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Shona L. Halson

An increase in research investigating recovery strategies has occurred alongside the increase in usage of recovery by elite athletes. Because there is inconsistent evidence regarding the benefits of recovery on performance, it is necessary to examine research design to identify possible strategies that enhance performance in different athlete settings. The purpose of this review is to examine available recovery literature specifically related to the time frame between performance assessments to identify considerations for both research design and practical use of recovery techniques.

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James A. Betts, Emma Stevenson, Clyde Williams, Catrin Sheppard, Edwin Grey and Joe Griffin

Including protein in a carbohydrate solution may accelerate both the rate of glycogen storage and the restoration of exercise capacity following prolonged activity. Two studies were undertaken with nine active men in study A and seven in study B. All participants performed 2 trials, each involving a 90 min run at 70% VO2max followed by a 4 h recovery. During recovery, either a 9.3% carbohydrate solution (CHO) or the same solution plus 1.5% protein (CHO-PRO) was ingested every 30 min in volumes providing either 1.2 g CHO · kg−1 · h−1 (study A) or 0.8 g CHO · kg−1 · h−1 (study B). Exercise capacity was then assessed by run time to exhaustion at 85% VO2max. Ingestion of CHO-PRO elicited greater insulinemic responses than CHO (P ≤ 0.05) but with no differences in run times to exhaustion. Within the context of this experimental design, CHO and CHO-PRO restored running capacity with equal effect.

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Luc J.C. van Loon

Protein, protein hydrolysates, and amino acids have become popular ingredients in sports nutrition. The use of protein, protein hydrolysates, and amino acid mixtures has multiple applications when aiming to improve post exercise recovery. After exhaustive endurance-type exercise, muscle glycogen repletion is the most important factor determining the time needed to recover. Coingestion of relatively small amounts of protein and/or amino acids with carbohydrate can be used to augment postprandial insulin secretion and accelerate muscle glycogen synthesis rates. Furthermore, it has been well established that ingesting protein, protein hydrolysates, and amino acid can stimulate protein synthesis and inhibit protein breakdown and, as such, improve net muscle protein balance after resistance- or endurance-type exercise. The latter has been suggested to lead to a more effective adaptive response to each successive exercise bout. To augment net muscle protein accretion, athletes involved in resistance-type exercise generally ingest both protein and carbohydrate during post exercise recovery. However, carbohydrate ingestion after resistance-type exercise does not seem to be warranted to further stimulate muscle protein synthesis or improve whole-body protein balance when ample protein has already been ingested. Because resistance-type exercise is also associated with a substantial reduction in muscle glycogen content, it would be preferred to coingest some carbohydrate when aiming to accelerate glycogen repletion. More research is warranted to assess the impact of ingesting different proteins, protein hydrolysates, and/or amino acids on muscle protein accretion after exercise.

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Kelly A. Brock, Lindsey E. Eberman, Richard H. Laird IV, David J. Elmer and Kenneth E. Games

recover from muscle damage. Several treatments have been proposed for EIMD and DOMS and have been investigated for their efficacy in alleviating soreness and improving performance as measured by reduced recovery times. Such treatments include massage, 2 , 4 – 7 compression garments, 1 , 4 , 5 , 8 – 10

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Samuel G. Impey, Kelly M. Hammond, Robert Naughton, Carl Langan-Evans, Sam O. Shepherd, Adam P. Sharples, Jessica Cegielski, Kenneth Smith, Stewart Jeromson, David L. Hamilton, Graeme L. Close and James P. Morton

in the anterior crease of the forearm. Blood samples were collected immediately prior to and every 15 min during exercise as well as at 30-min intervals in the recovery period from exercise. Subjects consumed 22 g of protein from one of two commercially available products consisting of a hydrolyzed

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Alireza Esmaeili, Andrew M. Stewart, William G. Hopkins, George P. Elias and Robert J. Aughey

Purpose:

Detrimental changes in tendon structure increase the risk of tendinopathies. The aim of this study was to investigate the influence of individual internal and external training loads and leg dominance on changes in the Achilles and patellar tendon structure.

Methods:

The internal structure of the Achilles and patellar tendons of both limbs of 26 elite Australian footballers was assessed using ultrasound tissue characterization at the beginning and the end of an 18-wk preseason. Linear-regression analysis was used to estimate the effects of training load on changes in the proportion of aligned and intact tendon bundles for each side. Standardization and magnitude-based inferences were used to interpret the findings.

Results:

Possibly to very likely small increases in the proportion of aligned and intact tendon bundles occurred in the dominant Achilles (initial value 81.1%; change, ±90% confidence limits 1.6%, ±1.0%), nondominant Achilles (80.8%; 0.9%, ±1.0%), dominant patellar (75.8%; 1.5%, ±1.5%), and nondominant patellar (76.8%; 2.7%, ±1.4%) tendons. Measures of training load had inconsistent effects on changes in tendon structure; eg, there were possibly to likely small positive effects on the structure of the nondominant Achilles tendon, likely small negative effects on the dominant Achilles tendon, and predominantly no clear effects on the patellar tendons.

Conclusion:

The small and inconsistent effects of training load are indicative of the role of recovery between tendon-overloading (training) sessions and the multivariate nature of the tendon response to load, with leg dominance a possible influencing factor.

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Peter M. Tiidus, Joel Cort, Sarah J. Woodruff and Pamela Bryden

Objectives:

To evaluate ultrasound’s effectiveness after eccentric-exercise-induced muscle damage.

Participants:

22 subjects.

Intervention:

Random assignment to ultrasound (UT) or placebo (PT). Ultrasound was applied immediately and 24, 48, and 72 h after 50 maximum eccentric contractions of the biceps.

Outcome Measures:

Concentric and eccentric peak torques, resting elbow angle, and subjective muscle soreness were measured before and 24, 48, 72, and 96 h afterward.

Results:

No significant differences between UT and PT for biceps concentric or eccentric peak torque were noted. Both groups exhibited significant (P < .01) depression in eccentric and concentric peak torques with a slow return toward preexercise values over 96 h. Resting elbow angles for both groups were significantly lower than preexercise values up to 96 h (P < .01). Muscle soreness increased significantly (P < .05) at 24 and 48 h and returned to preexercise levels by 96 h.

Conclusions:

Daily ultrasound did not influence recovery after eccentric-exercise-induced muscle damage.

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Brandon Rohrer, Susan Fasoli, Hermano Igo Krebs, Bruce Volpe, Walter R Frontera, Joel Stein and Neville Hogan

Submovements are hypothesized building blocks of human movement, discrete ballistic movements of which more complex movements are composed. Using a novel algorithm, submovements were extracted from the point-to-point movements of 41 persons recovering from stroke. Analysis of the extracted submovements showed that, over the course of therapy, patients' submovements tended to increase in peak speed and duration. The number of submovements employed to produce a given movement decreased. The time between the peaks of adjacent submovements decreased for inpatients (those less than 1 month post-stroke), but not for outpatients (those greater than 12 months post-stroke) as a group. Submovements became more overlapped for all patients, but more markedly for inpatients. The strength and consistency with which it quantified patients' recovery indicates that analysis of submovement overlap might be a useful tool for measuring learning or other changes in motor behavior in future human movement studies.

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Michael F. Bergeron

In contrast to muscle cramps that are brought on by muscle overload or fatigue, exertional heat cramps seem to be prompted by extensive sweating and a significant sweat-induced whole-body sodium deficit. As a result of a consequent contracted interstitial compartment, axon terminals of selected motor neurons can become hyper-excitable and spontaneously discharge. Barely detectable muscle fasciculations or “twitches” in the affected muscles can rapidly progress to debilitating muscle cramps in just 20 to 30 minutes. To aid recovery, salt (NaCl) and water lost from sweating should be sufficiently replaced so as to restore the extracellular volume and interstitial fluid spaces. Sweat sodium, chloride, and fluid losses incurred during training and competition need to be closely matched by daily salt and fluid intake, in order to prevent an excessive sodium deficit, maintain sufficient fluid balance, and avoid exertional heat cramps.

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George P. Elias, Matthew C. Varley, Victoria L. Wyckelsma, Michael J. McKenna, Clare L. Minahan and Robert J. Aughey

Purpose:

The authors investigated the efficacy of a single exposure to 14 min of cold-water immersion (COLD) and contrast water therapy (CWT) on posttraining recovery in Australian football (AF).

Method:

Fourteen AF players participated in 3 wk of standardized training. After week 1 training, all players completed a passive recovery (PAS). During week 2, COLD or CWT was randomly assigned. Players undertook the opposing intervention in week 3. Repeat-sprint ability (6 × 20 m), countermovement and squat jumps, perceived muscle soreness, and fatigue were measured pretraining and over 48 h posttraining.

Results:

Immediately posttraining, groups exhibited similar performance and psychometric declines. At 24 h, repeat-sprint time had deteriorated by 4.1% for PAS and 1.0% for CWT but was fully restored by COLD (0.0%). At 24 and 48 h, both COLD and CWT attenuated changes in mean muscle soreness, with COLD (0.6 ± 0.6 and 0.0 ± 0.4) more effective than CWT (1.9 ± 0.7 and 1.0 ± 0.7) and PAS having minimal effect (5.5 ± 0.6 and 4.0 ± 0.5). Similarly, after 24 and 48 h, COLD and CWT both effectively reduced changes in perceived fatigue, with COLD (0.6 ± 0.6 and 0.0 ± 0.6) being more successful than CWT (0.8 ± 0.6 and 0.7 ± 0.6) and PAS having the smallest effect (2.2 ± 0.8 and 2.4 ± 0.6).

Conclusions:

AF training can result in prolonged physical and psychometric deficits persisting for up to 48 h. For restoring physical-performance and psychometric measures, COLD was more effective than CWT, with PAS being the least effective. Based on these results the authors recommend that 14 min of COLD be used after AF training.