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Claire Blennerhassett, Lars R. McNaughton, Lorcan Cronin, and S. Andy Sparks

The nutritional intake of ultraendurance athletes is often poorly matched with the requirements of the sport. Nutrition knowledge is a mediating factor to food choice that could correct such imbalances. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to develop and validate a questionnaire to assess the nutrition knowledge of ultraendurance athletes. Nutritional knowledge was assessed using a modified sports nutrition knowledge questionnaire (ULTRA-Q). Four independent assessors with specialization in sports nutrition confirmed the content validity of the ULTRA-Q. Registered sports nutritionists, registered dietitians, and those without nutrition training completed the ULTRA-Q on two separate occasions. After the first completion, a significant difference in nutrition scores between groups (p ≤ .001) provided evidence of construct validity. After the second completion, intraclass correlation coefficients comparing nutrition scores between time points (.75–.95) provided evidence of test–retest reliability. Subsequently, experienced ultraendurance athletes (male: n = 74 and female: n = 27) completed the ULTRA-Q. Athletes also documented their sources of nutrition knowledge for ultraendurance events. The total nutrition knowledge score for ultraendurance athletes was 68.3% ± 9.5%, and there were no significant differences in knowledge scores between males and females (67.4% ± 9.6% and 70.7% ± 9.3%, respectively) or between runners and triathletes (69.1% ± 9.7% and 65.1% ± 9.4%, respectively). In general, it appeared that ultraendurance athletes favored other athletes (73%) over nutrition experts (8%) as a source of nutritional information. The findings of this study indicate that ultraendurance athletes had a reasonable level of nutrition knowledge, but interathlete variability suggests a need for targeted nutrition education.

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Reuben G. Stables, Andreas M. Kasper, S. Andy Sparks, James P. Morton, and Graeme L. Close

The remote food photography method, often referred to as “Snap-N-Send” by sport nutritionists, has been reported as a valid method to assess energy intake in athletic populations. However, preliminary studies were not conducted in true free-living conditions, and dietary assessment was performed by one researcher only. The authors, therefore, assessed the validity of Snap-N-Send to assess the energy and macronutrient composition in experienced (EXP, n = 23) and inexperienced (INEXP, n = 25) sport nutritionists. The participants analyzed 2 days of dietary photographs, comprising eight meals. Day 1 consisted of “simple” meals based around easily distinguishable foods (i.e., chicken breast and rice), and Day 2 consisted of “complex” meals, containing “hidden” ingredients (i.e., chicken curry). The estimates of dietary intake were analyzed for validity using one-sample t tests and typical error of estimates (TEE). The INEXP and EXP nutritionists underestimated energy intake for the simple day (mean difference [MD] = −1.5 MJ, TEE = 10.1%; −1.2 MJ, TEE = 9.3%, respectively) and the complex day (MD = −1.2 MJ, TEE = 17.8%; MD = −0.6 MJ, 14.3%, respectively). Carbohydrate intake was underestimated by INEXP (MD = −65.5 g/day, TEE = 10.8% and MD = −28.7 g/day, TEE = 24.4%) and EXP (MD = −53.4 g/day, TEE = 10.1% and −19.9 g/day, TEE = 17.5%) for both the simple and complex days, respectively. Interpractitioner reliability was generally “poor” for energy and macronutrients. The data demonstrate that the remote food photography method/Snap-N-Send underestimates energy intake in simple and complex meals, and these errors are evident in the EXP and INEXP sport nutritionists.

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Nathan Philip Hilton, Nicholas Keith Leach, Melissa May Craig, S. Andy Sparks, and Lars Robert McNaughton

Enteric-formulated capsules can mitigate gastrointestinal (GI) side effects following sodium bicarbonate (NaHCO3) ingestion; however, it remains unclear how encapsulation alters postingestion symptoms and acid–base balance. The current study aimed to identify the optimal ingestion form to mitigate GI distress following NaHCO3 ingestion. Trained males (n = 14) ingested 300 mg/kg body mass of NaHCO3 in gelatin (GEL), delayed-release (DEL), and enteric-coated (ENT) capsules or a placebo in a randomized cross-over design. Blood bicarbonate anion concentration, potential hydrogen, and GI symptoms were measured pre- and postingestion for 3 hr. Fewer GI symptoms were reported with ENT NaHCO3 than with GEL (p = .012), but not with DEL (p = .106) in the postingestion phase. Symptom severity decreased with DEL (4.6 ± 2.8 arbitrary units) compared with GEL (7.0 ± 2.6 arbitrary units; p = .001) and was lower with ENT (2.8 ± 1.9 arbitrary units) compared with both GEL (p < .0005) and DEL (p = .044) NaHCO3. Blood bicarbonate anion concentration increased in all NaHCO3 conditions compared with the placebo (p < .0005), although this was lower with ENT than with GEL (p = .001) and DEL (p < .0005) NaHCO3. Changes in blood potential hydrogen were reduced with ENT compared with GEL (p = .047) and DEL (p = .047) NaHCO3, with no other differences between the conditions. Ingestion of ENT NaHCO3 attenuates GI disturbances for up to 3 hr postingestion. Therefore, ENT ingestion forms may be favorable for those who report GI disturbances with NaHCO3 supplementation or for those who have previously been deterred from its use altogether.

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S. Andy Sparks, Don P. M. MacLaren, Nina E. Bridge, N. Tim Cable, and Dominic A. Doran

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S. Andy Sparks, Benjamin Dove, Craig A. Bridge, Adrian W. Midgley, and Lars R. McNaughton

Power meters have traditionally been integrated into the crank set, but several manufacturers have designed new systems located elsewhere on the bike, such as inside the pedals.


This study aimed to determine the validity and reliability of the Keo power pedals during several laboratory cycling tasks.


Ten active male participants (mean ± SD age 34.0 ± 10.6 y, height 1.77 ± 0.04 m, body mass 76.5 ± 10.7 kg) familiar with laboratory cycling protocols completed this study. Each participant was required to complete 2 laboratory cycling trials on an SRM ergometer (SRM, Germany) that was also fitted with the Keo power pedals (Look, France). The trials consisted of an incremental test to exhaustion followed by 10 min rest and then three 10-s sprint tests separated by 3 min of cycling at 100 W.


Over power ranges of 75 to 1147 W, the Keo power-pedal system produced typical error values of 0.40, 0.21, and 0.21 for the incremental, sprint, and combined trials, respectively, compared with the SRM. Mean differences of 21.0 and 18.6 W were observed between trials 1 and 2 with the Keo system in the incremental and combined protocols, respectively. In contrast, the SRM produced differences of 1.3 and 0.6 W for the same protocols.


The power data from the Keo power pedals should be treated with some caution given the presence of mean differences between them and the SRM. Furthermore, this is exacerbated by poorer reliability than that of the SRM power meter.

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Andreas M. Kasper, S. Andy Sparks, Matthew Hooks, Matthew Skeer, Benjamin Webb, Houman Nia, James P. Morton, and Graeme L. Close

Rugby is characterized by frequent high-intensity collisions, resulting in muscle soreness. Players consequently seek strategies to reduce soreness and accelerate recovery, with an emerging method being cannabidiol (CBD), despite anti-doping risks. The prevalence and rationale for CBD use in rugby has not been explored; therefore, we recruited professional male players to complete a survey on CBD. Goodness of fit chi-square (χ2) was used to assess CBD use between codes and player position. Effects of age on use were determined using χ2 tests of independence. Twenty-five teams provided 517 player responses. While the majority of players had never used CBD (p < .001, V = 0.24), 26% had either used it (18%) or were still using it (8%). Significantly more CBD use was observed in rugby union compared with rugby league (p = .004, V = 0.13), but player position was not a factor (p = .760, V = 0.013). CBD use increased with players’ age (p < .001, V = 0.28), with mean use reaching 41% in the players aged 28 years and older category (p < .0001). The players using CBD primarily used the Internet (73%) or another teammate (61%) to obtain information, with only 16% consulting a nutritionist. The main reasons for CBD use were improving recovery/pain (80%) and sleep (78%), with 68% of players reporting a perceived benefit. These data highlight the need for immediate education on the risks of CBD, as well as the need to explore the claims regarding pain and sleep.