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Scott K. Powers, Ashley J. Smuder, Andreas N. Kavazis, and Matthew B. Hudson

Research interest in the effects of antioxidants on exercise-induced oxidative stress and human performance continues to grow as new scientists enter this field. Consequently, there is a need to establish an acceptable set of criteria for monitoring antioxidant capacity and oxidative damage in tissues. Numerous reports have described a wide range of assays to detect both antioxidant capacity and oxidative damage to biomolecules, but many techniques are not appropriate in all experimental conditions. Here, the authors present guidelines for selecting and interpreting methods that can be used by scientists to investigate the impact of antioxidants on both exercise performance and the redox status of tissues. Moreover, these guidelines will be useful for reviewers who are assigned the task of evaluating studies on this topic. The set of guidelines contained in this report is not designed to be a strict set of rules, because often the appropriate procedures depend on the question being addressed and the experimental model. Furthermore, because no individual assay is guaranteed to be the most appropriate in every experimental situation, the authors strongly recommend using multiple assays to verify a change in biomarkers of oxidative stress or redox balance.

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David Criswell, Scott Powers, John Lawler, John Tew, Stephen Dodd, Yryik Iryiboz, Richard Tulley, and Keith Wheeler

This study compared the efficacy of a 7% glucose polymer beverage containing electrolytes (GP) versus a nonnutrient, nonelectrolyte placebo (P) in maintaining blood homeostasis during recovery from football and determined whether consumption of the GP beverage improved anaerobic performance immediately after football competition when compared with the placebo. Forty-four high school football players participated in a 50-play scrimmage designed to simulate game conditions. At each of six periods before and during the scrimmage, players consumed 170 ml of the GP or P beverage. Eight maximal-effort 40-yd sprints (40-sec rest intervals) were performed before and after the scrimmage to assess the decrement in anaerobic performance from the scrimmage. Venous blood samples were drawn before and after the scrimmage and analyzed. The pre- to postscrimmage differences in mean and peak sprint velocities did not differ between treatments, nor did body weight and plasma. In contrast, the percent decrease in plasma volume was significantly greater in the P group. Postscrimmage increases in glucose and insulin were greater in the GP group. These data suggest that CHO-electrolyte drinks do not prevent a decline in anaerobic performance when compared to water, but a CMO-electrolyte drink is more effective in maintaining PV than water during recovery from anaerobic exercise.