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G. Mikael Fogelholm, Hannu K. Näveri, Kai T.K. Kiilavuori and Matti H.A. HärkÖnen

Using a double-blind, crossover protocol, we studied the possible effects of a 4-day combined L-arginine, L-ornithine, and L-lysine supplementation (each 2 g/day, divided into two daily doses) on 24-hr level of serum human growth hormone (hGH) and insulin in 11 competitive weightlifters, ages 19 to 35 yrs. Three similar daily hGH peaks, seemingly preceded by a decrease in serum insulin concentration, were found during both amino acid and placebo supplementation. Supplementation did not affect the physiological variation of serum hGH concentration (treatment and treatment × time interaction: p=0.43–0.55). Analogously, serum insulin levels were not higher after amino acid supplementation. Therefore the ergogenic value of lowdose oral amino acid supplementation in increasing hGH or insulin secretion seems questionable.

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Alice K. Lindeman

Self-esteem, a hierarchical and multifactorial perception, can be described as the extent to which a person feels positive about himself or herself. Social factors such as life satisfaction, sex, age, and strongly held values can affect self-esteem. Low self-esteem Is a well-recognized trait of those with eating disorders and may be associated with a heightened self-awareness. Body dissatisfaction, common among women in Western society, may enhance this awareness. Athletes, especially those with eating disorders, are perfectionists and have acute body awareness and a sense of loss of control Control is a crucial issue with these athletes. Before any nutrition counseling starts, readiness to listen should be assessed in conjunction with a mental health professional. Various tools are available to assess the eating disordered athlete's self-esteem, body image, and eating behavior. Nutrition counseling can help the athlete overcome an eating disorder by clarifying misconceptions and focusing on the role of nutrition in promoting health and athletic performance.

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Michael Gleeson, Andrew K. Blannin, Neil P. Walsh, Nicolette C. Bishop and Anya M. Clark

We examined the effects of a low-carbohydrate (CHO) diet on the plasma glutamine and circulating leukocyte responses to prolonged strenuous exercise. Twelve untrained male subjects cycled for 60 min at 70% of maximal oxygen uptake on two separate occasions, 3 days apart. All subjects performed the first exercise task after a normal diet: they completed the second exercise task after 3 days on either a high-CHO diet (75±8% CHO, n = 6) or a low-CHO diet (7±4% CHO, n = 6). The low-CHO diet was associated with a larger rise in plasma cortisol during exercise, a greater fall in the plasma glutamine concentration during recovery, and a larger neutrophilia during the postexercise period. Exercise on the high-CHO diet did not affect levels of plasma glutamine and circulating leukocytes. We conclude that CHO availability can influence the plasma glutamine andcirculaling leukocyte responses during recovery from intense prolonged exercise.

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Susan I. Barr and Heather A. McKay

The maximal amount of bone mass gained during growth (peak bone mass) is an important determinant of bone mass in later life and thereby an important determinant of fraeiure risk. Although genetic factors appear lo be primary determinants of peak bone mass, environmental factors such as physical activity and nutrition also contribute. In this article, bone growth and maintenance are reviewed, and mechanisms are described whereby physical activity can affect bone mass. Studies addressing the effects of physical activity on bone status in youth are reviewed: Although conclusive data are not yet available, considerable evidence supports the importance of activity, especially activity initiated before puberty. The critical role of energy in bone growth is outlined, and studies assessing the impact of calcium intake during childhood and adolescence are reviewed. Although results of intervention trials are equivocal, other evidence supports a role for calcium intake during growth. Recommendations for physical activity and nutrition, directed lochildren and adolescents, are presented.

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John G. Seifert, Greg L. Paul, Dennis E. Eddy and Robert Murray

The effects of preexercise hyperinsulinemia on exercising plasma glucose, plasma insulin, and metabolic responses were assessed during 50 min cycling at 62% VO2max. Subjects were fed a 6% sucrose/glucose solution (LCHO) or a 20% maltodextrin/glucose solution (HCHO) to induce changes in plasma insulin. During exercise, subjects assessed perceived nauseousness and lightheadedness. By the start of exercise, plasma glucose and plasma insulin had increased. In the LCHO trial, plasma glucose values significantly decreased below the baseline value at 30 min of exercise. However, by 40 min, exercise plasma glucose and insulin values were similar to the baseline value. Exercise plasma glucose and insulin did not differ from baseline values in the HCHO trial. Ingestion of LCHO or HCHO was not associated with nausea or lightheadedness. It was concluded that the hyperinsulinemia induced by preexercise feediigs of CHO did not result in frank hypoglycemia or adversely affect sensory or physiological responses during 50 min of moderate-intensity cycling.

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William J. Kraemer, Scott E. Gordon, James M. Lynch, Mariana E.M.V. Pop and Kristine L. Clark

The purpose of this investigation was to determine the effects of a 3.5-day dietary multibuffer supplement (containing predominantly inorganic phosphate, or Pj, along with bicarbonate and carnosine, i.e., PhosFuel™) on repetitive (four trials separated by 2 min rest) Wingate test (WT) performances and whole blood 2,3-diphosphoglycerate (2,3-DPG) concentrations in 10 recreationally trained road cyclists (T) and 10 normally active but untrained (UT) men. A 2-week washout period was utilized between experimental sessions. Venous blood samples were obtained via cannula once before exercise (baseline), immediately post each WT, and 3 min after the final WT (recovery). The data indicate that this supplement does not affect acid-base status with following intense anaerobic exercise and does not improve repetitive WT performance. However, the supplement does enhance post-exercise levels of 2,3-DPG and the 2,3-DPG/Hb ratio in recreationally trained cyclists while improving acute recovery of peak power in these men.

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Laura Capranica, Maria Francesca Piacentini, Shona Halson, Kathryn H. Myburgh, Etsuko Ogasawara and Mindy Millard-Stafford

Sport is recognized as playing a relevant societal role to promote education, health, intercultural dialogue, and the individual development, regardless of an individual’s gender, race, age, ability, religion, political affiliation, sexual orientation, and socioeconomic background. Yet, it was not until the 2012 Summer Olympic Games in London that every country’s delegation included a female competitor. The gender gap in sport, although closing, remains, due to biological differences affecting performance, but it is also influenced by reduced opportunity and sociopolitical factors that influence full female participation across a range of sports around the world. Until the cultural environment is equitable, scientific discussion related to physiological differences using methods that examine progression in male and female world-record performances is limited. This commentary is intended to provide a forum to discuss issues underlying gender differences in sport performance from a global perspective and acknowledge the influence of cultural and sociopolitical factors that continue to ultimately affect female performance.

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Paolo C. Colombani, Eva Kovacs, Petra Frey-Rindova, Walter Frey, Wolfgang Langhans, Myrtha Arnold and Caspar Wenk

A field study was performed to investigate the acute influence of a milk protein hydrolysate supplemented drink (CHO+PRO) on metabolism during and after a marathon run compared to the same drink without protein (CHO). Carbohydrate metabolites and hormones were not influenced by CHO+PRO. Levels of plasma free fatty acids were significantly lower and levels of urea and most amino acids were significantly higher with CHO+PRO. Sweat urea and ammonia nitrogen excretion during the run as well as urinary 3-methylhistidine excretion during the entire exercise day was similar with both treatments. Urinary total nitrogen was significantly increased and urinary pH decreased with CHO+PRO. It was concluded that the supplemented protein was absorbed and probably at least partially oxidized during the run and that no obvious negative metabolic effects occurred. CHO+PRO did not acutely affect myofibrillar protein breakdown as assessed by the 3-methylhistidine method: however, total body protein breakdown was not measured.

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Renee A. Dalton, Janet Walberg Rankin, Don Sebolt and Frank Gwazdauskas

The effect of acute carbohydrate consumption on performance and metabolism of resistance-trained males was determined. Twenty-two subjects, assigned to either carbohydrate (C, n = 8), placebo (P, n - 8), or control (N, n = 6), performed standardized workouts every other day for a week prior to testing and throughout the testing period. Three of these workouts (Tl, T2, and T3) were the performance test in that the last bouts of leg extension and bench press were done to failure at 80% of 10 repetition maximum. A carbohydrate or placebo beverage was consumed 30 min prior to T3. Blood samples were drawn before and after T2 and T3. There was no effect of carbohydrate or energy restriction on number of repetitions done during the leg extension performance test. Carbohydrate intake prior to a resistance exercise bout done in negative energy balance state did not affect performance or evidence of muscle damage.

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Arthur D. Stewart and James Hannan

Athletes have traditionally been evaluated for body composition by percent fat, percent muscle, and somatotype. Since the late 1980s, dual X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) has offered total and regional body composition of bone mineral content (BMC), lean tissue and fat, but studies involving athletes are rare (11) and have not included regional tissue distribution. In the present study, DXA was used to compare a total of 121 male subjects belonging to 9 different athletic groups and controls. ANOVA showed total tissue percent BMC, lean tissue, and fat were significantly different between the various athletic groups (p < .001). Regional differences in tissue distribution between different athletic groups affect BMC and lean tissue (p < .001), but not fat (p > .05). However, athletes of the leanest groups had different fat distribution to that of nonexercising controls (p < .01). It appears that fat distribution is nonspecific in its response to exercise, while lean and BMC distributions show highly specific adaptations to specific sports.