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Michael S. Green, Benjamin T. Corona, J. Andrew Doyle and Christopher P. Ingalls

This study examined the effects of carbohydrate (CHO), carbohydrate-protein (CHO+PRO), or placebo (PLA) beverages on recovery from novel eccentric exercise. Female participants performed 30 min of downhill treadmill running (–12% grade, 8.0 mph), followed by consumption of a CHO, CHO+PRO, or PLA beverage immediately, 30, and 60 min after exercise. CHO and CHO+PRO groups (n = 6 per group) consumed 1.2 g · kg body weight–1 · hr–1 CHO, with the CHO+PRO group consuming an additional 0.3 g · kg body weight–1 · hr–1 PRO. The PLA group (n = 6) received an isovolumetric noncaloric beverage. Maximal isometric quadriceps strength (QUAD), lower extremity muscle soreness (SOR), and serum creatine kinase (CK) were assessed preinjury (PRE) and immediately and 1, 2, and 3 d postinjury to assess exercise-induced muscle injury and rate of recovery. There was no effect of treatment on recovery of QUAD (p = .21), SOR (p = .56), or CK (p = .59). In all groups, QUAD was reduced compared with PRE by 20.6% ± 1.5%, 17.2% ± 2.3%, and 11.3% ± 2.3% immediately, 1, and 2 d postinjury, respectively (p < .05). SOR peaked at 2 d postinjury (PRE vs. 2 d, 3.1 ± 1.0 vs. 54.0 ± 4.8 mm, p < .01), and serum CK peaked 1 d postinjury (PRE vs. 1 d, 138 ± 47 vs. 757 ± 144 U/L, p < .01). In conclusion, consuming a CHO+PRO or CHO beverage immediately after novel eccentric exercise failed to enhance recovery of exercise-induced muscle injury differently than what was observed with a PLA drink.

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Michael L. Madigan

The purpose of this study was to investigate agerelated differences in muscle power during a surrogate task of trip recovery. Participants included 10 healthy young men (19–23 years old) and 10 healthy older men (65–83). The task involved releasing participants from a forward-leaning posture. After release, participants attempted to recover their balance using a single step of the right foot. Muscle power at the hip, knee, and ankle of the stepping limb were determined from the product of joint angular velocity and joint torque. Muscle powers during balance recovery followed a relatively consistent pattern in both young and older men, and showed effects of both lean and age. Interestingly, the effects of age did not always involve smaller peak power values in the older men as expected from the well-documented loss of muscle power with aging. Older men exhibited smaller peak muscle power at the knee and larger peak muscle power at the ankle and hip compared to young men. The increases in muscle power at the ankle and hip may result from a neuromuscular adaptation aimed at improving balance recovery ability by compensating for the age-related loss of muscle function.

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Borut Fonda and Nejc Sarabon

It has been reported in practice that the application of lower-body negative pressure (LBNP) to elite athletes during periods of intense training can help aid recovery.

Purpose:

To examine the effects of LBNP on biochemical, pain, and performance parameters during a 5-d recovery period after a damaging plyometric-exercise bout.

Design:

Randomized controlled study.

Methods:

24 healthy young female adults were randomly allocated into 2 groups. Before and 1, 24, 48, and 96 h after the damaging exercise for hamstrings (50 drop jumps and 50 leg curls), participants underwent a series of tests (blood samples, pain sensation, countermovement jump, maximal isometric torque production, maximal explosive isometric torque production, and 10-m sprint). After the damaging exercise, the experimental group was exposed to intermittent LBNP therapy daily for 60 min.

Results:

There was a statistically significant interaction (P < .05) between the experimental and control groups for maximal strength, explosive strength, pain sensation, and vertical jumps (maximal power and force). No statistically significant interaction was present for the biochemical markers, jump height, and 100-m sprint.

Conclusions:

LBNP therapy could improve recovery by limiting the loss in muscle strength and power and limiting the presence of pain.

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Sonja Terblanche, Timothy D. Noakes, Steven C. Dennis, De Wet Marais and Michael Eckert

This study examined the effect of magnesium supplementation on muscle magnesium content, on running performance during a 42-kni marathon footrace, and on muscle damage and the rate of recovery of muscle function following the race. Twenty athletes were divided equally into two matched groups and were studied for 4 weeks before and 6 weeks after a marathon in a double-blind trial; the experimental group received magnesium supplement (365 mg per day) and the control group, placebo. Magnesium supplementation did not increase either muscle or serum magnesium concentrations and had no measurable effect on 42-km marathon running performance. Extra magnesium ingestion also had no influence on the extent of muscle damage or the rate of recovery of muscle function. The latter was significantly reduced immediately after the marathon but returned to normal within 1 week. Thus, magnesium supplementation in magnesium-replete subjects did not enhance performance or increase resistance to muscle damage during the race, or the rate of recovery of muscle function following the race.

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Peter Fowler, Rob Duffield and Joanna Vaile

The current study examined the effects of short-haul air travel on competition performance and subsequent recovery. Six male professional Australian football (soccer) players were recruited to participate in the study. Data were collected from 12 matches, which included 6 home and away matches against the same 4 teams. Together with the outcome of each match, data were obtained for team technical and tactical performance indicators and individual player-movement patterns. Furthermore, sleep quantity and quality, hydration, and perceptual fatigue were measured 2 days before, the day of, and 2 days after each match. More competition points were accumulated (P > .05, d = 1.10) and fewer goals were conceded (P > .05, d = 0.93) in home than in away matches. Furthermore, more shots on goal (P > .05, d = 1.17) and corners (P > .05, d = 1.45) and fewer opposition shots on goal (P > .05, d = 1.18) and corners (P < .05, d = 2.32) occurred, alongside reduced total distance covered (P > .05, d = 1.19) and low-intensity activity (P < .05, d = 2.25) during home than during away matches. However, while oxygen saturation was significantly lower during than before and after outbound and return travel (P < .01), equivocal differences in sleep quantity and quality, hydration, and perceptual fatigue were observed before and after competition away compared with home. These results suggest that, compared with short-haul air travel, factors including situational variables, territoriality, tactics, and athlete psychological state are more important in determining match outcome. Furthermore, despite the potential for disrupted recovery patterns, return travel did not impede player recovery or perceived readiness to train.

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Kevin De Pauw, Bart Roelands, Jef Vanparijs and Romain Meeusen

Purpose:

To determine the effect of active recovery (AR), passive rest (PR), and cold-water immersion (CWI) after 90 min of intensive cycling on a subsequent 12-min time trial (TT2) and the applied pacing strategy in TT2.

Methods:

After a maximal test and familiarization trial, 9 trained male subjects (age 22 ± 3 y, VO2max 62.1 ± 5.3 mL · min−1 · kg−1) performed 3 experimental trials in the heat (30°C). Each trial consisted of 2 exercise tasks separated by 1 h. The first was a 60-min constant-load trial at 55% of the maximal power output followed by a 30-min time trial (TT1). The second comprised a 12-min simulated time trial (TT2). After TT1, AR, PR, or CWI was applied for 15 min.

Results:

No significant TT2 performance differences were observed, but a 1-sample t test (within each condition) revealed different pacing strategies during TT2. CWI resulted in an even pacing strategy, while AR and PR resulted in a gradual decline of power output after the onset of TT2 (P ≤ .046). During recovery, AR and CWI showed a trend toward faster blood lactate ([BLa]) removal, but during TT2 significantly higher [BLa] was only observed after CWI compared with PR (P = .011).

Conclusion:

The pacing strategy during subsequent cycling performance in the heat is influenced by the application of different postexercise recovery interventions. Although power was not significantly altered between groups, CWI enabled a differently shaped power profile, likely due to decreased thermal strain.

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Malte Krüger, Markus de Mareés, Karl-Heinrich Dittmar, Billy Sperlich and Joachim Mester

Purpose:

To examine the effects of a whole-body cryotherapy (WBC) protocol (3 min at –110°C) on acute recovery and key variables of endurance performance during high-intensity intermittent exercise in a thermoneutral environment.

Methods:

Eleven endurance athletes were tested twice in a randomized crossover design in which 5 × 5 min of high-intensity running (HIR) were followed by 1 h of passive rest at ~22°C, including either 3 min of whole-body exposure to –110°C (WBC) or a placebo intervention of 3 min walking (PBO). A ramp-test protocol was performed before HIR (R1) and after the 1-h recovery period (R2). Time to exhaustion (t lim) was measured along with alterations in oxygen content of the vastus lateralis (TSI), oxygen consumption (VO2), capillary blood lactate, heart rate (HR), and rating of perceived exertion (RPE) during submaximal and maximal running.

Results:

The difference in t lim between R1 and R2 was lower in WBC than in PBO (P < .05, effect size d = 1.13). During R2, TSI was higher in WBC during submaximal and maximal running (P < .01, d = 0.68−1.01). In addition, VO2, HR, and RPE were lower at submaximal level of R2 after WBC than in PBO (P = .04 to <.01, d = 0.23−0.83).

Conclusion:

WBC improves acute recovery during high-intensity intermittent exercise in thermoneutral conditions. The improvements might be induced by enhanced oxygenation of the working muscles, as well as a reduction in cardiovascular strain and increased work economy at submaximal intensities.

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Dave Collins, Calvin Morriss and John Trower

Execution of the optimum technique is the basis of high-level performance in sport. Unfortunately, however, even well-established technique can be unintentionally lost, with disastrous results for achievement. The present case study describes the design, execution, and evaluation of an intervention to aid the recovery of optimum technique in an elite javelin thrower. Using contrast style drills, in association with mental skills to promote effective learning, the intervention worked on critical performance factors identified through three-dimensional kinematic analyses. Analysis of the performer’s technique at a recent major championship provided a comparison of these performance factors and, therefore, an evaluation of the effectiveness of the intervention.

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Maximilian Pelka, Alexander Ferrauti, Tim Meyer, Mark Pfeiffer and Michael Kellmann

A recovery process with optimal prerequisites that is interrupted is termed disrupted recovery. Whether this process has an influence on performance-related factors needs to be investigated. Therefore, the aim of this study was to examine how a short disturbance of a recovery phase is assessed and whether subsequent repeated-sprint performance is affected by it. A quasi-experimental 2 × 2-factor crossover design with 34 sport-science undergraduate students (age 20.3 ± 2.1 y) was applied. Factors were the type of intervention (power nap vs systematic breathing; between-subjects) and the experimental condition (disturbed vs nondisturbed break; within-subject). Repeated-sprint performance was measured through 6 × 4-s sprint protocols (with 20-s breaks) before and after a 25-min recovery break on 2 test days. Subjective evaluation of the interventions was measured through the Short Recovery and Stress Scale and a manipulation check assessing whether participants experienced the recovery phase as efficacious and pleasant. Regarding the objective data, no significant difference between sprint performances in terms of average peak velocity (m/s) on the treadmill was found. The manipulation check revealed that disturbed conditions were rated significantly lower than regular conditions in terms of appreciation, t 31 = 3.09, P = .01. Short disturbances of recovery do not seem to affect subsequent performance; nevertheless, participants assessed disturbed conditions more negatively than regular conditions. In essence, the findings indicate a negligible role of short interruptions on an objective level. Subjectively, they affected the performance-related assessment of the participants and should be treated with caution.

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Thomas M. Doering, Peter R. Reaburn, Nattai R. Borges, Gregory R. Cox and David G. Jenkins

Following exercise-induced muscle damage (EIMD), masters athletes take longer to recover than younger athletes. The purpose of this study was to determine the effect of higher than recommended postexercise protein feedings on the recovery of knee extensor peak isometric torque (PIT), perceptions of recovery, and cycling time trial (TT) performance following EIMD in masters triathletes. Eight masters triathletes (52 ± 2 y, V̇O2max, 51.8 ± 4.2 ml•kg-1•min-1) completed two trials separated by seven days in a randomized, doubleblind, crossover study. Trials consisted of morning PIT testing and a 30-min downhill run followed by an eight-hour recovery. During recovery, a moderate (MPI; 0.3 g•kg-1•bolus-1) or high (0.6 g•kg-1•bolus-1) protein intake (HPI) was consumed in three bolus feedings at two hour intervals commencing immediately postexercise. PIT testing and a 7 kJ•kg-1 cycling TT were completed postintervention. Perceptions of recovery were assessed pre- and postexercise. The HPI did not significantly improve recovery compared with MPI (p > .05). However, comparison of within-treatment change shows the HPI provided a moderate beneficial effect (d = 0.66), attenuating the loss of afternoon PIT (-3.6%, d = 0.09) compared with the MPI (-8.6%, d = 0.24). The HPI provided a large beneficial effect (d = 0.83), reducing perceived fatigue over the eight-hour recovery (d = 1.25) compared with the MPI (d = 0.22). Despite these effects, cycling performance was unchanged (HPI = 2395 ± 297 s vs. MPI = 2369 ± 278 s; d = 0.09). In conclusion, doubling the recommended postexercise protein intake did not significantly improve recovery in masters athletes; however, HPI provided moderate to large beneficial effects on recovery that may be meaningful following EIMD.