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Elizabeth J. Durden-Myers, Margaret E. Whitehead and Niek Pot

nurturing human flourishing. Therefore, the aim of this paper is to discuss the relationship between physical literacy and human flourishing in detail, unveiling what value this connection may hold in promoting physical literacy as an element integral in achieving a full and flourishing life. Human

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Thomas Haugen, Gøran Paulsen, Stephen Seiler and Øyvind Sandbakk

Higher, faster, stronger: what are the upper limits of human performance? In a published study from January 2008, Berthelot et al 1 estimated that world records had reached 99% of its asymptotic values and that human upper performance limits in sport would be reached within 1 generation. Only

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Bart Roelands and Kevin De Pauw

Human performance optimization is probably the most studied topic in sport science, as it is in other closely related areas such as rehabilitation or settings like industry and the army. In the International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance ( IJSPP ), an abundance of studies appears

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Ilkka Heinonen, Jukka Kemppainen, Toshihiko Fujimoto, Juhani Knuuti and Kari K. Kalliokoski

-Czernik, 2012 ). Human bone marrow circulation responds to acute exercise ( Heinonen et al., 2013a , 2013b ) and local heat stress ( Heinonen et al., 2011a ), although to a lesser degree than in contracting skeletal muscles ( Heinonen et al., 2007 , 2010a , 2011b , 2015 ). In addition to its perfusion, the

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Ildus I. Ahmetov, Olga L. Vinogradova and Alun G. Williams

The ability to perform aerobic or anaerobic exercise varies widely among individuals, partially depending on their muscle-fiber composition. Variability in the proportion of skeletal-muscle fiber types may also explain marked differences in aspects of certain chronic disease states including obesity, insulin resistance, and hypertension. In untrained individuals, the proportion of slow-twitch (Type I) fibers in the vastus lateralis muscle is typically around 50% (range 5–90%), and it is unusual for them to undergo conversion to fast-twitch fibers. It has been suggested that the genetic component for the observed variability in the proportion of Type I fibers in human muscles is on the order of 40–50%, indicating that muscle fiber-type composition is determined by both genotype and environment. This article briefly reviews current progress in the understanding of genetic determinism of fiber-type proportion in human skeletal muscle. Several polymorphisms of genes involved in the calcineurin–NFAT pathway, mitochondrial biogenesis, glucose and lipid metabolism, cytoskeletal function, hypoxia and angiogenesis, and circulatory homeostasis have been associated with fiber-type composition. As muscle is a major contributor to metabolism and physical strength and can readily adapt, it is not surprising that many of these gene variants have been associated with physical performance and athlete status, as well as metabolic and cardiovascular diseases. Genetic variants associated with fiber-type proportions have important implications for our understanding of muscle function in both health and disease.

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Lawrence E. Armstrong, Amy C. Pumerantz, Kelly A. Fiala, Melissa W. Roti, Stavros A. Kavouras, Douglas J. Casa and Carl M. Maresh

It is difficult to describe hydration status and hydration extremes because fluid intakes and excretion patterns of free-living individuals are poorly documented and regulation of human water balance is complex and dynamic. This investigation provided reference values for euhydration (i.e., body mass, daily fluid intake, serum osmolality; M ± SD); it also compared urinary indices in initial morning samples and 24-hr collections. Five observations of 59 healthy, active men (age 22 ± 3 yr, body mass 75.1 ± 7.9 kg) occurred during a 12-d period. Participants maintained detailed records of daily food and fluid intake and exercise. Results indicated that the mean total fluid intake in beverages, pure water, and solid foods was >2.1 L/24 hr (range 1.382–3.261, 95% confidence interval 0.970–3.778 L/24 hr); mean urine volume was >1.3 L/24 hr (0.875–2.250 and 0.675–3.000 L/24 hr); mean urine specific gravity was >1.018 (1.011–1.027 and 1.009–1.030); and mean urine color was ≥4 (4–6 and 2–7). However, these men rarely (0–2% of measurements) achieved a urine specific gravity below 1.010 or color of 1. The first morning urine sample was more concentrated than the 24-h urine collection, likely because fluids were not consumed overnight. Furthermore, urine specific gravity and osmolality were strongly correlated (r2 = .81–.91, p < .001) in both morning and 24-hr collections. These findings provide euhydration reference values and hydration extremes for 7 commonly used indices in free-living, healthy, active men who were not exercising in a hot environment or training strenuously.

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Jeffrey J. Brault, Theodore F. Towse, Jill M. Slade and Ronald A. Meyer

Short-term creatine supplementation is reported to result in a decreased ratio of phosphocreatine (PCr) to total creatine (TCr) in human skeletal muscle at rest. Assuming equilibrium of the creatine kinase reaction, this decrease in PCr:TCr implies increased cytoplasmic ADP and decreased Gibbs free energy of ATP hydrolysis in muscle, which seems contrary to the reported ergogenic benefits of creatine supplementation. This study measured changes in PCr and TCr in vastus lateralis muscle of adult men (N = 6, 21–35 y old) during and 1 day after 5 d of creatine monohydrate supplementation (0.43 g·kg body weight−1·d−1) using noninvasive 31P and 1H magnetic-resonance spectroscopy (MRS). Plasma and red-blood-cell creatine increased by 10-fold and 2-fold, respectively, by the third day of supplementation. MRS-measured skeletal muscle PCr and TCr increased linearly and in parallel throughout the 5 d, and there was no significant difference in the percentage increase in muscle PCr (11.7% ± 2.3% after 5 d) vs. TCr (14.9% ± 4.1%) at any time point. The results indicate that creatine supplementation does not alter the PCr:TCr ratio, and hence the cytoplasmic Gibbs free energy of ATP hydrolysis, in human skeletal muscle at rest.

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David Preen, Brian Dawson, Carmel Goodman, John Beilby and Simon Ching

The purposes of this investigation were first to determine the impact of 3 different creatine (Cr) loading procedures on skeletal muscle total Cr (TCr) accumulation and, second, to evaluate the effectiveness of 2 maintenance regimes on retaining intramuscular TCr stores, in the 6 weeks following a 5-day Cr loading program (20 g · day−1). Eighteen physically active male subjects were divided into 3 equal groups and administered either: (a) Cr (4 X 5 g · day−1 X 5 days), (b) Glucose+Cr (1 g · kg−1 of body mass twice per day), or (c) Cr in conjunction with 60 min of daily muscular (repeated-sprint) exercise. Following the 5-day loading period, subjects were reassigned to 3 maintenance groups and ingested either 0 g · day−1, 2 g · day−1 or 5 g · day−1 of Cr for a period of 6 weeks. Muscle biopsy samples (vastus lateralis) were taken pre- and post-loading as well as post-maintenance and analyzed for skeletal muscle ATP, phosphocreatine (PCr), Cr, and TCr concentrations. Twenty-four hour urine samples were collected for each of the loading days and last 2 maintenance days, and used to determine whole body Cr retention. Post-loading TCr stores were significantly (p < .05) increased in all treatment conditions. The Glucose+Cr condition produced a greater elevation (p < .05) in TCr concentrations (25%) than the Cr Only (16%) or Exercise+Cr (18%) groups. Following the maintenance period, muscle TCr stores were still similar to post-loading values for both the 2 g · day−1 and 5 g · day−1 conditions. Intramuscular TCr values for the 0 g · day−1 condition were significantly lower than the other conditions after the 6-week period. Although not significantly different from pre-loading concentrations, muscle TCr for the 0 g · day−1 group had not fully returned to baseline levels at 6 weeks post-loading. The data suggests that Glucose+Cr (but with a much smaller glucose intake than currently accepted) is potentially the most effective means of elevating TCr accumulation in human skeletal muscle. Furthermore, after 5 days of Cr loading, elevated muscle TCr concentrations can be maintained by the ingestion of small daily Cr doses (2-5 g) for a period of 6 weeks and that TCr concentrations may take longer than currently accepted to return to baseline values after such a Cr loading regime.

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Xiaocai Shi and Dennis H. Passe

The purpose of this study is to summarize water, carbohydrate (CHO), and electrolyte absorption from carbohydrate- electrolyte (CHO-E) solutions based on all of the triple-lumen-perfusion studies in humans since the early 1960s. The current statistical analysis included 30 reports from which were obtained information on water absorption, CHO absorption, total solute absorption, CHO concentration, CHO type, osmolality, sodium concentration, and sodium absorption in the different gut segments during exercise and at rest. Mean differences were assessed using independent-samples t tests. Exploratory multiple-regression analyses were conducted to create prediction models for intestinal water absorption. The factors influencing water and solute absorption are carefully evaluated and extensively discussed. The authors suggest that in the human proximal small intestine, water absorption is related to both total solute and CHO absorption; osmolality exerts various impacts on water absorption in the different segments; the multiple types of CHO in the ingested CHO-E solutions play a critical role in stimulating CHO, sodium, total solute, and water absorption; CHO concentration is negatively related to water absorption; and exercise may result in greater water absorption than rest. A potential regression model for predicting water absorption is also proposed for future research and practical application. In conclusion, water absorption in the human small intestine is influenced by osmolality, solute absorption, and the anatomical structures of gut segments. Multiple types of CHO in a CHO-E solution facilitate water absorption by stimulating CHO and solute absorption and lowering osmolality in the intestinal lumen.

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Eric D.B. Goulet

Glycerol-induced hyperhydration (GIH) has been shown to improve fluid retention and endurance performance compared with water-induced hyperhydration. The goal of this article is to report on what is known and unknown about how glycerol-containing hyperhydration solutions (GCHSs) are processed at the stomach and intestine level, propose strategies to improve the efficacy of GIH, and provide research questions for future studies. Through statistical analyses, it is demonstrated that the effectiveness of GCHSs in increasing fluid retention is maximized when fluid ingestion is in the upper range of what is normally administered by studies (~26 ml/kg body weight) and the duration of the protocol is no longer than the time it takes for the glycerol-fluid load to be totally or nearly completely integrated inside the body. The rate of gastric emptying and intestinal absorption of GCHSs is unknown. However, based on an analysis of indirect evidence obtained from human studies, it is proposed that most glycerol (~80 g) and fluid (~1,700 ml) ingested during a typical GIH protocol can be integrated inside the body within 60–90 min. Whether the stress associated with competition could alter these figures is unknown. Research in rats indicates that combining glycerol with glucose at a 3:1 ratio accelerates intestinal absorption of both glycerol and water, thereby potentially improving the efficacy of GIH. Human studies must be conducted to determine how GCHSs are processed by the gastrointestinal system and whether adding glucose to GCHSs could improve the technique’s efficacy.