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Gal Dubnov-Raz, Netachen Livne, Raanan Raz, Avner H. Cohen and Naama W. Constantini

It is hypothesized that vitamin D insufficiency in athletes might negatively affect sport performance. The objective of this study was to examine the effect of vitamin D3 supplementation on physical performance of adolescent swimmers with vitamin D insufficiency. Fifty-three adolescent competitive swimmers with vitamin D insufficiency (serum 25-hydroxyvitamin-D concentrations (25(OH)D)<30ng/ml, mean 24.2 ± 4.8ng/ml) were randomized to receive 2,000IU/day of vitamin D3 or placebo for 12 weeks. Swimming performance at several speeds, arm-grip strength, and one-legged balance, were measured before and after supplementation. The age-adjusted changes in performance variables during the study were compared between groups. 25(OH) D concentrations at study end were significantly higher in the vitamin group compared with the placebo group (29.6 ± 6.5ng/ml vs. 20.3 ± 4.2ng/ml, p < .001), yet only 48% of the vitamin group became vitamin D sufficient with this dosing. No between-group differences were found in the changes of the performance variables tested. No significant differences in performance were found between participants that became vitamin D sufficient, and those who did not. No significant correlation was found between the change in serum 25(OH)D and ageadjusted balance, strength or swimming performance at study end. Vitamin D3 supplementation that raised serum 25(OH)D concentrations by a mean of 9.3ng/ml above placebo in adolescent swimmers with vitamin D insufficiency, did not improve physical performance more than placebo.

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Bryan Raudenbush and Brian Meyer

Body image satisfaction was measured among college male athletes participating in track/cross-country, soccer, basketball, swimming, and lacrosse through the use of figure drawings varying in level of muscularity. All the athletes chose significantly different figure drawings to best represent their actual physique, ideal physique, and the physique they believed was most attractive to the opposite sex. For each sport, athletes’ actual physique was less muscular than both their ideal physique and the one they thought was attractive to the opposite sex. Soccer and lacrosse players chose an ideal physique larger than the one they thought was attractive to the opposite sex, while swimmers chose an ideal physique smaller than the one they thought was attractive to the opposite sex. Lacrosse players wanted to gain the most muscle. Those athletes who used muscle mass/weight-gain supplements spent more time per week in weight training and viewed their actual physique as larger than did athletes who did not use weight-gain supplements. The present results further reveal the desire of athletes to gain muscle, possibly to the extent of abusing weight-gain supplements and thus providing the foundation for faulty body image or dysfunctional eating.

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Michael P. Corcoran, Miriam E. Nelson, Jennifer M. Sacheck, Kieran F. Reid, Dylan Kirn, Roger A. Fielding, Kenneth K.H. Chui and Sara C. Folta

( Pahor et al., 2014 ). There is also evidence that appropriately timed protein intake along with 25-hydroxyvitamin D [25(OH)D] supplementation is important for exercise recovery and thus may contribute to improved physical function for this population ( Chale et al., 2013 ; Moreira-Pfrimer, Pedrosa

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Ernest G. Rimer, Linda R. Peterson, Andrew R. Coggan and James C. Martin

Muscle-shortening velocity and hence power have been shown to increase in the presence of nitric oxide (NO). NO availability increases after consuming nitrate (NO3 -). Ingestion of NO3 -rich beetroot juice (BRJ) has increased muscle power in untrained adults.

Purpose:

This study determined whether NO3 - supplementation could acutely enhance maximal power in trained athletes.

Methods:

In this double-blind, crossover study, 13 trained athletes performed maximal inertial-load cycling trials (3–4 s) immediately before (PRE) and after (POST) consuming either NO3 -rich (NO3) or NO3 -depleted (PLA) BRJ to assess acute changes (ie, within the same day) in maximal power (PMAX) and optimal pedaling rate (RPMopt). Participants also performed maximal isokinetic cycling (30 s) to assess performance differences after supplementation.

Results:

2 x 2 repeated-measures ANOVA indicated a greater increase in PMAX from PRE to POST NO3 (PRE 1160 ± 301 W to POST 1229 ± 317 W) than with PLA (PRE 1191 ± 298 W to POST 1213 ± 300 W) (P = .009; η p 2 = 0.45). A paired t-test verified a greater relative change in PMAX after NO3 (6.0% ± 2.6%) than with PLA (2.0% ± 3.8%) (P = .014; d = 1.21). RPMopt remained unchanged from PRE (123 ± 14 rpm) to POST PLA (122 ± 14 rpm) but increased from PRE (120 ± 14 rpm) to POST NO3 (127 ± 13 rpm) (P = .043; η p 2 = 0.30). There was no relative change in RPMopt after PLA (–0.3% ± 4.1%), but there was an increase after NO3 (6.5% ± 11.4%) (P = .049; d = 0.79). No differences were observed between the 30-s isokinetic trials.

Conclusions:

Acute NO3 - supplementation can enhance maximal muscle power in trained athletes. These findings may particularly benefit power-sport athletes who perform brief explosive actions.

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Ruth M. Hobson, Roger C. Harris, Dan Martin, Perry Smith, Ben Macklin, Kirsty J. Elliott-Sale and Craig Sale

The ability to buffer H+ could be vital to exercise performance, as high concentrations of H+ contribute to the development of fatigue.

Purpose:

The authors examined the effect of sodium bicarbonate (SB) supplementation on 2000-m rowing-ergometer performance.

Methods:

Twenty male rowers (age 23 ± 4 y, height 1.85 ± 0.08 m, mass 82.5 ± 8.9 kg, 2000-m personal-best time 409 ± 16 s) completed two 2000-m rowing-ergometer time trials, separated by 48 h. Participants were supplemented before exercise with 0.3 g/kg body mass of SB or a placebo (maltodextrin; PLA). The trials were conducted using a double-blinded, randomized, counterbalanced crossover study design. Time to complete the 2000-m and time taken for each 500-m split were recorded. Blood lactate, bicarbonate, pH, and base excess were determined preexercise, immediately postexercise, and 5 min postexercise. Performance data were analyzed using paired t tests, as well as magnitude-based inferences; hematological data were analyzed using a repeated-measures ANOVA.

Results:

Using paired t tests, there was no benefit of SB over PLA (P = .095). However, using magnitude-based inferences there was a likely beneficial effect of SB compared with PLA (PLA 412.0 ± 15.1 s, SB 410.7 ± 14.9 s). Furthermore, SB was 0.5 ± 1.2 s faster than PLA in the third 500 m (P = .035; possibly beneficial) and 1.1 ± 1.7 s faster in the fourth 500 m (P = .004; very likely beneficial). All hematological data were different between SB and PLA and were different from preexercise to postexercise.

Conclusion:

SB supplementation is likely to be beneficial to the performance of those competing in 2000-m rowing events, particularly in the second half of the event.

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Martin Lamontagne-Lacasse, Raymond Nadon and Eric D.B. Goulet

Jump height is a critical aspect of volleyball players’ blocking and attacking performance. Although previous studies demonstrated that creatine monohydrate supplementation (CrMS) improves jumping performance, none have yet evaluated its effect among volleyball players with proficient jumping skills. We examined the effect of 4 wk of CrMS on 1 RM spike jump (SJ) and repeated block jump (BJ) performance among 12 elite males of the Sherbrooke University volleyball team. Using a parallel, randomized, double-blind protocol, participants were supplemented with a placebo or creatine solution for 28 d, at a dose of 20 g/d in days 1–4, 10 g/d on days 5-6, and 5 g/d on days 7-28. Pre- and postsupplementation, subjects performed the 1 RM SJ test, followed by the repeated BJ test (10 series of 10 BJs; 3 s interval between jumps; 2 min recovery between series). Due to injuries (N = 2) and outlier data (N = 2), results are reported for eight subjects. Following supplementation, both groups improved SJ and repeated BJ performance. The change in performance during the 1 RM SJ test and over the first two repeated BJ series was unclear between groups. For series 3-6 and 7-10, respectively, CrMS further improved repeated BJ performance by 2.8% (likely beneficial change) and 1.9% (possibly beneficial change), compared with the placebo. Percent repeated BJ decline in performance across the 10 series did not differ between groups pre- and postsupplementation. In conclusion, CrMS likely improved repeated BJ height capability without influencing the magnitude of muscular fatigue in these elite, university-level volleyball players.

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Diego R. Redondo, Elizabeth A. Dowling, Bryan L. Graham, Anthony L. Almada and Melvin H. Williams

Creatine supplementation has been shown to augment muscle PCr content and increase the rate of ATP resynthesis. Thus, we hypothesized that creatine supplementation might enhance sprinting performance. Eighteen subjects completed both of two testing sessions (control and postsupplement) 1 week apart, wherein they sprinted three 60-m distance trials that were recorded with videotape. Following the control session, for 7 days, subjects in the treatment group ingested a creatine-glucose mixture, while the placebo group consumed a glucose powder, followed by the postsupplementation session. Velocities of the subjects through three testing zones within the 60-m sprint were calculated from the videotape. Resultant velocities were analyzed using a MANOVA with a2x2x3x3 (Group x Session x Trial x Zone) design. Results indicated that there were no statistically significant main or interaction effects on velocity between groups for session, trial, or zone. These data do not support the hypothesis that supplementary creatine ingestion will enhance velocity during the early or latter segments of a 60-m sprint.

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Jeremy Williams, Grant Abt and Andrew E. Kilding

Purpose:

To determine the effects of acute short-term creatine (Cr) supplementation on physical performance during a 90-min soccer-specific performance test.

Methods:

A double-blind, placebo-controlled experimental design was adopted during which 16 male amateur soccer players were required to consume 20 g/d Cr for 7 d or a placebo. A Ball-Sport Endurance and Speed Test (BEAST) comprising measures of aerobic (circuit time), speed (12- and 20-m sprint), and explosive-power (vertical jump) abilities performed over 90 min was performed presupplementation and postsupplementation.

Results:

Performance measures during the BEAST deteriorated during the second half relative to the first for both Cr (1.2–2.3%) and placebo (1.0–2.2%) groups, indicating a fatigue effect associated with the BEAST. However, no significant differences existed between groups, suggesting that Cr had no performance-enhancing effect or ability to offset fatigue. When effect sizes were considered, some measures (12-m sprint, –0.53 ± 0.69; 20-m sprint, –0.39 ± 0.59) showed a negative tendency, indicating chances of harm were greater than chances of benefit.

Conclusions:

Acute short-term Cr supplementation has no beneficial effect on physical measures obtained during a 90-min soccer-simulation test, thus bringing into question its potential as an effective ergogenic aid for soccer players.

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J. Bradley Jordan, Ajit Korgaokar, Richard S. Farley, John M. Coons and Jennifer L. Caputo

This study examined the effects of caffeine supplementation (6 mg·kg−1) on performance of a reactive agility test (RAT) in 17 elite, male, youth (M = 14 y) soccer players. Using a double-blind, repeated-measures design, players completed 4 days of testing on the RAT after a standardized warm-up. On day 1, anthropometric measurements were taken and players were accommodated to the RAT. On day 2, baseline performance was established. Caffeine or placebo conditions were randomly assigned on day 3 and the condition was reversed on day 4. Players completed 3 randomized trials of the RAT on days 2, 3, and 4 with at least 1 trial to the players’ dominant and nondominant sides. There were no significant differences among conditions in reaction time (RT) to the dominant side, heart rates at any point of measurement, or ratings of perceived exertion (RPE) after completion of the warm-up. Caffeine produced faster RT to the nondominant side (P = .041) and higher RPE at the conclusion of the RAT (P = .013). The effect on the total time (TT) to complete the agility test to the nondominant side approached significance (P = .051). Sprint time and TT to either side did not differ. Caffeine supplementation may provide ergogenic benefit to elite, male, youth soccer players.

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Suelen Galante Inácio, Gustavo Vieira de Oliveira and Thiago Silveira Alvares

Caffeine and creatine are ingredients in the most popular dietary supplements consumed by soccer players. However, some products may not contain the disclosed amounts of the ingredients listed on the label, compromising the safe usage and the effectiveness of these supplements. Therefore, the aim of this study was to evaluate the content of caffeine and creatine in dietary supplements consumed by Brazilian soccer players. The results obtained were compared with the caffeine content listed on the product label. Two batches of the supplement brands consumed by ≥ 50% of the players were considered for analysis. The quantification of caffeine and creatine in the supplements was determined by a high-performance liquid chromatography system with UV detector. Nine supplements of caffeine and 7 supplements of creatine met the inclusion criteria for analysis. Eight brands of caffeine and five brands of creatine showed significantly different values (p < .05) as compared with the values stated on the label. There were no significant differences between the two batches of supplements analyzed, except for one caffeine supplement. It can be concluded that caffeine and creatine dietary supplements consumed by Brazilian soccer players present inaccurate values listed on the label, although most presented no difference among batches. To ensure consumer safety and product efficacy, accurate information on caffeine and creatine content should be provided on all dietary supplement labels.