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Paul W. Macdermid and Stephen R. Stannard

This study compared a training diet recommended for endurance athletes (H-CHO) with an isoenergetic high protein (whey supplemented), moderate carbohydrate (H-Pro) diet on endurance cycling performance. Over two separate 7-d periods subjects (n = 7) ingested either H-CHO (7.9 ± 1.9 g · kg−1 · d−1 carbohydrate; 1.2 ± 0.3 g · kg−1 · d−1 fat; 1.3 ± 0.4 g · kg−1 · d−1 protein) or H-Pro (4.9 ± 1.8 g · kg−1 · d−1; 1.2 ± 0.3 g · kg−1 · d−1; 3.3 ± 0.4 g · kg−1 · d−1) diet in a randomized, balanced order. On day 8 subjects cycled (self-paced) for a body weight dependent (60 kJ/bm) amount of work. No differences occurred between energy intake (P = 0.422) or fat intake (P = 0.390) during the two dietary conditions. Performance was significantly (P = 0.010) impaired following H-Pro (153 ± 36) compared with H-CHO (127 ± 34 min). No differences between treatments were observed for physiological measures taken during the performance trials. These results indicate an ergolytic effect of a 7-d high protein diet on self-paced endurance cycling performance.

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Paul W. Macdermid, Stephen Stannard, Dean Rankin and David Shillington

Purpose:

To determine beneficial effects of short-term galactose (GAL) supplementation over a 50:50 glucose–maltodextrin (GLUC) equivalent on self-paced endurance cycling performance.

Methods:

On 2 separate occasions, subjects performed a 100-km self-paced time trial (randomized and balanced order). This was interspersed with four 1-km and four 4-km maximal efforts reflecting the physical requirements of racing. Before each trial 38 ± 3 g of GAL or GLUC was ingested in a 6% concentrate fluid form 1 hr preexercise and then during exercise at a rate of 37 ± 3 g/hr. Performance variables were recorded for all 1- and 4-km efforts, all interspersed intervals, and the total 100-km distance. Noninvasive indicators of work intensity (heart rate [HR] and rating of perceived exertion) were also recorded.

Results:

Times taken to complete the 100-km performance trial were 8,298 ± 502 and 8,509 ± 578 s (p = .132), with mean power outputs of 271 ± 37 and 256 ± 45 W (p = .200), for GAL and GLUC, respectively. Mean HR did not differ (GAL 157 ± 7 and GLUC 157 ± 7 beats/min, p = .886). A main effect of carbohydrate (CHO) type on time to complete 4-km efforts occurred, with no CHO Type × Effort Order interaction observed. No main effect of CHO type or interaction of CHO Type × Sequential Order occurred for 1-km efforts.

Conclusion:

A 6% GAL drink does not enhance performance time during a self-paced cycling performance trial in highly trained endurance cyclists compared with a formula typically used by endurance athletes but may improve the ability to produce intermediate self-paced efforts.

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Emma M. Crum, Matthew J. Barnes and Stephen R. Stannard

Pomegranate extract (POMx) has been suggested as an ergogenic aid due to its rich concentration of polyphenols, which are proposed to enhance nitric oxide bioavailability, thereby improving the efficiency of oxygen usage and, consequently, endurance exercise performance. Although acute POMx supplementation improves aerobic exercise performance in untrained individuals, trained athletes appear to require chronic supplementation for a similar effect. Furthermore, the combination of POMx with a thiol antioxidant may prove more effective than POMx alone, due to the protective effects of thiols on nitric oxide. Thus, this study hypothesized that multiday POMx supplementation would decrease the oxygen uptake (VO2) required by trained cyclists to perform submaximal exercise and increase performance during a time trial, and that thiol (N-acetylcysteine [NAC]) cosupplementation would enhance these effects. Eight cyclists completed four 8-day supplementation periods: POMx only, NAC only, POMx + NAC (BOTH), and placebo. Following supplementation, they performed submaximal cycling and a 5-min time trial, with VO2 and muscle oxygen saturation (SmO2) being recorded. A three-way (POMx × NAC × Intensity) repeated-measures analysis of variance with a Fisher’s least significant difference post hoc assessment was performed for dependent variables (p ≤ .05). VO2 during submaximal exercise was reduced with POMx versus placebo (−2.6 ml·min−1·kg−1, p = .009) and BOTH (−2.5 ml·min−1·kg−1, p < .05) and increased with NAC (+1.9 ml·min−1·kg−1, p < .03), despite no main effect of treatment on SmO2 or performance. It appears that POMx’s high polyphenol content reduced the VO2 required during submaximal exercise. However, NAC cosupplementation annulled this effect; thus, NAC may interact with nitric oxide to reduce its bioavailability.

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Stephen R. Stannard, Martin W. Thompson and Janette C. Brand Miller

Consumption of low glycemic index (GI) foods before submaximal endurance exercise may be beneficial to performance. To test whether this may also be true for high intensity exercise. 10 trained cyclists began an incremental exercise test to exhaustion 65 min after consuming equal carbohydrate portions of glucose (HGI), pasta (LGI), and a noncarbohydrate control (PL). Time to fatigue did not differ significantly (p = 0.05) between treatments. Plasma glucose concentration was significantly lower after LGI vs. HGI from 15 to 45 min of rest postprandial. During exercise, plasma glucose concentration was significantly lower after HGI vs. LGI from 200 W until exhaustion. Plasma lactate concentration following HGI was significantly higher than PL from 30 min of rest postprandial through to the end of the 200-W workload. Plasma lactate concentration following LGI was significantly lower than after HGI from 45 min of rest postprandial through to the end of the 100-W workload. At higher exercise intensities, there was no significant difference in plasma lactate levels between treatments. These findings suggest that a high GI carbohydrate meal (1 g/kg body wt) 65 min prior to exercise decreases plasma glucose and increases plasma lactate levels compared to a low GI meal, but not enough to be detrimental to incremental exercise performance.

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Khaled Trabelsi, Kais el Abed, Stephen R. Stannard, Kamel Jammoussi, Khaled M. Zeghal and Ahmed Hakim

The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of aerobic training in a fasted versus a fed state during Ramadan on body composition and metabolic parameters in physically active men. Nineteen men were allocated to 2 groups: 10 practicing aerobic training in a fasted state (FAST) and 9 training in an acutely fed state (FED) during Ramadan. All subjects visited the laboratory for a total of 4 sessions on the following occasions: 3 days before Ramadan (Bef-R), the 15th day of Ramadan; the 29th day of Ramadan (End-R), and 21 days after Ramadan. During each session, subjects underwent anthropometric measurement, completed a dietary questionnaire, and provided fasting blood and urine samples. Body weight decreased in FAST and FED by 1.9% (p < .001) and 2.6% (p = .046), respectively. Body fat percentage decreased only in FAST by 6.2% (p = .016). FAST experienced an increase in the following parameters from Bef-R to End-R: urine specific gravity (0.64%, p = .012), urea (8.7%, p < .001), creatinine (7.5%, p < .001), uric acid (12.7%, p < .001), sodium (1.9%, p = .003), chloride (2.6%, p < .001), and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (27.3%, p < .001). Of these parameters, only creatinine increased (5.8%, p = .004) in FED. Creatinine clearance values of FAST decreased by 8.9% (p < .001) and by 7.6% in FED (p = .01) from Bef-R to End-R. The authors conclude that aerobic training in a fasted state lowers body weight and body fat percentage. In contrast, fed aerobic training decreases only body weight. In addition, Ramadan fasting induced change in some metabolic parameters in FAST, but these changes were absent in FED.

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Khaled Trabelsi, Stephen R. Stannard, Ronald J. Maughan, Kamel Jammoussi, Khaled Zeghal and Ahmed Hakim

The aim of this study was to evaluate the effects of a hypertrophic training program during Ramadan on body composition and selected metabolic markers in trained bodybuilders. Sixteen male recreational bodybuilders (9 Ramadan fasters and 7 nonfasters) participated in the study. All visited the laboratory 2 d before the start of Ramadan (Bef-R) and on the 29th day of Ramadan (End-R). In the morning of each session, subjects underwent anthropometric measurement, completed a dietary questionnaire, and provided fasting blood and urine samples. Body mass and body-mass index in nonfasters increased by 2.4% (p = .05 and p = .04, respectively) from Bef-R to End-R but remained unchanged in fasters over the period of the investigation. Fasters experienced an increase in the following parameters from Bef-R to End-R: urine specific gravity (1%, p = .022) and serum concentrations of urea (5%, p = .008), creatinine (5%, p = .007), uric acid (17%, p < .001), sodium (2%, p = .019), potassium (6%, p = .006), chloride (2%, p = .028), and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (10%, p = .005). However, only serum creatinine and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol increased in nonfasters (3%, p < .001 and 14%, p = .007, respectively) during the same period. Creatinine clearance values of fasters decreased by 3% (p = .03) from Bef-R to End-R. Continuance of hypertrophic training through Ramadan had no effect on body mass and body composition of bodybuilders, but a state of dehydration and reduced renal function were apparent, perhaps because of the restricted opportunity for fluid intake imposed by the study design.

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Kamal Azizbeigi, Mohammad Ali Azarbayjani, Maghsoud Peeri, Hamid Agha-alinejad and Stephen Stannard

This study was undertaken to investigate the effects of progressive resistance-training (PRT) on plasma oxidative stress and antioxidant enzyme activity in erythrocytes. Twenty male volunteers were randomly assigned to 2 groups: PRT and control. Blood samples were collected before and after 8 wk of PRT and analyzed for enzymatic activities of superoxide dismutase (SOD) and glutathione peroxidase (GPx) in erythrocytes, plasma total antioxidant capacity (TAC), and malondialdehyde concentration (MDA, an index of lipid per oxidation in plasma). Resistance training commenced with 8 exercises on nonconsecutive days for 8 wk at 50% of estimated 1-repetition maximum (E1RM) and reached 80% E1RM by Week 8. The results showed that PRT significantly increased erythrocyte SOD activity (1,323 ± 212.52 vs. 1,449.9 ± 173.8 U/g Hb, p = .014). Plasma concentration of MDA also decreased (5.39 ± 1.7 vs. 3.67.4 ± 0.7 nmol/ml, p = .030), although TAC (1.42 ± 0.21 vs. 1.61 ± 0.19 mmol/L, p = .1530) and GPx (39.87 ± 11.5 vs. 48.18 ± 14.48 U/g Hb, p = .883) activity did not undergo any considerable changes. Based on these data, the authors conclude that an 8-wk program of PRT strengthens the defensive system of erythrocytes against free-radical damage and therefore can be applied as a useful approach to alleviate oxidative stress.

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Yanita McLeay, Stephen R Stannard, Toby Mundel, Andrew Foskett and Matthew Barnes

This study was designed to investigate the effects of alcohol consumption on recovery of muscle force when consumed immediately postexercise in young females. Eight young women completed 300 maximal eccentric actions of the quadriceps femoris muscle on an isokinetic dynamometer on two occasions in a randomized, cross-over design after which an alcoholic beverage (0.88g ethanol/kg body weight) or an iso-caloric placebo was consumed. Maximal isokinetic (concentric and eccentric) torque and isometric tension produced across the knee were measured in both the exercised and control leg predamage, 36 hr post, and 60 hr post damage. Venous blood creatine kinase (CK) activity and muscle soreness ratings were taken before damage and once per day to 60 hr post damage. Significant differences were observed between the exercised and control leg for maximal concentric, and eccentric torque and isometric tension (p < .05). A near significant Treatment × Time interaction was observed for isometric tension (p = .077), but not for concentric or eccentric torque. No main effects of treatment (alcohol) or interactions with Time × Leg or Leg × Treatment were observed. Perceived muscle soreness during box stepping and squatting showed significant time effects (p < .05), and CK activity did not significantly change. Our results indicate that the consumption of 0.88g ethanol/kg body weight following eccentric exercise-induced muscle damage does not affect recovery in the days following damage in females.

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Aaron Raman, Paul W. Macdermid, Toby Mündel, Michael Mann and Stephen R. Stannard

The aim of this study was to ascertain whether a high carbohydrate diet in the days before movement patterns simulating a squash match would increase carbohydrate oxidation during the match, and alter physical performance. Nine New Zealand level squash players were recruited to complete a simulated squash match on two occasions: 1) following a 48-hr high carbohydrate (11.1g·kg−1); and 2) following a calorie-matched low carbohydrate (2.1 g·kg−1) diet. The interventions were assigned in a randomized, single-blind, cross-over design. The match simulation was designed to mimic a five-game match lasting approximately 1 hr. Performance was measured as time to complete each game. Expired respiratory gases and heart rate were continuously collected throughout the trial using a portable gas analysis system. Capillary blood glucose and lactate samples were obtained during a 90 s rest period between each game. Rating of perceived exertion was also recorded after each set. Respiratory exchange ratio was significantly higher during exercise following the high CHO diet (0.80 vs. 0.76) p < .001) and this was associated with significantly faster time to complete the games (2340 ± 189 s vs. 2416 ± 128 s, p = .036). Blood glucose and lactate concentrations were also significantly higher in the high carbohydrate condition (p = .038 and p = .021 respectively). These results suggest that ingestion of a diet high in carbohydrate (>10 g/kg body weight) preceding simulated competitive squash produces increased rates of carbohydrate oxidation and maintains higher blood glucose concentrations. These metabolic effects were associated with improved physical performance.