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Colin R. Carriker, Christine M. Mermier, Trisha A. VanDusseldorp, Kelly E. Johnson, Nicholas M. Beltz, Roger A. Vaughan, James J. McCormick, Nathan H. Cole, Christopher C. Witt and Ann L. Gibson

Reduced partial pressure of oxygen impairs exercise performance at altitude. Acute nitrate supplementation, at sea level, may reduce oxygen cost during submaximal exercise in hypobaric hypoxia. Therefore, we investigated the metabolic response during exercise at altitude following acute nitrate consumption. Ten well-trained (61.0 ± 7.4 ml/kg/min) males (age 28 ± 7 yr) completed 3 experimental trials (T1, T2, T3). T1 included baseline demographics, a maximal aerobic capacity test (VO2max) and five submaximal intensity cycling determination bouts at an elevation of 1600 m. A 4-day dietary washout, minimizing consumption of nitrate-rich foods, preceded T2 and T3. In a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, crossover fashion, subjects consumed either a nitrate-depleted beetroot juice (PL) or ~12.8 mmol nitrate rich (NR) beverage 2.5 hr before T2 and T3. Exercise at 3500 m (T2 and T3) via hypobaric hypoxia consisted of a 5-min warm-up (25% of normobaric (VO2max) and four 5-min cycling bouts (40, 50, 60, 70% of normobaric VO2max) each separated by a 4-min rest period. Cycling RPM and watts for each submaximal bout during T2 and T3 were determined during T1. Preexercise plasma nitrite was elevated following NR consumption compared with PL (1.4 ± 1.2 and 0.7 ± 0.3 uM respectively; p < .05). There was no difference in oxygen consumption (−0.5 ± 1.8, 0.1 ± 1.7, 0.7 ± 2.1, and 1.0 ± 3.0 ml/kg/min) at any intensity (40, 50, 60, 70% of VO2max), respectively) between NR and PL. Further, respiratory exchange ratio, oxygen saturation, heart rate and rating of perceived exertion were not different at any submaximal intensity between NR and PL either. Blood lactate, however, was reduced following NR consumption compared with PL at 40 and 60% of VO2max (p < .0.05). Our findings suggest that acute nitrate supplementation before exercise at 3500 m does not reduce oxygen cost but may reduce blood lactate accumulation at lower intensity workloads.

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Yagesh N. Bhambhani, Robert S. Burnham, Gary D. Wheeler, Peter Eriksson, Leona J. Holland and Robert D. Steadward

In this study we compared the ventilatory threshold (VT) between 8 untrained and 8 endurance-trained males with quadriplegia during simulated wheelchair exercise. Each subject completed an incremental velocity test in his personal wheelchair mounted on a customized roller system designed to provide velocity and distance feedback. VT was identified by two trained evaluators using established respiratory gas exchange criteria. A significant interevaluator reliability coefficient of .90 (p < .01) was observed for the detection of VT. Relative oxygen uptake (V̇O2, ml · kg-1 · min-1) at VT and peak V̇O2 were significantly (p < .05) higher in the endurance-trained compared to untrained subjects. However, no significant difference (p > .05) was observed between the two groups when VT was expressed as a percentage of peak V̇O2. Significant correlations of .86 and .81 (p < .01) were observed between VT and peak V̇O2 in the untrained and trained groups, respectively. It was concluded that endurance training improves both VT and peak V̇O2 during wheelchair exercise in male subjects with quadriplegia but does not improve VT when it is expressed relative to peak V̇O2.

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Lars R. McNaughton, Steve Kenney, Jason Siegler, Adrian W. Midgley, Ric J. Lovell and David J. Bentley

Context:

Recently, superoxygenated-water beverages have emerged as a new purported ergogenic substance.

Purpose:

This study aimed to determine the effects of superoxygenated water on submaximal endurance performance.

Methods:

Eleven active male subjects, VO2max 52.6 ± 4.8 mL · kg−1 · min−1, height 180.0 ± 2.0 cm, weight 76.0 ± 7.0 kg, age 24 ± 1.0 y (mean ± SD), completed a 45-min cycle-ergometry exercise test at 70% of their previously predicted maximal power output with a 10-min rest period, followed by a 15-min time trial (TT). Thirty minutes before the exercise test subjects consumed 15 mL of either superoxygenated water (E) or placebo (P; water mixed with low-chlorine solution). Subjects then completed the test again a week later for the other condition (double-blind, randomized). The physiological variables measured during exercise were VO2, VCO2, respiratory-exchange ratio (RER), VE, PO2, PCO2, blood lactate (bLa–), and heart rate (HR). Mean distance covered and the average power output for the 15-min TT were also measured as performance indicators.

Results:

There were no significant differences in VO2, VCO2, RER, VE, bLa, PO2, and HR (P > .05) during the exercise tests. Neither were there any significant improvements in the total distance covered (P 9.01 ± 0.74 km vs E 8.96 ± 0.68 km, P > .05) or the average power output (P 186.7 ± 35.8 W vs E 179.0 ± 25.9 W, P > .05) during the 15-min TT.

Conclusion:

Based on these results the authors conclude that consuming 15 mL of superoxygenated water does not enhance submaximal or maximal TT cycling performance.

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Andrew J. Vogler, Anthony J. Rice and Christopher J. Gore

Purpose:

This study evaluated the validity of ergometer tests against the criterion of on-water rowing and determined the reliability of feld measurements by comparing results between ergometer (ERG) and on-water (OW) tests.

Methods:

Seven male rowers completed incremental tests on a Concept2 rowing ergometer and in a single scull. Average power output, oxygen consumption (VO2), heart rate (HR), blood lactate concentration (BLa) and distance completed were measured during each ERG and OW workload.

Data treatment:

Linear regression between power output and HR, BLa, VO2 and distance allowed submaximal results to be compared between ERG and OW tests at equivalent intensities based on five standard power outputs. Submaximal results were analyzed using repeated measure factorial ANOVAs and maximal data used dependent t tests (P < .05), the magnitude of differences were also classified using effect size analyses. The reliability of repeated measurements was established using Typical Error.

Results:

Differences between ERG and OW submaximal results were not statistically significant for power output, HR, BLa, and VO2, but distance completed (P < .001) was higher during the ERG test. However, the magnitude of physiological response differences between the ERG and OW tests varied between individuals. Mean HR at anaerobic threshold showed good agreement between both tests (r = .81), but the standard error of the estimate was 9 beats per minute.

Conclusions:

Individual variation in physiological response differences between ERG and OW tests meant that training intensity recommendations from the ERG test were not applicable to on-water training for some rowers, but provided appropriate prescriptions for most athletes.

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Cyril Besson, Martin Buchheit, Manu Praz, Olivier Dériaz and Grégoire P. Millet

Purpose:

In this study, the authors compared the cardiorespiratory responses between the 30–15 Intermittent Ice Test (30-15IIT) and the 30–15 Intermittent Fitness Test (30-15IFT) in semiprofessional hockey players.

Methods:

Ten players (age 24 ± 6 y) from a Swiss League B team performed the 30-15IIT and 30-15IFT in random order (13 ± 4 d between trials). Cardiorespiratory variables were measured with a portable gas analyzer. Ventilatory threshold (VT), respiratory-compensation point (RCP), and maximal speeds were measured for both tests. Peak blood lactate ([Lapeak]) was measured at 1 min postexercise.

Results:

Compared with 30-15IFT, 30-15IIT peak heart rate (HRpeak; mean ± SD 185 ± 7 vs 189 ± 10 beats/min, P = .02) and peak oxygen consumption (VO2peak; 60 ± 7 vs 62.7 ± 4 mL/min/kg, P = .02) were lower, whereas [Lapeak] was higher (10.9 ± 1 vs 8.6 ± 2 mmol/L, P < .01) for the 30–15IIT. VT and RCP values during the 30-15IIT and 30-15IFT were similar for %HRpeak (76.3% ± 5% vs 75.5% ± 3%, P = .53, and 90.6% ± 3% vs. 89.8% ± 3%, P = .45) and % VO2peak (62.3% ± 5% vs 64.2% ± 6%, P = .46, and 85.9% ± 5% vs 84.0% ± 7%, P = .33). VO2peak (r = .93, P < .001), HRpeak (r = .86, P = .001), and final velocities (r = .69, P = .029) were all largely to almost perfectly correlated.

Conclusions:

Despite slightly lower maximal cardiorespiratory responses than in the field-running version of the test, the on-ice 30-15IIT is of practical interest since it is a specific maximal test with a higher anaerobic component.

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Vasilis Nikolopoulos, Melissa J. Arkinstall and John A. Hawley

The purpose of this study was to determine the effect of carbohydrate ingestion before and during intense constant load cycling to volitional fatigue on surface electromyographic (sEMG) activity from the vastus lateralis (VL) and vastus medialis (VM) muscles. After 24-h diet and training control, 8 well-trained subjects [maximal O2 uptake (VO2max) 66 ± 2 ml · kg–1· min–1; mean ± SD] ingested 8 ml · kg–1 of either a 6.4% carbohydrate-electrolyte (CHO) or a placebo (PLA) solution immediately before, followed by 2 ml · kg–1 of the same solution every 15 min while cycling to exhaustion at 84 ± 1% of VO2max. Exercise time to fatigue was 13% longer with CHO ingestion compared to PLA (58:54 ± 8:48 vs. 51:18 ± 5:54 min:s, NS). VO2 (4.22 ± 0.11 vs. 4.20 ± 0.14 L · min–1), heart rate (172 ± 4 vs. 176 ± 4 beats · min–1), ratings of perceived effort (18 ± 0.1 vs. 19 ± 0.1), and rates of carbohydrate oxidation (314 ± 28 vs. 324 ± 26 μmol · kg–1 · min–1) were similar for both PLA and CHO at exhaustion. There was no main treatment effect of CHO ingestion on blood glucose or lactate concentrations, nor plasma prolactin levels either during exercise or at fatigue. However, CHO ingestion attenuated the rise in EMG root mean square (RMS) activity during the latter stages (>45 min) of exercise and at the point of exhaustion for both VM (0.325 ± 0.010 vs. 0.403 ± 0.020 mV; p = .006) and VL (0.298 ± 0.011 vs. 0.370 ± 0.007 mV; p = .0004). We conclude that in well-trained subjects, the ingestion of carbohydrate attenuated the increase in surface electromyographic activity during intense, constant load cycling leading to exhaustion in ~1 h. The precise mechanism(s) underlying this effect cannot be attributed to alterations in CHO availability but, instead, may be linked to changes in afferent sensory input.

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Daniel A. Keir, Raphaël Zory, Céline Boudreau-Larivière and Olivier Serresse

Objectives:

Mechanical efficiency (ME) describes the ratio between mechanical (P MECH) and metabolic (P MET) power. The purpose of the study was to include an estimation of anaerobic energy expenditure (AnE) into the quantification of P MET using the accumulated oxygen deficit (AOD) and to examine its effect on the value of ME in treadmill running at submaximal, maximal, and supramaximal running speeds.

Methods:

Participants (N = 11) underwent a graded maximal exercise test to determine velocity at peak oxygen uptake (vVO2peak). On 4 separate occasions, subjects ran for 6 min at speeds corresponding to 50%, 70%, 90%, and 110% of vVO2peak. During each testing session, P MET was measured from pulmonary oxygen uptake (VO2p) using opencircuit spirometry and was quantified in 2 ways: from VO2p and an estimate of AnE (from the AOD method) and from VO2p only. P MECH was determined from kinematic analyses.

Results:

ME at 50%, 70%, 90%, and 110% of vVO2peak was 59.9% ± 11.9%, 55.4% ± 12.2%, 51.5% ± 6.8%, and 52.9% ± 7.5%, respectively, when AnE was included in the calculation of P MET. The exclusion of AnE yielded significantly greater values of ME at all speeds: 62.9% ± 11.4%, 62.4% ± 12.6%, 55.1% ± 6.2%, and 64.2% ± 8.4%; P = .001 (for 50%, 70%, 90%, and 110% of vVO2peak, respectively).

Conclusions:

The data suggest that an estimate of AnE should be considered in the computation of P MET when determining ME of treadmill running, as its exclusion leads to overestimations of ME values.

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Mark H. Roltsch, Judith A. Flohr and Patricia B. Brevard

The purpose of this study was to examine the metabolic consequences of a moderate variation in dietary fat content of male endurance athletes during submaximal exercise. Six males (age, 29.8 ± 11 years; weight, 72.3 ± 10 kg) · with an average maximum oxygen uptake (V̇O2max) of 66 ± 10 ml/kg/min were tested on their normal diet and 3 experimental diets. The energy contributions from protein, carbohydrates, and fats were 16/59/22 (3% alcohol), 14/53/33, 13/72/15, and 16/61/23% for the normal diet (N), fat supplemented diet (F), high carbohydrate diet (C), and adjusted normal diet (AN), respectively. The F diet was designed to significantly increase fat content compared to the normal diet and be easily maintained by the athletes. Caloric content of the F, C, and AN diets were adjusted to meet estimated total daily energy expenditure. The difference between the N and AN diets is that the AN has been adjusted to meet estimated total daily energy expenditure. The diets were randomly assigned after substrate utilization testing on the N diet and were consumed for 7 days prior to testing. Substrate utilization was recorded at steady state (73 ± 1.4% of V̇O2max) while running on a treadmill for 40 min. There were no significant differences in respiratory exchange ratio between any of the dietary manipulations. No significant differences were observed for lactate, V̇O2, or HR during submaximal testing on the N, F, C, and AN diets. These data indicate that a fat supplemented diet did not affect substrate utilization during 40 min of steady-state submaximal exercise when compared to a high carbohydrate diet or the participant’s normal and adjusted normal diets.

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Manfred Lamprecht, Peter Hofmann, Joachim F. Greilberger and Guenther Schwaberger

Purpose:

To assess the effects of an encapsulated antioxidant concentrate (EAC) and exercise on lipid peroxidation (LIPOX) and the plasma antioxidant enzyme glutathione peroxidase (Pl-GPx).

Methods:

Eight trained male cyclists (VO2max > 55 ml · kg−1 · min−1) participated in this randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blinded, crossover study and undertook 4 cycle-ergometer bouts: 2 moderate exercise bouts over 90 min at 45% of individual VO2max and 2 strenuous exercise bouts at 75% of individual VO2max for 30 min. The first 2 exercise tests—1 moderate and 1 strenuous—were conducted after 4 weeks wash-out and after 12 and 14 days of EAC (107 IU vitamin E, 450 mg vitamin C, 36 mg β-carotene, 100 μg selenium) or placebo treatment. After another 4 weeks wash-out, participants were given the opposite capsule treatment and repeated the 2 exercise tests. Physical exercise training was equal across the whole study period, and nutrition was standardized by a menu plan the week before the tests. Blood was collected before exercise, immediately postexercise, and 30 min and 60 min after each test. Plasma samples were analyzed for LIPOX marker malondialdehyde (MDA) and the antioxidant enzyme pl-GPx.

Results:

MDA concentrations were significantly increased after EAC supplementation at rest before exercise and after moderate exercise (p < .05). MDA concentrations showed no differences between treatments after strenuous exercise (p > .1). Pl-GPx concentrations decreased at all time points of measurement after EAC treatment (p < .05).

Conclusions:

The EAC induced an increase of LIPOX as indicated by MDA and decreased pl-GPx concentrations pre- and postexercise.

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Paolo Menaspà, Ermanno Rampinini, Lara Tonetti and Andrea Bosio

Purpose:

To describe the physical fitness of a top-level lower limb amputee (LLA) cyclist and paracycling time-trial (TT) race demands.

Methods:

The 40-y-old male unilateral transfemoral amputee TT World Champion was tested in a laboratory for peak oxygen uptake (VO2peak), ventilatory threshold (VT2), power output (PO), and hemoglobin mass (Hb-mass). Moreover, several measures (eg, PO, heart rate [HR], cadence) were collected during 4 international TT competitions in the same season. The races’ intensity was evaluated as time spent below, at, or above VT2.

Results:

The cyclist (1.73 m, 55.0 kg) had a VO2peak of 3.372 L/min (61.3 mL · kg−1 · min−1). The laboratory peak PO was 315 W (5.7 W/kg). The maximal HR was 208 beats/min, and his Hb-mass was 744 g (13.5 g/kg). The TTs were meanly 18 ± 4.5 km in length, and the mean PO was 248 ± 8 W with a cadence of 92 ± 1 rpm. During the TTs, the cyclist spent 23% ± 9% of total time at VT2, 59% ± 10% below, and 18% ± 5% above this intensity.

Conclusions:

The subject’s relative VO2peak is higher than previously published data on LLA, and surprisingly it is even higher than “good” ACSM normative data for nondisabled people. The intensity of the races was found to be similar to cycling TTs of the same duration in elite female cyclists. These results might be useful to develop specific training schedules and enhance performance of LLA cyclists.