ml; Z = 2.60, p = .009; r = −.58), and when total fluid consumed during recovery was compared to urine output as a percent retained, a significant difference was seen between CM and CE (CM: 79.7% vs. CE: 61.4%; t[9] = −3.34, p = .009; d = 1.06). Thus, it was concluded that chocolate milk is as effective as a traditional sports drink for females recovering from intermittent exercise with a short (2 h) recovery period, and that chocolate milk may be more beneficial than a sports drink for achieving rehydration post-exercise.

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Kelly Pritchett, Robert C. Pritchett, Lauren Stark, Elizabeth Broad and Melissa LaCroix

Recent studies suggest that a substantial proportion of athletes with spinal cord injury have insufficient 25(OH) vitamin D (25(OH)D) status, which may be associated with decreased muscle strength. This study consisted of two parts: (a) to examine the effects of a 12- to 16-week vitamin D3 supplementation protocol on 25(OH)D concentration and (b) to determine whether subsequent 25(OH)D status impacts muscle performance in elite athletes with spinal cord injury. Thirty-four members (age: 33 ± 15 years, weight: 69.6 ± 28.2 kg, and height: 170.2 ± 25.4 cm) of the U.S. and Canadian Paralympic program participated in the study. 25(OH)D concentrations and performance measures (handgrip strength and 20-m wheelchair sprint) were assessed pre- and postsupplementation. Participants were assigned a vitamin D3 supplementation protocol based on initial 25(OH)D concentrations. Participants with deficient 25(OH)D status (<50 nmol/L) received 50,000 IU/week for 8 weeks, and participants with insufficient status (50–75 nmol/L) received 35,000 IU/week for 4 weeks, after which both received a maintenance dose of 15,000 IU/week. Participants with sufficient status (>75 nmol/L) received the maintenance dose of 15,000 IU/week. 25(OH)D concentrations increased significantly (p < .001; 66.3 ± 24.3 nmol/L and 111.3 ± 30.8 nmol/L pre- and postsupplementation, respectively). About 26% of athletes had sufficient 25(OH)D concentrations presupplementation, and 91% had sufficient concentrations postsupplementation. About 62% of participants improved handgrip strength postsupplementation with no change in 20-m wheelchair sprint performance. The supplementation protocol was effective for achieving sufficient vitamin D concentrations in elite athletes with spinal cord injury.