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Edited by Melvin H. Williams

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Melvin H. Williams

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Melvin H. Williams

As nutritional technology advanced, scientists have been able to synthesize and manufacture all known nutrients, and many of their metabolic by-products, essential to human physiology. Many of these substances are theorized to possess ergogenic potential when take in quantities or forms normally not found in typical foods or diets. Research, although limited in most cases, supports the ergogenicity of some nutrients (e.g., creatine) when consumed in substantial amounts, suggesting such nutrients may function as drugs or nutraceuticals. The International Olympic Committee (IOC) doping legislation stipulates that any physiologic substance taken in abnormal quantity with the intention of artificially and unfairly increasing performance should be construed as doping, violating the ethics of sport performance. Given this stipulation, the IOC and other athletic-governing organizations should consider the legality and ethics underlying the use of ergogenic nutraceuticals in sport.

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Edited by Melvin H. Williams

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Edited by Melvin H. Williams

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Melvin H. Williams

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Mitchell M. Kanter and Melvin H. Williams

Three nutritional products that have very different mechanisms of action are antioxidant vitamins, carnitine, and choline. Antioxidant vitamins do not appear to have a direct effect on physical performance in well-fed people but have been touted for their ability to detoxify potentially damaging free radicals produced during exercise. Carnitine purportedly enhances lipid oxidation, increases VO2max, and decreases plasma lactate accumulation during exercise. However, studies of carnitine do not generally support its use for ergogenic purposes. Choline supplements have been advocated as a means of preventing the decline in acetylcholine production purported to occur during exercise; this decline may reduce the transmission of contraction-generating impulses across the skeletal muscle, an effect that could impair one’s ability to perform muscular work. However, there are no definitive studies in humans that justify choline supplementation. Much of the scientific data regarding the aforementioned nutrients are equivocal and contradictory. Their potential efficacy for improving physical performance remains largely theoretical.

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Diego R. Redondo, Elizabeth A. Dowling, Bryan L. Graham, Anthony L. Almada and Melvin H. Williams

Creatine supplementation has been shown to augment muscle PCr content and increase the rate of ATP resynthesis. Thus, we hypothesized that creatine supplementation might enhance sprinting performance. Eighteen subjects completed both of two testing sessions (control and postsupplement) 1 week apart, wherein they sprinted three 60-m distance trials that were recorded with videotape. Following the control session, for 7 days, subjects in the treatment group ingested a creatine-glucose mixture, while the placebo group consumed a glucose powder, followed by the postsupplementation session. Velocities of the subjects through three testing zones within the 60-m sprint were calculated from the videotape. Resultant velocities were analyzed using a MANOVA with a2x2x3x3 (Group x Session x Trial x Zone) design. Results indicated that there were no statistically significant main or interaction effects on velocity between groups for session, trial, or zone. These data do not support the hypothesis that supplementary creatine ingestion will enhance velocity during the early or latter segments of a 60-m sprint.