Following exercise-induced muscle damage (EIMD), masters athletes take longer to recover than younger athletes. The purpose of this study was to determine the effect of higher than recommended postexercise protein feedings on the recovery of knee extensor peak isometric torque (PIT), perceptions of recovery, and cycling time trial (TT) performance following EIMD in masters triathletes. Eight masters triathletes (52 ± 2 y, V̇O2max, 51.8 ± 4.2 ml•kg-1•min-1) completed two trials separated by seven days in a randomized, doubleblind, crossover study. Trials consisted of morning PIT testing and a 30-min downhill run followed by an eight-hour recovery. During recovery, a moderate (MPI; 0.3 g•kg-1•bolus-1) or high (0.6 g•kg-1•bolus-1) protein intake (HPI) was consumed in three bolus feedings at two hour intervals commencing immediately postexercise. PIT testing and a 7 kJ•kg-1 cycling TT were completed postintervention. Perceptions of recovery were assessed pre- and postexercise. The HPI did not significantly improve recovery compared with MPI (p > .05). However, comparison of within-treatment change shows the HPI provided a moderate beneficial effect (d = 0.66), attenuating the loss of afternoon PIT (-3.6%, d = 0.09) compared with the MPI (-8.6%, d = 0.24). The HPI provided a large beneficial effect (d = 0.83), reducing perceived fatigue over the eight-hour recovery (d = 1.25) compared with the MPI (d = 0.22). Despite these effects, cycling performance was unchanged (HPI = 2395 ± 297 s vs. MPI = 2369 ± 278 s; d = 0.09). In conclusion, doubling the recommended postexercise protein intake did not significantly improve recovery in masters athletes; however, HPI provided moderate to large beneficial effects on recovery that may be meaningful following EIMD.
Thomas M. Doering, Peter R. Reaburn, Nattai R. Borges, Gregory R. Cox and David G. Jenkins
Nattai R. Borges, Aaron T. Scanlan, Peter R. Reaburn and Thomas M. Doering
Purpose: Due to age-related changes in the psychobiological state of masters athletes, this brief report aimed to compare training load responses using heart rate (HR) and ratings of perceived exertion (RPE) during standardized training sessions between masters and young cyclists. Methods: Masters (n = 10; 55.6 [5.0] y) and young (n = 8; 25.9 [3.0] y) cyclists performed separate endurance and high-intensity interval training sessions. Endurance intensity was set at 95% of ventilatory threshold 2 for 1 hour. High-intensity interval training consisted of 6 × 30-second intervals at 175% peak power output with 4.5-minute rest between intervals. HR was monitored continuously and RPE collected at standardized time periods during each session. Banister training impulse and summated-HR-zones training loads were also calculated. Results: Despite a significantly lower mean HR in masters cyclists during endurance (P = .04; d = 1.06 [±0.8], moderate) and high-intensity interval training (P = .01; d = 1.34 [±0.8], large), no significant differences were noted (P > .05) when responses were determined relative to maximum HR or converted to training impulse and summated-HR-zone loads. Furthermore, no interaction or between-group differences were evident for RPE across either session (P > .05). Conclusions: HR and RPE values were comparable between masters and young cyclists when relative HR responses and HR training load models are used. This finding suggests HR and RPE methods used to monitor or prescribe training load can be used interchangeably between masters and young athletes irrespective of chronological age.
Ben J. Dascombe, Trent K. Hoare, Joshua A. Sear, Peter R. Reaburn and Aaron T. Scanlan
To examine whether wearing various size lower-body compression garments improves physiological and performance parameters related to endurance running in well-trained athletes.
Eleven well-trained middle-distance runners and triathletes (age: 28.4 ± 10.0 y; height: 177.3 ± 4.7 cm; body mass: 72.6 ± 8.0 kg; VO2max: 59.0 ± 6.7 mL·kg–1·min–1) completed repeat progressive maximal tests (PMT) and time-to-exhaustion (TTE) tests at 90% VO2max wearing either manufacturer-recommended LBCG (rLBCG), undersized LBCG (uLBCG), or loose running shorts (CONT). During all exercise testing, several systemic and peripheral physiological measures were taken.
The results indicated similar effects of wearing rLBCG and uLBCG compared with the control. Across the PMT, wearing either LBCG resulted in significantly (P < .05) increased oxygen consumption, O2 pulse, and deoxyhemoglobin (HHb) and decreased running economy, oxyhemoglobin, and tissue oxygenation index (TOI) at low-intensity speeds (8–10 km·h–1). At higher speeds (12–18 km·h-1), wearing LBCG increased regional blood fow (nTHI) and HHb values, but significantly lowered heart rate and TOI. During the TTE, wearing either LBCG significantly (P < .05) increased HHb concentration, whereas wearing uLBCG also significantly (P < .05) increased nTHI. No improvement in endurance running performance was observed in either compression condition.
The results suggest that wearing LBCG facilitated a small number of cardiorespiratory and peripheral physiological benefits that appeared mostly related to improvements in venous flow. However, these improvements appear trivial to athletes, as they did not correspond to any improvement in endurance running performance.
Aaron T. Scanlan, Benjamin J. Dascombe, Peter R.J. Reaburn and Mark Osborne
The present investigation examined the physiological and performance effects of lower-body compression garments (LBCG) during a one-hour cycling time-trial in well-trained cyclists.
Twelve well-trained male cyclists ([mean ± SD] age: 20.5 ± 3.6 years; height: 177.5 ± 4.9 cm; body mass: 70.5 ± 7.5 kg; VO2max: 55.2 ± 6.8 mL·kg−1·min−1) volunteered for the study. Each subject completed two randomly ordered stepwise incremental tests and two randomly ordered one-hour time trials (1HTT) wearing either full-length SportSkins Classic LBCG or underwear briefs (control). Blood lactate concentration ([BLa−]), heart rate (HR), oxygen consumption (VO2) and muscle oxygenation (mOxy) were recorded throughout each test. Indicators of cycling endurance performance were anaerobic threshold (AnT) and VO2max values from the incremental test, and mean power (W), peak power (W), and total work (kJ) from the 1HTT Magnitude-based inferences were used to determine if LBCG demonstrated any performance and/or physiological benefits.
A likely practically significant increase (86%:12%:2%; η2 = 0.6) in power output at AnT was observed in the LBCG condition (CONT: 245.9 ± 55.7 W; LBCG: 259.8 ± 44.6 W). Further, a possible practically significant improvement (78%:19%:3%; η2 = 0.6) was reported in muscle oxygenation economy (W·%mOxy−1) across the 1HTT (mOxy: CONT: 52.2 ± 12.2%; LBCG: 57.3 ± 8.2%).
The present results demonstrated limited physiological benefits and no performance enhancement through wearing LBCG during a cycling time trial.
David Geard, Peter R.J. Reaburn, Amanda L. Rebar and Rylee A. Dionigi
Global population aging has raised academic interest in successful aging to a public policy priority. Currently there is no consensus regarding the definition of successful aging. However, a synthesis of research shows successful aging can be defined as a late-life process of change characterized by high physical, psychological, cognitive, and social functioning. Masters athletes systematically train for, and compete in, organized forms of team and individual sport specifically designed for older adults. Masters athletes are often proposed as exemplars of successful aging. However, their aging status has never been examined using a comprehensive multidimensional successful aging definition. Here, we examine the successful aging literature, propose a successful aging definition based on this literature, present evidence which suggests masters athletes could be considered exemplars of successful aging according to the proposed definition, and list future experimental research directions.
Thomas M. Doering, Peter R. Reaburn, Stuart M. Phillips and David G. Jenkins
Participation rates of masters athletes in endurance events such as long-distance triathlon and running continue to increase. Given the physical and metabolic demands of endurance training, recovery practices influence the quality of successive training sessions and, consequently, adaptations to training. Research has suggested that, after muscle-damaging endurance exercise, masters athletes experience slower recovery rates in comparison with younger, similarly trained athletes. Given that these discrepancies in recovery rates are not observed after non–muscle-damaging exercise, it is suggested that masters athletes have impairments of the protein remodeling mechanisms within skeletal muscle. The importance of postexercise protein feeding for endurance athletes is increasingly being acknowledged, and its role in creating a positive net muscle protein balance postexercise is well known. The potential benefits of postexercise protein feeding include elevating muscle protein synthesis and satellite cell activity for muscle repair and remodeling, as well as facilitating muscle glycogen resynthesis. Despite extensive investigation into age-related anabolic resistance in sedentary aging populations, little is known about how anabolic resistance affects postexercise muscle protein synthesis and thus muscle remodeling in aging athletes. Despite evidence suggesting that physical training can attenuate but not eliminate age-related anabolic resistance, masters athletes are currently recommended to consume the same postexercise dietary protein dose (approximately 20 g or 0.25 g/kg/meal) as younger athletes. Given the slower recovery rates of masters athletes after muscle-damaging exercise, which may be due to impaired muscle remodeling mechanisms, masters athletes may benefit from higher doses of postexercise dietary protein, with particular attention directed to the leucine content of the postexercise bolus.
Thomas M. Doering, Peter R. Reaburn, Gregory Cox and David G. Jenkins
Postexercise nutrition is a critical component of an athlete’s recovery from training and competition. However, little is known about athletes’ postexercise dietary practices or knowledge of dietary recommendations, particularly among masters athletes. The purpose of this study was to compare and contrast the knowledge of postexercise nutritional recommendations, and typical postexercise intakes of carbohydrate and protein, between masters and younger triathletes. 182 triathletes (Male = 101, Female = 81) completed an online survey distributed by Triathlon Australia. Knowledge of postexercise nutrition recommendations for protein and carbohydrate intake were assessed as a group, and contrasted between subgroups of masters (≥50 years) and younger triathletes (≤30 years). Using dietary recall, postexercise intakes of carbohydrate and protein were examined and contrasted between masters and younger triathletes. As a group, 43.1% and 43.9% of all triathletes answered, “I don’t know” when asked to identify the recommended postexercise carbohydrate and protein intakes, respectively. Dietary analysis revealed masters triathletes consumed significantly less carbohydrate (0.7 ± 0.4 g.kg-1) postexercise than recommended (1.0 g.kg-1; p = .001), and in comparison with younger triathletes (1.1 ± 0.6 g.kg-1; p = .01). Postexercise protein intakes were similar between masters (19.6 ± 13.5 g) and younger (26.4 ± 15.8 g) triathletes. However, relative to body mass, masters triathletes consumed significantly less protein (0.3 ± 0.2 g.kg-1) than younger triathletes (0.4 ± 0.2 g.kg-1; p = .03), and consumed significantly less energy postexercise (22.7 ± 11.7 kJ.kg-1) than younger triathletes (37.8 ± 19.2 kJ.kg-1; p = .01). The present data suggests triathletes have poor knowledge of recommendations for postexercise carbohydrate and protein intakes. Furthermore, low postexercise intakes of carbohydrate and protein by masters athletes may impair acute recovery.
Fergus K. O’Connor, Steven E. Stern, Thomas M. Doering, Geoffrey M. Minett, Peter R. Reaburn, Jonathan D. Bartlett and Vernon G. Coffey
Context: Exercise in hot environments increases body temperature and thermoregulatory strain. However, little is known regarding the magnitude of effect that ambient temperature (Ta), relative humidity (RH), and solar radiation individually have on team-sport athletes. Purpose : To determine the effect of these individual heat-stress variables on team-sport training performance and recovery. Methods: Professional Australian Rules Football players (N = 45) undertook 8-wk preseason training producing a total of 579 outdoor field-based observations with Ta, RH, and solar radiation recorded at every training session. External load (distance covered, in m/min; percentage high-speed running [%HSR] >14.4 km/h) was collected via a global positioning system. Internal load (ratings of perceived exertion and heart rate) and recovery (subjective ratings of well-being and heart-rate variability [root mean square of the successive differences]) were monitored throughout the training period. Mixed-effects linear models analyzed relationships between variables using standardized regression coefficients. Results: Increased solar-radiation exposure was associated with reduced distance covered (−19.7 m/min, P < .001), %HSR (−10%, P < .001) during training and rMSSD 48 h posttraining (−16.9 ms, P = .019). Greater RH was associated with decreased %HSR (−3.4%, P = .010) but increased percentage duration >85% HRmax (3.9%, P < .001), ratings of perceived exertion (1.8 AU, P < .001), and self-reported stress 24 h posttraining (−0.11 AU, P = .002). In contrast, higher Ta was associated with increased distance covered (19.7 m/min, P < .001) and %HSR (3.5%, P = .005). Conclusions: The authors show the importance of considering the individual factors contributing to thermal load in isolation for team-sport athletes and that solar radiation and RH reduce work capacity during team-sport training and have the potential to slow recovery between sessions.