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Jessica Hill, Glyn Howatson, Ken van Someren, David Gaze, Hayley Legg, Jack Lineham and Charles Pedlar

Compression garments are frequently used to facilitate recovery from strenuous exercise.

Purpose:

To identify the effects of 2 different grades of compression garment on recovery indices after strenuous exercise.

Methods:

Forty-five recreationally active participants (n = 26 male and n = 19 female) completed an eccentric-exercise protocol consisting of 100 drop jumps, after which they were matched for body mass and randomly but equally assigned to a high-compression pressure (HI) group, a low-compression pressure (LOW) group, or a sham ultrasound group (SHAM). Participants in the HI and LOW groups wore the garments for 72 h postexercise; participants in the SHAM group received a single treatment of 10-min sham ultrasound. Measures of perceived muscle soreness, maximal voluntary contraction (MVC), countermovement-jump height (CMJ), creatine kinase (CK), C-reactive protein (CRP), and myoglobin (Mb) were assessed before the exercise protocol and again at 1, 24, 48, and 72 h postexercise. Data were analyzed using a repeated-measures ANOVA.

Results:

Recovery of MVC and CMJ was significantly improved with the HI compression garment (P < .05). A significant time-by-treatment interaction was also observed for jump height at 24 h postexercise (P < .05). No significant differences were observed for parameters of soreness and plasma CK, CRP, and Mb.

Conclusions:

The pressures exerted by a compression garment affect recovery after exercise-induced muscle damage, with higher pressure improving recovery of muscle function.

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Jessica M. Stephens, Shona Halson, Joanna Miller, Gary J. Slater and Christopher D. Askew

The use of cold-water immersion (CWI) for postexercise recovery has become increasingly prevalent in recent years, but there is a dearth of strong scientific evidence to support the optimization of protocols for performance benefits. While the increase in practice and popularity of CWI has led to multiple studies and reviews in the area of water immersion, the research has predominantly focused on performance outcomes associated with postexercise CWI. Studies to date have generally shown positive results with enhanced recovery of performance. However, there are a small number of studies that have shown CWI to have either no effect or a detrimental effect on the recovery of performance. The rationale for such contradictory responses has received little attention but may be related to nuances associated with individuals that may need to be accounted for in optimizing prescription of protocols. To recommend optimal protocols to enhance athletic recovery, research must provide a greater understanding of the physiology underpinning performance change and the factors that may contribute to the varied responses currently observed. This review focuses specifically on why some of the current literature may show variability and disparity in the effectiveness of CWI for recovery of athletic performance by examining the body temperature and cardiovascular responses underpinning CWI and how they are related to performance benefits. This review also examines how individual characteristics (such as physique traits), differences in water-immersion protocol (depth, duration, temperature), and exercise type (endurance vs maximal) interact with these mechanisms.

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Ida A. Heikura, Louise M. Burke, Antti A. Mero, Arja Leena Tuulia Uusitalo and Trent Stellingwerff

We investigated one week of dietary microperiodization in elite female (n = 23) and male (n = 15) runners and race-walkers by examining the frequency of training sessions and recovery periods conducted with recommended carbohydrate (CHO) and protein availability. Food and training diaries were recorded in relation to HARD (intense or >90min sessions; KEY) versus RECOVERY days (other-than KEY sessions; EASY). The targets for amount and timing of CHO and protein around KEY sessions were based on current nutrition recommendations. Relative daily energy and CHO intake was significantly (p < .05) higher in males (224 ± 26 kJ/kg/d, 7.3 ± 1.4 g/kg/d CHO) than females (204 ± 29 kJ/kg/d, 6.2 ± 1.1 g/kg/d CHO) on HARD days. However, when adjusted for training volume (km), there was no sex-based difference in CHO intake daily (HARD: 0.42 ± 0.14 vs 0.39 ± 0.15 g/kg/km). Females appeared to periodize energy and protein intake with greater intakes on HARD training days (204 ± 29 vs 187 ± 35 kJ/kg/d, p = .004; 2.0 ± 0.3 vs 1.9 ± 0.3 g/kg/d protein, p = .013), while males did not periodize intakes. Females showed a pattern of periodization of postexercise CHO for KEY vs EASY (0.9 ± 0.4 vs 0.5 ± 0.3 g/kg; p < .05) while males had higher intakes but only modest periodization (1.3 ± 0.9 vs 1.0 ± 0.4; p = .32). There was only modest evidence from female athletes of systematic microperiodization of eating patterns to meet contemporary sports nutrition guidelines. While this pattern of periodization was absent in males, in general they consumed more energy and CHO daily and around training sessions compared with females. Elite endurance athletes do not seem to systematically follow the most recent sports nutrition guidelines of periodized nutrition.

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Helena Gapeyeva, Mati Pääsuke, Jaan Ereline, Vallo Vaher, Aivar Pintsaar and Aalo Eller

Context:

Contractile characteristics of the knee extensors after arthroscopic meniscectomy are poorly understood.

Objective:

To measure the recovery of knee-extensor-muscle contractility after arthroscopic partial meniscectomy.

Design:

Single-group repeated measures.

Setting:

Kinesiology and biomechanics laboratory.

Subjects:

Fourteen patients with arthroscopic partial medial meniscectomies.

Main Outcome Measures:

Maximal isometric voluntary contraction (MVC) force, rate of force development (MRFDES), and half-relaxation time (HRTES) of evoked tetanic contraction preoperatively and during 6 months postoperatively.

Results:

Two weeks postoperatively, a reduction in MVC force of 27.1% and in MRFDES of 17.8% and a prolongation of HRTES of 34.0% in the injured leg were found. A significant MVC-force deficit (17.5%) was observed 3 months postoperatively.

Conclusions:

The recovery of knee-extensor-muscle voluntary strength is more delayed than are evoked tetanic-contractile characteristics after partial meniscectomy. The rehabilitation protocol seems to be insufficient to attain effective recovery of knee-extensor-muscle voluntary strength.

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Sharon L. Miller, P. Courtney Gaine, Carl M. Maresh, Lawrence E. Armstrong, Cara B. Ebbeling, Linda S. Lamont and Nancy R. Rodriguez

This study determined the effect of nutritional supplementation throughout endurance exercise on whole-body leucine kinetics (leucine rate of appearance [Ra], oxidation [Ox], and nonoxidative leucine disposal [NOLD]) during recovery. Five trained men underwent a 2-h run at 65% VO2max, during which a carbohydrate (CHO), mixed protein-carbohydrate (milk), or placebo (PLA) drink was consumed. Leucine kinetics were assessed during recovery using a primed, continuous infusion of 1-13C leucine. Leucine Ra and NOLD were lower for milk than for PLA. Ox was higher after milk-supplemented exercise than after CHO or PLA. Although consuming milk during the run affected whole-body leucine kinetics, the benefits of such a practice for athletes remain unclear. Additional studies are needed to determine whether protein supplementation during exercise can optimize protein utilization during recovery.

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Jarek Mäestu, Jaak Jürimäe, Kairi Kreegipuu and Toivo Jürimäe

The aims were to assess (a) the usefulness of RESTQ-Sport in the process of training monitoring and (b) whether a change in psychological parameters is reflected by similar changes in specific biochemical parameters. The high volume training period, in general, caused increases in stress scales and decreases in recovery scales of the RESTQ-Sport, while during recovery period, stress levels declined. Cortisol was not changed during the study period, but significant increases in creatine kinase activity were found during the high training period compared to reference period. The results of the present study demonstrate that changes in training volume were reflected by changes in the RESTQ-Sport scales. A close relationship was found between cortisol and creatine kinase activity and subjective ratings of stress and recovery.

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Peter Olusoga and Göran Kenttä

This study investigated how the experiences of two elite coaches contributed to and shaped their stories of burnout and withdrawal from high performance coaching. The coaches whose narratives we explore were both middle-aged head coaches, one in a major team sport at the highest club level, and one in an individual Olympic sport at international level. Through a thematic narrative analysis, based on in-depth interviews, the stories of the two coaches are presented in four distinct sections: antecedents, experiences of coaching with burnout symptoms, withdrawal from sport, and the process of recovery and personal growth. These narratives have implications for high performance coaching, such as the importance of role clarity, work-home inference, counseling, mentoring, and social support as means to facilitate recovery, and the need for additional research with coaches who have left sport, to gain a more comprehensive understanding of the complete burnout-recovery process.

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Rob Duffield, Monique King and Melissa Skein

Purpose:

This study investigated the effects of hot conditions on the acute recovery of voluntary and evoked muscle performance and physiological responses following intermittent exercise.

Methods:

Seven youth male and six female team-sport athletes performed two sessions separated by 7 d, involving a 30-min exercise protocol and 60-min passive recovery in either 22°C or 33°C and 40% relative humidity. The exercise protocol involved a 20-s maximal sprint every 5 min, separated by constant-intensity exercise at 100 W on a cycle ergometer. Maximal voluntary contraction (MVC) and a resting evoked twitch (Pf) of the right knee extensors were assessed before and immediately following exercise and again 15, 30, and 60 min post exercise, and capillary blood was obtained at the same time points to measure lactate, pH, and HCO3. During and following exercise, core temperature, heart rate and rating of perceived exertion (RPE) were also measured.

Results:

No differences (P = 0.73 to 0.95) in peak power during repeated sprints were present between conditions. Post exercise MVC was reduced (P < .05) in both conditions and a moderate effect size (d = 0.60) indicated a slower percentage MVC recovered by 60 min in the heat (83 ± 10 vs 74 ± 11% recovered). Both heart rate and core temperature were significantly higher (P < .05) during recovery in the heat. Capillary blood values did not differ between conditions at any time point, whereas sessional RPE was higher 60 min post exercise in the heat.

Conclusions:

The current data suggests that passive recovery in warm temperatures not only delays cardiovascular and thermal recovery, but may also slow the recovery of MVC and RPE.

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Rob Duffield, Alistair Murphy, Aaron Kellett and Machar Reid

Purpose:

To investigate the effects of combining cold-water immersion (CWI), full-body compression garments (CG), and sleep-hygiene recommendations on physical, physiological, and perceptual recovery after 2-a-day on-court training and match-play sessions.

Methods:

In a crossover design, 8 highly trained tennis players completed 2 sessions of on-court tennis-drill training and match play, followed by a recovery or control condition. Recovery interventions included a mixture of 15 min CWI, 3 h of wearing full-body CG, and following sleep-hygiene recommendations that night, while the control condition involved postsession stretching and no regulation of sleeping patterns. Technical performance (stroke and error rates), physical performance (accelerometry, countermovement jump [CMJ]), physiological (heart rate, blood lactate), and perceptual (mood, exertion, and soreness) measures were recorded from each on-court session, along with sleep quantity each night.

Results:

While stroke and error rates did not differ in the drill session (P > .05, d < 0.20), large effects were evident for increased time in play and stroke rate in match play after the recovery interventions (P > .05, d > 0.90). Although accelerometry values did not differ between conditions (P > .05, d < 0.20), CMJ tended to be improved before match play with recovery (P > .05, d = 0.90). Furthermore, CWI and CG resulted in faster postsession reductions in heart rate and lactate and reduced perceived soreness (P > .05, d > 1.00). In addition, sleep-hygiene recommendations increased sleep quantity (P > .05, d > 2.00) and maintained lower perceived soreness and fatigue (P < .05, d > 2.00).

Conclusions:

Mixed-method recovery interventions (CWI and CG) used after tennis sessions increased ensuing time in play and lower-body power and reduced perceived soreness. Furthermore, sleep-hygiene recommendations helped reduce perceived soreness.

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Christos K. Argus, Matthew W. Driller, Tammie R. Ebert, David T. Martin and Shona L. Halson

Purpose:

To evaluate the effectiveness of different recovery strategies on repeat cycling performance where a short duration between exercise bouts is required.

Methods:

Eleven highly trained cyclists (mean ± SD; age = 31 ± 6 y, mass = 74.6 ± 10.6 kg, height = 180.5 ± 8.1 cm) completed 4 trials each consisting of three 30-s maximal sprints (S1, S2, S3) on a cycle ergometer, separated by 20-min recovery periods. In a counterbalanced, crossover design, each trial involved subjects performing 1 of 4 recovery strategies: compression garments (COMP), electronic muscle stimulation (EMS), humidification therapy (HUM), and a passive control (CON). The sprint tests implemented a 60-s preload (at an intensity of 4.5 W/kg) before a 30-s maximal sprint. Mean power outputs (W) for the 3 sprints, in combination with perceived recovery and blood lactate concentration, were used to examine the effect of each recovery strategy.

Results:

In CON, S2 and S3 were (mean ± SD) –2.1% ± 3.9% and –3.1% ± 4.2% lower than S1, respectively. Compared with CON, COMP resulted in a higher mean power output from S1 to S2 (mean ± 90%CL: 0.8% ± 1.2%; possibly beneficial) and from S1 to S3 (1.2% ± 1.9%; possibly beneficial), while HUM showed a higher mean power output from S1 to S3 (2.2% ± 2.5%; likely beneficial) relative to CON.

Conclusion:

The authors suggest that both COMP and HUM may be effective strategies to enhance recovery between repeated sprint-cycling bouts separated by ~30 min.