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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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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.

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David Criswell, Scott Powers, John Lawler, John Tew, Stephen Dodd, Yryik Iryiboz, Richard Tulley and Keith Wheeler

This study compared the efficacy of a 7% glucose polymer beverage containing electrolytes (GP) versus a nonnutrient, nonelectrolyte placebo (P) in maintaining blood homeostasis during recovery from football and determined whether consumption of the GP beverage improved anaerobic performance immediately after football competition when compared with the placebo. Forty-four high school football players participated in a 50-play scrimmage designed to simulate game conditions. At each of six periods before and during the scrimmage, players consumed 170 ml of the GP or P beverage. Eight maximal-effort 40-yd sprints (40-sec rest intervals) were performed before and after the scrimmage to assess the decrement in anaerobic performance from the scrimmage. Venous blood samples were drawn before and after the scrimmage and analyzed. The pre- to postscrimmage differences in mean and peak sprint velocities did not differ between treatments, nor did body weight and plasma. In contrast, the percent decrease in plasma volume was significantly greater in the P group. Postscrimmage increases in glucose and insulin were greater in the GP group. These data suggest that CHO-electrolyte drinks do not prevent a decline in anaerobic performance when compared to water, but a CMO-electrolyte drink is more effective in maintaining PV than water during recovery from anaerobic exercise.

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Hsiao-Yun Chang, Chen-Sheng Chen, Shun-Hwa Wei and Chi-Huang Huang

Context:

Fatigue of the shoulder rotator muscles may negatively affect joint position sense (JPS) and ultimately lead to injury.

Objective:

Recovery of shoulder JPS after muscle fatigue.

Design:

A repeated-measures study.

Setting:

Musculoskeletal research laboratory.

Patients:

Thirteen subjects participated in joint position error tests and isokinetic concentric strength assessment in shoulder rotation, before and after rotator muscle fatigue.

Interventions:

Local muscle fatigue was induced using isokinetic concentric contractions of the shoulder rotator muscles.

Main Outcome Measurements:

Shoulder rotator strength and JPS error signals were measured before fatigue, immediately after fatigue, and every ten minutes thereafter for one hour.

Results:

Before shoulder rotation muscle fatigue, the accuracy of shoulder JPS was 2.79 ± 1.67 degrees. After muscle fatigue, the accuracy decreased to 6.39 ± 2.90 degrees. Shoulder JPS was influenced up to 40 minutes after muscle fatigue, but shoulder strength was only affected for 10 minutes after muscle fatigue.

Conclusions:

Proprioceptive recovery was slower than strength following fatigue of the shoulder rotators.

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Mary P. Miles, Sherri D. Pearson, Jan M. Andring, Jessy R. Kidd and Stella L. Volpe

The purpose of this investigation was to determine whether carbohydrate supplementation during the frst 2 d post exercise recovery influenced the inflammation (IL-6, C-reactive protein [CRP], and cortisol) and muscle-damage responses. Eight participants performed a high-force eccentric elbow-fexion exercise to induce muscle soreness and inflammation and then consumed carbohydrate (0.25 g·kg−1·h−1) or an equal volume of placebo during hours 0–12 and 24–36 post exercise in a double-blind, crossover protocol. Muscle soreness; mid brachial arm circumference; blood glucose, IL-6, CRP, cortisol, and creatine-kinase (CK) activity; and maximal force production were measured pre exercise and 4, 8, 12, 24, 48, and 120 h post exercise. Plasma IL-6 increased, F(5) = 5.27, P < 0.05, 8 h post exercise, with no difference between carbohydrate and placebo conditions. Changes in muscle soreness, arm circumference, strength, and serum CK activity were consistent with small amounts of muscle damage and did not differ between conditions. The authors conclude that carbohydrate supplementation during recovery from soreness-inducing exercise does not influence the delayed IL-6 response temporally linked to inflammation or indications of muscle damage. Thus, increased carbohydrate consumption at levels consistent with recommendations for replenishing glycogen stores does not impair or promote the immune and muscle responses.

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Yanita McLeay, Stephen R Stannard, Toby Mundel, Andrew Foskett and Matthew Barnes

This study was designed to investigate the effects of alcohol consumption on recovery of muscle force when consumed immediately postexercise in young females. Eight young women completed 300 maximal eccentric actions of the quadriceps femoris muscle on an isokinetic dynamometer on two occasions in a randomized, cross-over design after which an alcoholic beverage (0.88g ethanol/kg body weight) or an iso-caloric placebo was consumed. Maximal isokinetic (concentric and eccentric) torque and isometric tension produced across the knee were measured in both the exercised and control leg predamage, 36 hr post, and 60 hr post damage. Venous blood creatine kinase (CK) activity and muscle soreness ratings were taken before damage and once per day to 60 hr post damage. Significant differences were observed between the exercised and control leg for maximal concentric, and eccentric torque and isometric tension (p < .05). A near significant Treatment × Time interaction was observed for isometric tension (p = .077), but not for concentric or eccentric torque. No main effects of treatment (alcohol) or interactions with Time × Leg or Leg × Treatment were observed. Perceived muscle soreness during box stepping and squatting showed significant time effects (p < .05), and CK activity did not significantly change. Our results indicate that the consumption of 0.88g ethanol/kg body weight following eccentric exercise-induced muscle damage does not affect recovery in the days following damage in females.

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Gulcan Harput, H. Erkan Kilinc, Hamza Ozer, Gul Baltaci and Carl G. Mattacola

Context:

There is lack of information related to quadriceps and hamstring strength recovery during the early period of rehabilitation after anterior cruciate ligament reconstruction (ACLR) using hamstring-tendon graft (HTG).

Objective:

To investigate quadriceps and hamstring isometric strength at 4-, 8-, and 12-wk time points after ACLR and to document the strength changes of these muscles over time.

Design:

Longitudinal study.

Participants:

24 patients (age 28.1 ± 8.1 y) who underwent unilateral single-bundle anatomic ACLR with 4-strand semitendinosus and gracilis tendon graft.

Main Outcome Measures:

The isometric strength of quadriceps and hamstring muscles was measured on an isokinetic dynamometer at a 60° knee-flexion angle 4, 8, and 12 wk after surgery.

Results:

Quadriceps and hamstring strength significantly increased over time for both the involved limb (quadriceps F 2,46 = 58.3, P < .001; hamstring F 2,46 = 35.7, P < .001) and uninvolved limb (quadriceps F 2,46 = 17.9, P < .001; hamstring F 2,46 = 56.9, P = .001). Quadriceps and hamstring indexes significantly changed from 4 wk (QI 57.9, HI 54.4) to 8 wk (QI 78.8, HI 69.9) and from 8 wk to 12 wk (QI 82, HI 75.7) (P < .001); however, there was no difference between indexes at the 12-wk time point (P = .17).

Conclusions:

The results of this study serve as a reference for clinicians while directing a rehabilitation protocol for HTG ACLR patients to better appreciate expected strength changes of the muscles in the early phase of recovery.

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Joanne L. Fallowfield and Clyde Williams

The present study examined the influence of ingesting 3.0 g CHO · kg1 body mass ⋅ 2 hr1 after prolonged exercise on recovery and running capacity 4 hr later. Nine men and 8 women completed two trials in a counterbalanced design. Each trial consisted of a 90-min run on a level treadmill at 70% VO2max (Rt) followed by 4 hr recovery (REC) and a further exhaustive run at 70% VO2max (R2). During REC, subjects ingested either two feedings of a 6.9% glucose-polymer (GP) solution (D trial) or two feedings of a 19.3% GP solution (C trial). There were no differences in mean (±SE) R2 run times between the C and D trials or between the male and female subjects. More stable blood glucose concentrations were maintained during REC in the C trial, such that blood glucose was elevated in the C trial in comparison with the D trial after 210 min of REC. It was concluded that increasing postexercise carbohydrate intake from 1.0 to 3.0 g CHO ⋅ Kg1 body mass 2 hr1 does not improve endurance capacity 1 hr later.