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Column-editor : Debra M. Vinci

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Kirk J. Cureton, Gordon L. Warren, Mindy L. Millard-Stafford, Jonathan E. Wingo, Jennifer Trilk and Maxime Buyckx

This double-blind experiment examined the effects of a caffeinated sports drink during prolonged cycling in a warm environment. Sixteen highly trained cyclists completed 3 trials: placebo, carbohydrate-electrolyte sports drink (CES), and caffeinated sports drink (CES+CAF). Subjects cycled for 135 min, alternating between 60% and 75% VO2max every 15 min for the first 120 min, followed by a 15-min performance ride. Maximal voluntary (MVC) and electrically evoked contractile properties of the knee extensors were measured before and after cycling. Work completed during the performance ride was 15–23% greater for CES+CAF than for the other beverages. Ratings of perceived exertion were lower with CES+CAF than with placebo and CES. After cycling, the MVC strength loss was two-thirds less for CES+CAF than for the other beverages (5% vs. 15%). Data from the interpolated-twitch technique indicated that attenuated strength loss with CES+CAF was explained by reduced intrinsic muscle fatigue.

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Brent C. Mangus and Cynthia A. Trowbridge

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Priscilla M. Clarkson

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David M. Morris, Rebecca S. Shafer, Kimberly R. Fairbrother and Mark W. Woodall

The authors sought to determine the effects of oral lactate consumption on blood bicarbonate (HCO3−) levels, pH levels, and performance during high-intensity exercise on a cycle ergometer. Subjects (N = 11) were trained male and female cyclists. Time to exhaustion (TTE) and total work were measured during high-intensity exercise bouts 80 min after the consumption of 120 mg/kg body mass of lactate (L), an equal volume of placebo (PL), or no treatment (NT). Blood HCO3− increased significantly after ingestion of lactate (p < .05) but was not affected in PL or NT (p > .05). No changes in pH were observed as a result of treatment. TTE and total work during the performance test increased significantly by 17% in L compared with PL and NT (p = .02). No significant differences in TTE and total work were seen between the PL and NT protocols (p = .85). The authors conclude that consuming 120 mg/kg body mass of lactate increases HCO3− levels and increases exercise performance during high-intensity cycling ergometry to exhaustion.

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Mark Russell, Aden King, Richard. M. Bracken, Christian. J. Cook, Thibault Giroud and Liam. P. Kilduff

Purpose:

To assess the effects of different modes of morning (AM) exercise on afternoon (PM) performance and salivary hormone responses in professional rugby union players.

Methods:

On 4 occasions (randomized, crossover design), 15 professional rugby players provided AM (~8 AM) and PM (~2 PM) saliva samples before PM assessments of countermovement-jump height, reaction time, and repeated-sprint ability. Control (passive rest), weights (bench press: 5 × 10 repetitions, 75% 1-repetition maximum, 90-s intraset recovery), cycling (6 × 6-s maximal sprint cycling, 7.5% body mass load, 54-s intraset recovery), and running (6 × 40-m maximal sprints, 20-s intraset recovery) interventions preceded (~5 h) PM testing.

Results:

PM sprint performance improved (P < .05) after weights (>0.15 ± 0.19 s, >2.04% ± 2.46%) and running (>0.15 ± 0.17 s, >2.12% ± 2.22%) but not cycling (P > .05). PM jump height increased after cycling (0.012 ± 0.009 m, 2.31% ± 1.76%, P < .001) and running (0.020 ± 0.009 m, 3.90% ± 1.79%, P < .001) but not weights (P = .936). Reaction time remained unchanged between trials (P = .379). Relative to control (131 ± 21 pg/mL), PM testosterone was greater in weights (21 ± 23 pg/mL, 17% ± 18%, P = .002) and running (28 ± 26 pg/mL, 22% ± 20%, P = .001) but not cycling (P = .072). Salivary cortisol was unaffected by AM exercise (P = .540).

Conclusions:

All modes of AM exercise improved at least 1 marker of PM performance, but running appeared the most beneficial to professional rugby union players. A rationale therefore exists for preceding PM competition with AM exercise.

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Nnamdi Gwacham and Dale R. Wagner

Consumption of energy drinks is common among athletes; however, there is a lack of research on the efficacy of these beverages for short-duration, intense exercise. The purpose of this research was to investigate the acute effects of a low-calorie caffeine-taurine energy drink (AdvoCare Spark) on repeated sprint performance and anaerobic power in National Collegiate Athletic Association Division I football players. Twenty football players (age 19.7 ± 1.8 yr, height 184.9 ± 5.3 cm, weight 100.3 ± 21.7 kg) participated in a double-blind, randomized crossover study in which they received the energy drink or an isoenergetic, isovolumetric, noncaffeinated placebo in 2 trials separated by 7 days. The Running Based Anaerobic Sprint Test, consisting of six 35-m sprints with 10 s of rest between sprints, was used to assess anaerobic power. Sprint times were recorded with an automatic electronic timer. The beverage treatment did not significantly affect power (F = 3.84, p = .066) or sprint time (F = 3.06, p = .097). However, there was a significant interaction effect between caffeine use and the beverage for sprint times (F = 4.62, p = .045), as well as for anaerobic power (F = 5.40, p = .032), indicating a confounding effect. In conclusion, a caffeine-taurine energy drink did not improve the sprint performance or anaerobic power of college football players, but the level of caffeine use by the athletes likely influenced the effect of the drink.

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Rodrigo De Araujo Bonetti De Poli, Willian Eiji Miyagi, Fabio Yuzo Nakamura and Alessandro Moura Zagatto

The aim of the current study was to investigate the effects of acute caffeine supplementation on anaerobic capacity determined by the alternative maximal accumulated oxygen deficit (MAODALT) in running effort. Eighteen recreational male runners [29 ± 7years; total body mass 72.1 ± 5.8 kg; height 176.0 ± 5.4cm; maximal oxygen uptake (VO2max) 55.8 ± 4.2 ml·kg-1 ·min-1] underwent a graded exercise test. Caffeine (6 mg·kg-1) or a placebo were administered 1 hr before the supramaximal effort at 115% of the intensity associated with VO2max in a double-blind, randomized cross-over study, for MAODALT assessment. The time to exhaustion under caffeine condition (130.2 ± 24.5s) was 11.3% higher (p = .01) than placebo condition (118.8 ± 24.9 s) and the qualitative inference for substantial changes showed a very likely positive effect (93%). The net participation of the oxidative phosphorylation pathway was significantly higher in the caffeine condition (p = .02) and showed a likely positive effect (90%) of 15.3% with caffeine supplementation. The time constant of abrupt decay of excess postexercise oxygen consumption (τ1) was significantly different between caffeine and placebo conditions (p = .03) and showed a likely negative effect (90%), decreasing -8.0% with caffeine supplementation. The oxygen equivalents estimated from the glycolytic and phosphagen metabolic pathways showed a possibly positive effect (68%) and possibly negative effect (78%) in the qualitative inference with caffeine ingestion, respectively. However, the MAODALT did not differ under the caffeine or placebo conditions (p = .68). Therefore, we can conclude that acute caffeine ingestion does not modify the MAODALT, reinforcing the robustness of this method. However, caffeine ingestion can alter the glycolytic and phosphagen metabolic pathway contributions to MAODALT.

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Diego R. Redondo, Elizabeth A. Dowling, Bryan L. Graham, Anthony L. Almada and Melvin H. Williams

Creatine supplementation has been shown to augment muscle PCr content and increase the rate of ATP resynthesis. Thus, we hypothesized that creatine supplementation might enhance sprinting performance. Eighteen subjects completed both of two testing sessions (control and postsupplement) 1 week apart, wherein they sprinted three 60-m distance trials that were recorded with videotape. Following the control session, for 7 days, subjects in the treatment group ingested a creatine-glucose mixture, while the placebo group consumed a glucose powder, followed by the postsupplementation session. Velocities of the subjects through three testing zones within the 60-m sprint were calculated from the videotape. Resultant velocities were analyzed using a MANOVA with a2x2x3x3 (Group x Session x Trial x Zone) design. Results indicated that there were no statistically significant main or interaction effects on velocity between groups for session, trial, or zone. These data do not support the hypothesis that supplementary creatine ingestion will enhance velocity during the early or latter segments of a 60-m sprint.

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Melissa J. Crowe, Donna M. O’Connor and Joann E. Lukins

This study aimed to investigate the effects of 6 wk oral supplementation of ß-hydroxy- ß-methylbutyrate (HMB) and HMB combined with creatine monohy-drate (HMBCr) on indices of health in highly trained athletes. Elite, male rugby league players (n = 28) were allocated to 1 of 3 groups: a control group (n = 6), a HMB group (3 g/d; n = 11), or a HMBCr group (3 g/day HMB, 3 g/d Cr; n = 11). Testing prior to, and immediately following, supplementation included a full blood count, plasma testosterone and cortisol, blood electrolytes, lipids, urea and glucose, sperm count and motility, and assessment of psychological state. A 3 X 2 factorial ANOVA revealed no effect of HMB or HMBCr on any of the measured parameters except minor changes in blood bicarbonate and blood monocyte and lymphocyte counts. Blood bicarbonate was significantly decreased in the HMB post-supplementation sample compared to the control and HMBCr groups. Blood monocyte and lymphocyte counts showed no within-group changes for HMB or HMBCr supplementation but were significantly different from the control. However, the majority of these readings remained within normal range. HMB and HMBCr were concluded to have no adverse effects on the parameters evaluated in this study when taken orally by highly trained male athletes over a 6-wk period.