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Omega-3 Polyunsaturated Fatty Acids in Physical Performance Optimization

Timothy D. Mickleborough

Increased muscle oxidative stress and inflammatory responses among athletes have been reported consistently. In addition, it is well known that exhaustive or unaccustomed exercise can lead to muscle fatigue, delayed-onset muscle soreness, and a decrement in performance. Omega-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) have been shown to decrease the production of inflammatory eicosanoids, cytokines, and reactive oxygen species; have immunomodulatory effects; and attenuate inflammatory diseases. While a number of studies have assessed the efficacy of omega-3 PUFA supplementation on red blood cell deformability, muscle damage, inflammation, and metabolism during exercise, only a few have evaluated the impact of omega-3 PUFA supplementation on exercise performance. It has been suggested that the ingestion of EPA and DHA of approximately 1–2 g/d, at a ratio of EPA to DHA of 2:1, may be beneficial in counteracting exercise-induced inflammation and for the overall athlete health. However, the human data are inconclusive as to whether omega-3 PUFA supplementation at this dosage is effective in attenuating the inflammatory and immunomodulatory response to exercise and improving exercise performance. Thus, attempts should be made to establish an optimal omega-3 fatty-acid dosage to maximize the risk-to-reward ratio of supplementation. It should be noted that high omega-3 PUFA consumption may lead to immunosuppression and prolong bleeding time. Future studies investigating the efficacy of omega-3 PUFA supplementation in exercise-trained individuals should consider using an exercise protocol of sufficient duration and intensity to produce a more robust oxidative and inflammatory response.

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Sport Biofeedback: Exploring Implications and Limitations of Its Use

Kendra Nelson Ferguson and Craig Hall

Biofeedback is among the various self-regulation techniques that mental performance consultants can utilize in their practice with athletes. Biofeedback produces psychophysiological assessments in real time to enhance awareness of thoughts and emotions. Quantitatively, research shows that biofeedback can facilitate self-regulation, allowing an athlete to gain control over psychophysiological responses that could be detrimental to performance. With technology becoming a widespread tool in monitoring psychophysiological states, an exploration of consultants’ use of biofeedback, their perceptions of effectiveness, and limitations of their use was warranted to qualitatively evaluate efficiency of the tool. A qualitative descriptive approach was taken through semistructured interviews with 10 mental performance consultants. Inductive reasoning uncovered three themes: positive implications, practical limitations, and equipment options. With biofeedback, athletes have the ability to develop a deeper level of self-awareness and thereby facilitate the use of self-regulation strategies intended for optimal performance states and outcomes.

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Examining the Effects of an Interspersed Biofeedback Training Intervention on Physiological Indices

Kendra Nelson Ferguson, Craig Hall, and Alison Divine

The study aimed to determine whether athletes who practice biofeedback are able to self-regulate by reaching resonance frequency and gaining physiological control quicker than if practice time integrates imagery or a rest period. Intervention effectiveness (e.g., intervention length, time spent training) was also explored. Twenty-seven university athletes were assigned to one of three groups: (a) biofeedback (i.e., continuous training), (b) biofeedback/imagery (i.e., interspersed with imagery), and (c) biofeedback/rest (i.e., interspersed with a rest period). Five biofeedback sessions training respiration rate, heart rate variability, and skin conductance were conducted. A repeated-measure analysis of variance showed a significant interaction between groups over time (p ≤ .05) for respiration rate, heart rate variability, and skin conductance, indicating that resonance frequency and physiological control was regained following imagery or a rest period. Postmanipulation check data found intervention length and training time to be sufficient. Combining imagery with biofeedback may optimize management of psychophysiological processes.

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Gender Differences in Static and Dynamic Postural Stability of Soldiers in the Army’s 101st Airborne Division (Air Assault)

Timothy C. Sell, Mita T. Lovalekar, Takashi Nagai, Michael D. Wirt, John P. Abt, and Scott M. Lephart

examination of postural stability is necessary for injury prevention and performance optimization research due to the frequent occurrence of lower extremity injuries in the military and the dynamic activities that military personnel perform. The purpose of the current study was to examine and compare the

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Optimized Simulation of Upper Body Timing on the Production of Bat-Head Speed in Baseball Batting

Kazumichi Ae, Dave Burke, Takashi Kawamura, and Sekiya Koike

, that is, the bat-ball impact. Although Ae et al 20 developed an angle-driven simulation model of baseball batting, the model was not able to evaluate the joint torques to assess the validity of the performance optimization. In order to explore an optimal motion more accurately and realistically the

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The Use of Recovery Strategies in Professional Soccer: A Worldwide Survey

Adam Field, Liam D. Harper, Bryna C.R. Chrismas, Peter M. Fowler, Alan McCall, Darren J. Paul, Karim Chamari, and Lee Taylor

Performance optimization 13 11 4 Nutrition centered 5 7 8 Readiness for upcoming match 10 6 3 Facilitate adaptation 8 6 4 Conditioning maintenance 3 4 6 Psychological relief 5 1 6 Sleep centered 6 4 2 Health focused 4 2 3 Total (%) 97 67 51 Note: In ranking positions where totals do not reach 100%—the

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The Use of Electrostimulation Exercise in Competitive Sport

Nicola A. Maffiuletti

After a brief introduction on electro stimulation methodology and applications in competitive sport for performance optimization, this technical report presents the principal effects of electro stimulation-induced resistance exercise on neuromus-cular features. The advantages and limitations of this technique compared with those of voluntary exercise training are also discussed.

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Performance Factors and Strategies Favored by French Olympic Athletes

Helene Joncheray, Fabrice Burlot, Nicolas Besombes, Sébastien Dalgalarrondo, and Mathilde Desenfant

context, this article questions more specifically (a) the factors of sports performance optimization, recognized and privileged by elite athletes, and (b) the establishment of these factors. To identify and understand the factors identified by athletes as having an impact on their performance, and how

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Football Research Takes Center Stage

Iñigo Mujika and Karim Chamari

performance optimization, particularly in the context of periodization issues and environmental constraints. This major sporting event also offers sport-science practitioners a remarkable opportunity to put in place preparation strategies drawn from sound applied research, to collect high-quality data on the

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Technological Impact on Human Performance

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