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Patrick B. Wilson

Gastrointestinal (GI) symptoms may affect up to 90% of competitors during endurance races. Studies have typically assessed GI symptoms retrospectively or only over an acute timeframe, and information on the validity and reliability of the questionnaires employed is lacking. This investigation aimed to estimate the frequency of GI distress experienced by runners over 30 days and to establish the validity and reliability of a retrospective GI symptom questionnaire. Runners (70 men, 75 women) recorded GI symptoms with a prospective journal for 30 days. Retrospective GI symptom data were then collected after the 30-day period on two occasions within one week. GI symptoms were rated on a 0–10 scale. Descriptive statistics for GI symptoms are reported as medians (interquartile ranges) because of nonnormal distributions. Men and women experienced at least one GI symptom on 84.0% (59.8–95.1%) and 78.3% (50.0–95.2%) of runs, respectively. Moderate-to-severe GI symptoms (score of ≥5) were experienced on 13.8% (6.7–37.3%) and 21.7% (5.3–41.2%) of runs for men and women. Spearman’s rho correlations between journal ratings and retrospective questionnaire ratings ranged from 0.47 to 0.82 (all p < .001), although they were highest when journal ratings were quantified as mean 30-day values (all rho ≥ 0.59). Reliability of the retrospective questionnaire ratings was high (rho = 0.78–0.92; p < .001). In comparison with tracking GI symptoms with a daily journal, retrospective questionnaires seem to offer a convenient and reasonably valid and reliable method of quantifying GI symptoms over 30 days.

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Patrick B. Wilson

Background:

Psoriasis confers risk for cardiometabolic disorders. Cardiorespiratory fitness is inversely associated with risk of cardiometabolic disorders in other populations, but limited data have been published assessing cardiorespiratory fitness among individuals with psoriasis. This investigation aimed to: 1) assess cardiorespiratory fitness among individuals with psoriasis in the general population; and 2) compare levels to individuals without psoriasis.

Methods:

A secondary data analysis from the 2003–2004 National Health and Nutritional Examination Survey was performed. Cardiorespiratory fitness was assessed with a treadmill test, while measures of psoriasis severity included rating of psoriasis as a life problem and body surface area involvement.

Results:

Twenty-six of 1093 participants reported a psoriasis diagnosis (population weighted prevalence 2.9%). Individuals with psoriasis had lower cardiorespiratory fitness compared with individuals without psoriasis (36.2 vs. 39.1 mL∙kg-1∙min-1, P = .009). No differences in self-reported or accelerometer physical activity were found by psoriasis diagnosis. Cardiorespiratory fitness was not significantly lower in those reporting high life impairment or body surface area involvement.

Conclusions:

Cardiorespiratory fitness may be lower in individuals with psoriasis and these differences may not be explained by self-reported disease severity measures or physical activity. Future studies should examine whether validated measures of psoriasis severity predict lower cardiorespiratory fitness.

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Patrick B. Wilson and Leilani A. Madrigal

Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) have important physiological functions and may offer select benefits for athletic performance and recovery. The purpose of this investigation was to assess dietary and whole blood omega-3 PUFAs among collegiate athletes. In addition, a brief questionnaire was evaluated as a valid tool for quantifying omega-3 PUFA intake. Fifty-eight athletes (9 males, 49 females) completed a 21-item questionnaire developed to assess omega-3 PUFA intake and provided dried whole blood samples to quantify α-linolenic acid (ALA), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), docosahexaenoic acid (DHA), and the HS-Omega-3 Index. Geometric means (95% confidence intervals) for the HS-Omega-3 Index were 4.79% (4.37–5.25%) and 4.75% (4.50–5.01%) for males and females, respectively. Median dietary intakes of ALA, EPA, and DHA were all below 100 mg. Among females, several dietary omega-3 PUFA variables were positively associated with whole blood EPA, with total EPA (rho = 0.67, p < .001) and total DHA (rho = 0.69, p < .001) intakes showing the strongest correlations. Whole blood DHA among females showed positive associations with dietary intakes, with total EPA (rho = 0.62, p < .001) and total DHA (rho = 0.64, p < .001) intakes demonstrating the strongest correlations. The HS-Omega-3 Index in females was positively correlated with all dietary variables except ALA. Among males, the only significant correlation was between food and whole blood EPA (rho = 0.83, p < .01). Collegiate athletes had relatively low intakes of omega-3 PUFAs. A 21-item questionnaire may be useful for screening female athletes for poor omega-3 PUFA status.

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Leilani A. Madrigal and Patrick B. Wilson

This study assessed the hormonal and psychological responses to a free-throw shooting competition in twelve NCAA Division I female collegiate basketball players. Salivary cortisol, alpha-amylase, and testosterone were collected before and after the competition, in addition to a self-reported measure of anxiety. Using nonparametric statistics, cortisol (Z = –3.06, p = .002) and testosterone (Z = –2.67, p = .008) levels were significantly higher precompetition compared with postcompetition. There were no statistically significant differences between winners and losers for anxiety or hormone responses. Concentration disruption (rho = .63, p = .03) and total competitive anxiety (rho = .68, p = .02) were positively correlated with precompetition cortisol. Concentration disruption also correlated positively with postcompetition cortisol (rho = .62 p = .03) and postcompetition testosterone (rho = .64, p = .03). Future studies are needed to examine the psychological and physiological stress responses of basketball players during different competition tasks.

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Patrick B. Wilson, Gregory S. Rhodes and Stacy J. Ingraham

Purpose:

Self-report (SR) has been the primary method used to assess fluid intake during endurance events, but unfortunately, little is known about the validity of SR. The purpose of this study was to compare SR fluid intake with direct measurement (DM) during a 70.3-mile triathlon.

Methods:

Fifty-three (42 men, 11 women) individuals competing in a 70.3-mile triathlon participated in the study. On the 13.1-mile-run section of the triathlon, 11 research stations provided fluid in bottles filled with 163 mL of water or carbohydrate-electrolyte beverage (CEB). Participants submitted bottles 25 m past aid stations to be reweighed postrace. Participants also answered questions regarding fluid intake postrace. Bland-Altman plots and 95% limits of agreement were used to assess precision of the measures, while least-squares regression assessed linear agreement.

Results:

SR intakes during the run ranged from 0–1793, 0–1837, and 0–2628 mL for water, CEB, and total fluid, with corresponding DM intakes of 0–1599, 0–1642, and 0–2250 mL. DM and SR showed strong linear agreement for water, CEB, and total fluid (R 2 = .71, .80, and .80). Mean differences between the measures on the Bland-Altman plots were small (13–41 mL), but relatively large differences (±500 mL) between the measures were apparent for some participants.

Conclusions:

SR is the predominant methodology used in field studies assessing hydration, despite little to no data confirming its validity. The results herein suggest that fluid-intake-assessment methodology should be chosen on a case-by-case basis and that caution should be used when interpreting data based on SR.

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Patrick B. Wilson, Stacy J. Ingraham, Chris Lundstrom and Gregory Rhodes

Background:

The effects of dietary factors such as carbohydrate (CHO) on endurance-running performance have been extensively studied under laboratory-based and simulated field conditions. Evidence from “reallife” events, however, is poorly characterized. The purpose of this observational study was to examine the associations between prerace and in-race nutrition tendencies and performance in a sample of novice marathoners.

Methods:

Forty-six college students (36 women and 10 men) age 21.3 ± 3.3 yr recorded diet for 3 d before, the morning of, and during a 26.2-mile marathon. Anthropometric, physiological, and performance measurements were assessed before the marathon so the associations between diet and marathon time could be included as part of a stepwise-regression model.

Results:

Mean marathon time was 266 ± 42 min. A premarathon 2-mile time trial explained 73% of the variability in marathon time (adjusted R 2 = .73, p < .001). Day-before + morning-of CHO (DBMC) was the only other significant predictor of marathon time, explaining an additional 4% of the variability in marathon time (adjusted R 2 = .77, p = .006). Other factors such as age, body-mass index, gender, day-before + morning-of energy, and in-race CHO were not significant independent predictors of marathon time.

Conclusions:

In this sample of primarily novice marathoners, DBMC intake was associated with faster marathon time, independent of other known predictors. These results suggest that novice and recreational marathoners should consider consuming a moderate to high amount of CHO in the 24–36 hr before a marathon.

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Patrick B. Wilson, John S. Fitzgerald, Gregory S. Rhodes, Chris J. Lundstrom and Stacy J. Ingraham

Context:

Analgesics are commonly used by individuals undertaking endurance training; unfortunately, many commonly-used analgesics cause significant adverse effects. Ginger root (Zingiber officinale) has been used effectively as an analgesic in several contexts, but to date, no research is available to evaluate ginger root’s effects in the context of endurance training.

Objective:

Determine whether ginger root supplementation reduces muscle soreness and prevents impairments in muscle function following a long-distance training run.

Design:

Randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial.

Setting:

University marathon training course.

Participants:

Twenty college students (n = 8 for ginger root group and n = 12 for placebo group).

Intervention:

Supplementation with 2.2 g·day–1 of ginger root or placebo for three days before, the day of, and the day after a 20–22 mile training run.

Main Outcome Measures:

Four days before and 24-hr postrun, participants rated soreness on a 100-mm visual analog scale, while vertical jump (VJ), peak force, and average rate of force development (RFD) were assessed during a squat jump. Quade’s rank analysis of covariance was used to assess between-group differences.

Results:

Median (range) soreness during jogging at 24-hr postrun was lower with ginger root supplementation (37 mm, 15–58) compared with placebo (62 mm, 6–85) (F = 4.6, p = .04). No significant differences for VJ, peak force, and RFD were found between groups.

Conclusions:

Ginger root may modestly reduce muscle soreness stemming from long-distance running, although it may have little to no effect on measures of muscle function during a VJ. Future studies should explore the mechanisms responsible for reductions in running-induced muscle soreness, as well as evaluate the benefit-to-risk profile of ginger root in the context of endurance training.