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Sports, Volume 8, Issue 10 (October 2020) – 9 articles

Cover Story (view full-size image): The ketogenic diet has become a topic of discussion among various sporting disciplines due to its potential to enhance body composition, physical health, psychological well-being, and sports performance of athletes. This study, for the first time, collated and analyzed the available literature on the efficacy of a ketogenic diet among both well-trained and trained athletic populations. The results suggest that the ketogenic diet may elicit beneficial effects on body weight, fat mass, and fat oxidation while also producing potentially deleterious effects on stool microbiota, iron metabolism, and bone health among athletic populations. View this paper
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Open AccessArticle
Impact of COVID-19 Lockdown on Physical Activity in a Sample of Greek Adults
Sports 2020, 8(10), 139; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports8100139 - 21 Oct 2020
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 1877
Abstract
It is well known that physical inactivity increases the risk of global death; however, the impact of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) lockdown strategy on physical activity (PA) remains unclear. This study compared PA—i.e., daily occupation, transportation to and from daily occupation, leisure [...] Read more.
It is well known that physical inactivity increases the risk of global death; however, the impact of the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) lockdown strategy on physical activity (PA) remains unclear. This study compared PA—i.e., daily occupation, transportation to and from daily occupation, leisure time activities, and regular sporting activities—prior (PRE) and during (POST) the on-going COVID-19 outbreak in the Greece lockdown environment. A Greek version of the web-based Active-Q questionnaire was used to access PA. The questionnaire was filled out twice (once each for the PRE and POST conditions) by 8495 participants (age = 37.2 ± 0.2 years (95% confidence interval (CI), 36.9–37.5); males = 38.3% (95%CI, 36.7–40.0); females = 61.7% (95%CI, 60.4–63.0). The relative frequency of overall sporting activities, which, prior to lockdown, occurred at least once per month, and overall participation in competitive sports was significantly reduced (8.6% (95%CI, 7.9–9.3) and 84.7% (95%CI, 82.9–86.6) respectively). With the exception of overall leisure time activities, which were significantly increased in the POST condition, daily occupational, transportation, and sporting activities significant reduced (p < 0.05). Overall PA was reduced in all genders, age, body mass index (BMI) and PA level subgroups in the POST condition, and an interaction between the males and High PA subgroups was observed. The change in overall PA (from PRE to POST conditions) was −16.3% (95%CI, −17.3 to −15.4), while in daily occupational, transportation, and sporting activities, it was −52.9% (95%CI, −54.8–51.0), −41.1% (95%CI, −42.8–39.5) and −23.9% (95%CI, −25.1–22.8), respectively. Thus, the lockdown period is highly associated with a negative change in overall PA. During lockdown, inactivity increased dramatically, with males and the high PA population affected significantly more. The decline in PA is a great concern due to possible long-term consequences on public health and healthcare system. Full article
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
The Effects of Strength and Conditioning in Physical Education on Athletic Motor Skill Competencies and Psychological Attributes of Secondary School Children: A Pilot Study
Sports 2020, 8(10), 138; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports8100138 - 17 Oct 2020
Viewed by 1360
Abstract
Leading global physical activity guidelines advocate that young children need to engage in activities that strengthen musculoskeletal tissues and improve movement skill competency. The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of delivering strength and conditioning as part of the physical [...] Read more.
Leading global physical activity guidelines advocate that young children need to engage in activities that strengthen musculoskeletal tissues and improve movement skill competency. The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of delivering strength and conditioning as part of the physical education curriculum on athletic motor skill competencies (AMSC), physical performance, and psychosocial factors. Forty-six school children aged 11–14 were included in the study, and sub-divided firstly by sex and then into intervention and control groups. Intervention groups received nine lessons of strength and conditioning based activities over a six-week period, while the control groups continued with traditional physical education curricula. The resistance training skills battery (RTSB) and tuck jump assessment (TJA) assessed AMSC. Standing long jump distance assessed lower limb strength, and online surveys examined motivation, physical self-efficacy and self-esteem. Male and female intervention groups significantly improved RTSB (p > 0.05) whereas no changes were observed in the control groups. No changes were observed in the intervention groups TJA and only trivial and small non-significant changes in standing long jump performance. Significant increases in motivation of the male intervention group occurred. Strength and conditioning integrated in physical education can improve AMSC in short-term interventions. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Acute Effects of Supervised Making Weight on Health Markers, Hormones and Body Composition in Muay Thai Fighters
Sports 2020, 8(10), 137; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports8100137 - 16 Oct 2020
Viewed by 1205
Abstract
Making weight is a practice often used in combat sports. This consists of a rapid weight loss (RWL) and a subsequent rapid weight gain (RWG) in the days preceding competition. However, this practice is often carried out based on anecdotal information provided by [...] Read more.
Making weight is a practice often used in combat sports. This consists of a rapid weight loss (RWL) and a subsequent rapid weight gain (RWG) in the days preceding competition. However, this practice is often carried out based on anecdotal information provided by ex-athletes or non-professionals, which has led to several adverse events. This study aimed to assess the acute effects of a supervised nutritional period of RWL/RWG on health markers, hormone concentrations, and body composition. We performed a single-arm repeated-measures (baseline, after RWL and after RWG) clinical trial with twenty-one (8F:16M) Italian Muay Thai fighters. Body mass was significantly lower after the RWL (−4.1%) while there was a significantly higher glucose availability after RWL and RWG. Blood urea nitrogen, lipid profile, and creatinine were within the normal range after RWL/RWG. Testosterone decrease significantly after RWL and RWG in the men group. Male fighters had a significant reduction in thyroid-stimulating hormone concentration after the RWL and RWG intervention, but no change was found in women at pre-competition. Bioelectrical parameters were almost fully restored after RWG. An evidence-based and individualized nutrition methodology reduces the adverse events after an RWL and RWG practice, although the impact on the hormonal profile is inevitable. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Associations between Multimodal Fitness Assessments and Rowing Ergometer Performance in Collegiate Female Athletes
Sports 2020, 8(10), 136; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports8100136 - 15 Oct 2020
Viewed by 584
Abstract
The purpose was to examine the association of critical power from a three-minute all-out row (CP3-min) and peak power from a one-stroke maximum test (1-Stroke) with laboratory-based fitness assessments (peak oxygen consumption [V.O2peak] and Wingate anaerobic test [WAnT]) and 6000 m (6K) and 2000 m (2K) rowing ergometer performance. Thirty-one female collegiate rowers (20.2 ± 1.1 years, 70.9 ± 6.9 kg, and 172.2 ± 4.8 cm) participated in fitness and rowing performance testing. Pearson’s correlations, linear regression, and Cohen’s q were used to determine statistical relationships. Absolute V.O2peak values displayed significant correlations with 6Ktotal (−0.68), 6Ksplit (−0.68), 2Ktotal (−0.64), and 2Ksplit (−0.43). Relative V.O2peak displayed significant correlations with 6Ktotal (−0.36), and 6Ksplit (−0.37). CP3-min demonstrated significant correlations with 6Ktotal (−0.62), 6Ksplit (−0.62), 2Ktotal (−0.61), and 2Ksplit (−0.99). For 2Ksplit, a significant difference was observed between relative V.O2peak and CP3-min correlations with a “large” effect size (q = 2.367). Furthermore, 1-Stroke showed significant associations with 6Ktotal (−0.63), 6Ksplit (−0.63), 2Ktotal (−0.62), and 2Ksplit (−0.44), while WAnT produced non-significant correlations. Absolute V.O2peak CP3-min accounted for significant proportions of variance observed with performance measures (p < 0.05). Practitioners should consider incorporating CP3-min and 1-Stroke as additional tests for gauging rowing performance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Physical Performance of Collegiate or College-Aged Athletes)
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Open AccessArticle
Effect of New Zealand Blackcurrant Extract on Isometric Contraction-Induced Fatigue and Recovery: Potential Muscle-Fiber Specific Effects
Sports 2020, 8(10), 135; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports8100135 - 15 Oct 2020
Viewed by 721
Abstract
New Zealand blackcurrant (NZBC) extract has shown performance-enhancing effects during cycling, running and sport climbing. We examined effects of NZBC extract on (1) voluntary and twitch force of the quadriceps femoris muscles during repeated isometric contraction-induced fatigue, (2) twitch force during recovery and [...] Read more.
New Zealand blackcurrant (NZBC) extract has shown performance-enhancing effects during cycling, running and sport climbing. We examined effects of NZBC extract on (1) voluntary and twitch force of the quadriceps femoris muscles during repeated isometric contraction-induced fatigue, (2) twitch force during recovery and (3) muscle fiber-specific effects. Familiarized recreationally active males (n = 12, age: 24 ± 5 yrs; height: 180 ± 5 cm; body mass: 89 ± 11 kg) performed sixteen, 5-s voluntary maximal isometric contractions (iMVC) separated by 3-s rest. Twitch force was recorded before, during the 3-s rests and 5-min recovery. Supplementation consisted of 7-days intake of NZBC extract (600 mg∙day−1 containing 210 mg anthocyanin) in a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled crossover design with a 14-days washout. NZBC extract allowed for greater force in the first quartile of the iMVCs. Twitch force at baseline was 12% higher with NZBC extract (p = 0.05). However, there was no effect of NZBC for twitch force during the 16-iMVCs and recovery. Based on the maximum post-activation potentiation during the placebo 16-iMVCs, four subjects were classified of having a predominant type I or II muscle fiber typology. In type II, NZBC extract provided a trend for increased MVC force (~14%) in the first quartile and for type I in the fourth quartile (~10%). In type I, NZBC extract seemed to have higher twitch forces during the fatiguing exercise protocol and recovery, indicating increased fatigue resistance. New Zealand blackcurrant extract affects force during repeated maximal isometric contractions. Future work on mechanisms by NZBC extract for muscle fiber-specific fatigue-induced force responses is warranted. Full article
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Open AccessArticle
Inspiratory and Lower-Limb Strength Importance in Mountain Ultramarathon Running. Sex Differences and Relationship with Performance
Sports 2020, 8(10), 134; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports8100134 - 14 Oct 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 683
Abstract
The study was aimed at comparing lower-limb strength and respiratory parameters between male and female athletes and their interaction with performance in a 107 km mountain ultramarathon. Forty seven runners (29 males and 18 females; mean ± SD age: 41 ± 5 years) [...] Read more.
The study was aimed at comparing lower-limb strength and respiratory parameters between male and female athletes and their interaction with performance in a 107 km mountain ultramarathon. Forty seven runners (29 males and 18 females; mean ± SD age: 41 ± 5 years) were enrolled. Lower-limb strength assessment comprised a squat jump test, an ankle rebound test, and an isometric strength test. Respiratory assessment included pulmonary function testing and the measurement of maximal inspiratory pressure. Male athletes performed largely better in the squat jump (26 ± 4 vs. 21 ± 3 cm; p < 0.001; d = 1.48), while no sex differences were found in the other two lower-limb tests. Concerning the respiratory parameters, male athletes showed largely greater values in pulmonary expiratory variables: forced vital capacity (5.19 ± 0.68 vs. 3.65 ± 0.52 L; p < 0.001; d = 2.53), forced expiratory volume in 1 s (4.24 ± 0.54 vs. 2.97 ± 0.39 L; p < 0.001; d = 2.69), peak expiratory flow (9.9 ± 1.56 vs. 5.89 ± 1.39 L/min; p < 0.001; d = 2.77) and maximum voluntary ventilation in 12 s (171 ± 39 vs. 108 ± 23 L/min; p < 0.001; d = 1.93); while no sex differences were identified in maximal inspiratory pressure. Race time was associated with ankle rebound test performance (r = −0.390; p = 0.027), isometric strength test performance (r = −0.349; p = 0.049) and maximal inspiratory pressure (r = −0.544; p < 0.001). Consequently, it seems that athletes competing in mountain ultramarathons may benefit from improving lower-limb isometric strength, ankle reactive strength and inspiratory muscle strength. Nevertheless, further interventional studies are required to confirm these exploratory results. In addition, the fact that the magnitude of the sex difference for isometric strength was minor, as compared with the other strength tests, could represent one of the factors explaining why the performance gap between males and females is reduced in ultramarathons. Full article
Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Impact of Mild Hypohydration on 100 m Front Crawl Performance and Starting Block Peak Force Production in Competitive University-Level Swimmers
Sports 2020, 8(10), 133; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports8100133 - 14 Oct 2020
Viewed by 687
Abstract
Unstructured, ad libitum drinking may predispose some athletes to start exercise already slightly hypohydrated (decreased body water). The impact of pre-exercise mild hypohydration on subsequent swimming performance is still unknown. Hence, the goal of this study was to examine its effect on peak [...] Read more.
Unstructured, ad libitum drinking may predispose some athletes to start exercise already slightly hypohydrated (decreased body water). The impact of pre-exercise mild hypohydration on subsequent swimming performance is still unknown. Hence, the goal of this study was to examine its effect on peak force production on the starting block and 100 m front crawl swimming performance in competitive university-level swimmers. At least one hour after having been passively exposed to heat where a body mass loss of 1.5% was induced or euhydration (normal body water) maintained, nine participants (age: 22 ± 2 years) underwent an assessment of their peak force production on the starting block and 100 m front crawl performance. One hour following hypohydration, rectal temperature had returned to baseline in each condition. Urine osmolality and specific gravity were higher (p < 0.05) with hypohydration than euhydration (995 ± 65 vs. 428 ± 345 mOsmol/kg; 1.027 ± 0.003 vs. 1.016 ± 0.007 g/mL) prior to exercise testing, as was perceived thirst. Swimming performance (p = 0.86) and peak force production (p = 0.72) on the starting block did not differ between the hypohydration and euhydrated condition (63.00 ± 4.26 vs. 63.09 ± 4.52 s; 1322 ± 236 vs. 1315 ± 230 N). The current results indicate that mild hypohydration, which may occur with ad libitum drinking, does not impede peak force production on the starting block and 100 m front crawl performance in university-level competitive swimmers. Planned drinking is not required prior to such an event. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Hydration in Sport and Exercise)
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Open AccessArticle
Effects of a Multi-Ingredient Preworkout Supplement Versus Caffeine on Energy Expenditure and Feelings of Fatigue during Low-Intensity Treadmill Exercise in College-Aged Males
Sports 2020, 8(10), 132; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports8100132 - 25 Sep 2020
Viewed by 1096
Abstract
The primary purpose of this study was to examine the acute effects of a multi-ingredient (i.e., caffeine, green tea extract, Yohimbe extract, capsicum annum, coleus extract, L-carnitine, beta-alanine, tyrosine) preworkout supplement versus a dose of caffeine (6 mg·kg−1) on energy expenditure [...] Read more.
The primary purpose of this study was to examine the acute effects of a multi-ingredient (i.e., caffeine, green tea extract, Yohimbe extract, capsicum annum, coleus extract, L-carnitine, beta-alanine, tyrosine) preworkout supplement versus a dose of caffeine (6 mg·kg−1) on energy expenditure during low-intensity exercise. The effects of these treatments on substrate utilization, gas exchange, and psychological factors were also investigated. Twelve males (mean ± SD: age = 22.8 ± 2.4 years) completed three bouts of 60 min of treadmill exercise on separate days after consuming a preworkout supplement, 6 mg·kg−1 of caffeine, or placebo in a randomized fashion. The preworkout and caffeine supplements resulted in significantly greater energy expenditure (p < 0.001, p = 0.006, respectively), V˙O2 (p < 0.001, p = 0.007, respectively), V˙CO2 (p = 0.006, p = 0.049, respectively), and V˙E (p < 0.001, p = 0.007, respectively) compared to placebo (collapsed across condition). There were no differences among conditions, however, for rates of fat or carbohydrate oxidation or respiratory exchange ratio. In addition, the preworkout supplement increased feelings of alertness (p = 0.015) and focus (p = 0.005) 30-min postingestion and decreased feelings of fatigue (p = 0.014) during exercise compared to placebo. Thus, the preworkout supplement increased energy expenditure and measures of gas exchange to the same extent as 6 mg·kg−1 of caffeine with concomitant increased feelings of alertness and focus and decreased feelings of fatigue. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Effects of Pre-Workout Supplementation on Exercise Performance)
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Open AccessReview
Role of a Ketogenic Diet on Body Composition, Physical Health, Psychosocial Well-Being and Sports Performance in Athletes: A Scoping Review
Sports 2020, 8(10), 131; https://doi.org/10.3390/sports8100131 - 23 Sep 2020
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2189
Abstract
Background: Recently, a focus has been placed on investigating the potential benefits of adherence to a ketogenic diet in enhancing body composition, physical health, psychological well-being, and performance of athletes from various sporting disciplines. As the available research is yet to be collated [...] Read more.
Background: Recently, a focus has been placed on investigating the potential benefits of adherence to a ketogenic diet in enhancing body composition, physical health, psychological well-being, and performance of athletes from various sporting disciplines. As the available research is yet to be collated and analyzed in a single review, this scoping review aims to analyze and draw conclusions from the available literature that exists on the efficacy of a ketogenic diet among athletic populations. Methods: Several primary research databases and any relevant citation lists were searched to locate appropriate studies for inclusion in this scoping review. Studies that investigated the effects of adherence to a ketogenic diet (KD), defined by a carbohydrate intake of less than 5% of total energy intake, on body composition, physical health, psychological well-being, and performance among an athletic population were included in the review. From 814 articles screened, 12 were identified as meeting the inclusion criteria and were included in the final scoping review. Results: Adherence to a KD has beneficial effects on body weight and fat mass. Varying effects were identified on physical health with the diet, eliciting positive effects on fat oxidation but potentially deleterious effects on stool microbiota and iron metabolism. Conflicting results were reported regarding the effects of a KD on sporting performance. Benefits were reported regarding athlete well-being following commencement of a KD, but only after week two. Conclusions: The results of this scoping review demonstrate that there are both beneficial and detrimental effects associated with adherence to a KD among athletic populations. It is understood that further research is required to make any concrete recommendations regarding a KD to athletes. Full article
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