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Alternative Diets, Supplementation Strategies and Sports Nutrition

A special issue of Nutrients (ISSN 2072-6643). This special issue belongs to the section "Sports Nutrition".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (15 November 2022) | Viewed by 37506

Special Issue Editor


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Guest Editor
Department of Sports Medicine and Human Nutrition, University School of Physical Education in Krakow, 31-571 Kraków, Poland
Interests: diet and nutritional status in athletes; energy expenditure and energy balance in sports; nutritive value of diet; prevalence of dietary supplements use in athletes; the impact of paleolithic diet on health status and exercise capacity; intestinal microbiota of athletes

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Suitable nutrition, including dietary supplementation, plays an essential role in exercise and sports. Healthy eating is important for health, adaptation to physical effort, weight maintenance and exercise performance, with some athletes requiring special nutritional treatment due to their health status. A personalized diet should take into account genetic predispositions, needs to be appetizing, and supplements can complement it and support exercise capacity. All these factors force athletes to constantly seek the best nutritional and supplementation strategies, with several new dietary approaches having gained attention in recent decades. Diets with a different macronutrient content, health-promoting diets, low-energy diets focused on optimal weight maintenance and other diets popular among athlete have been analyzed as alternative dietary strategies exhibiting potential performance and metabolic improvement effects. It is extremely important these claims be scientifically proven before being adopted in the athletic population. The scientifically proven and unambiguous effectiveness and safety of ergogenic dietary supplements is also crucial.

Prof. Dr. Barbara Fraczek
Guest Editor

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Keywords

  • high-carbohydrate diet
  • vegetarian diets
  • vegan diet
  • low-CHO diet
  • very-low-carbohydrate diet
  • ketogenic diet
  • high-fat diets
  • intermittent fasting diets
  • gluten-free diet
  • FODMAP diet
  • very-low-energy diets
  • fasting
  • ergogenic aids
  • dietary supplements
  • supplementation

Published Papers (11 papers)

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Research

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20 pages, 521 KiB  
Article
Nutrition Patterns of Polish Esports Players
by Monika Szot, Barbara Frączek and Florentyna Tyrała
Nutrients 2023, 15(1), 149; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu15010149 - 28 Dec 2022
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2824
Abstract
The aim of this study was to quantify the dietary patterns (DPs) of Polish esports players aged 18–26 years. Data were obtained via questionnaires that assessed dietary habits and frequency of food consumption. Dietary patterns were derived using Principal Component Analysis (PCA) and [...] Read more.
The aim of this study was to quantify the dietary patterns (DPs) of Polish esports players aged 18–26 years. Data were obtained via questionnaires that assessed dietary habits and frequency of food consumption. Dietary patterns were derived using Principal Component Analysis (PCA) and Factor Analysis (FA). In total, nine distinct DPs were identified. Eight DPs were considered unhealthy; ‘fast food’, ‘High-processed food, meat and confectionery’, ‘Sweet’, ‘Fat-diary products’, ‘Vegetable-fruit’, ‘Spices and additives’, ‘Fats’ and ‘Cereal’; and only one was deemed healthy. E-athletes presented mostly poor dietary habits, which included: irregular eating of meals, frequent snacking, at least three meals a day and composition of snacks, frying of meat dishes and sweetening of hot drinks. Healthy dietary habits included proper hydration during the day and consumption of mainly non-sparkling water. The unbalanced and largely unhealthy dietary habits of esports players raise health concerns for these e-athletes, particularly when combined with a sedentary lifestyle. Future research could assess the nutritional knowledge of this group as it relates to national guidelines, investigate interventions designed to introduce healthier eating options into their lifestyle and examine the relationship between DPs and health or cognitive performance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Alternative Diets, Supplementation Strategies and Sports Nutrition)
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12 pages, 830 KiB  
Article
Evaluation of Supplement Use in Sport Climbers at Different Climbing Levels
by Anna Chmielewska and Bożena Regulska-Ilow
Nutrients 2023, 15(1), 100; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu15010100 - 25 Dec 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2715
Abstract
The lack of specific recommendations on the use of supplements for sport climbers may be the reason for their misuse by athletes of this discipline. This study aimed to evaluate choices of dietary supplementation, the reasons for taking them, and the source of [...] Read more.
The lack of specific recommendations on the use of supplements for sport climbers may be the reason for their misuse by athletes of this discipline. This study aimed to evaluate choices of dietary supplementation, the reasons for taking them, and the source of information on supplementation among sport climbers at different levels. In addition, how climbers subjectively evaluated the impact of their diets in supporting selected aspects of climbing training was evaluated. We enrolled 110 regular sport climbers (40 women and 70 men) from Wroclaw, Poland, who completed a validated questionnaire, assessing their use of dietary supplements, attitudes towards the influence of diet on sports performance, and climbing level. Their anthropometric measurements were also collected. Participants regarded diet as an important element of sports performance. Sport climbers indicated the Internet to be the main source of information on supplements. Health maintenance and improvement of recovery were the most frequently chosen reasons for taking dietary supplements. The most common supplements were isolated protein, vitamin C, vitamin D, magnesium, and amino acid blends. However, participants rarely used supplements suggested as beneficial for sport climbing performance. Therefore, developing recommendations for supplementation in sport climbing and promoting this should be an elementary part of the preparation for climbing training. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Alternative Diets, Supplementation Strategies and Sports Nutrition)
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14 pages, 2134 KiB  
Article
The Effect of Caffeinated Chewing Gum on Volleyball-Specific Skills and Physical Performance in Volleyball Players
by Magdalena Kaszuba, Olga Klocek, Michał Spieszny and Aleksandra Filip-Stachnik
Nutrients 2023, 15(1), 91; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu15010091 - 24 Dec 2022
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 5241
Abstract
No previous study analyzed the effect of caffeinated chewing gum on volleyball-specific skills and physical performance in volleyball players. Twelve volleyball players participated ina randomized, crossover, and double-blind experiment after ingestion of (a) ~3.2 ± 0.4 mg/kg of body mass (BM) of caffeine [...] Read more.
No previous study analyzed the effect of caffeinated chewing gum on volleyball-specific skills and physical performance in volleyball players. Twelve volleyball players participated ina randomized, crossover, and double-blind experiment after ingestion of (a) ~3.2 ± 0.4 mg/kg of body mass (BM) of caffeine via chewing gum or (b) non-caffeinated chewing gum (placebo) and performed: (a) a countermovement jump, (b) a squat jump, (c), an attack jump, (d) a block jump, (e) 5 and 10 m sprints, (f) a modified agility t-test, (g) an attack and service speed test, and (h) a spike and serve accuracy test. Compared to the placebo, the caffeine chewing gum supplementation significantly improved the accuracy of the attack (15 ± 4 vs. 18 ± 3 points, p = 0.02). However, the ingestion of caffeinated chewing gum had no effect on the remaining other performance tests (p from 0.12 to 1.00). A caffeine-containing chewing gum with a dose of ~3 mg/kg BM effectively improved the attack’s accuracy in volleyball players. However, this effect was not observed in better results in jumping, running, and other skill-based volleyball tests. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Alternative Diets, Supplementation Strategies and Sports Nutrition)
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13 pages, 288 KiB  
Article
Personality Determinants of Eating Behaviours among an Elite Group of Polish Athletes Training in Team Sports
by Maria Gacek, Agnieszka Wojtowicz and Adam Popek
Nutrients 2023, 15(1), 39; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu15010039 - 21 Dec 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2358
Abstract
The nutritional behaviours of athletes are determined by environmental and individual factors. The aim of the research was to analyse the personality determinants of the eating behaviour among an elite group of Polish athletes training in team sports. The research was conducted among [...] Read more.
The nutritional behaviours of athletes are determined by environmental and individual factors. The aim of the research was to analyse the personality determinants of the eating behaviour among an elite group of Polish athletes training in team sports. The research was conducted among 213 athletes, using a proprietary validated nutritional behaviour questionnaire and the Neuroticism Extraversion Openness-Personality Inventory-Revised (NEO-PI-R Personality Inventory). Statistical analysis was performed with the use of Pearson’s linear and Spearman’s signed rank correlation coefficients, as well as multiple regression evaluation, assuming the significance level of α = 0.05. It was shown that the overall index of proper eating behaviour increased with increasing neuroticism (r = 0.132) and decreased with increasing openness to experience (r = −0.143). When assessing individual nutritional behaviours, it was indicated, among others, that with increasing neuroticism, athletes more often avoided energy drinks (R = 0.173), and with increasing extraversion, they more frequently consumed vegetables at least twice a day (R = 0.154). At the same time, the consumption of raw vegetables (R = −0.153), 2–3 portions of vegetables and fruit per day (R = −0.157) and the limitation of sweet and salty snacks (R = −0.152) decreased along with an increase in openness. On the other hand, with increasing conscientiousness, the regular consumption of meals (R = 0.186), dairy products (R = 0.143) and the reduction of sweet and salty snacks (R = 0.148) increased. The model built on the basis of the Big Five personality traits explained, to a very large extent (approx. 99%), variance concerning the general index of normal eating behaviour among athletes. The predictive significance of the personality traits presented in the Big Five model was demonstrated in relation to the quality of nutritional choices among Polish athletes competitively training in team sports, which may be used to personalise the dietary education of athletes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Alternative Diets, Supplementation Strategies and Sports Nutrition)
16 pages, 1574 KiB  
Article
Do Triathletes Periodize Their Diet and Do Their Mineral Content, Body Composition and Aerobic Capacity Change during Training and Competition Periods?
by Krzysztof Durkalec-Michalski, Natalia Główka, Paulina M. Nowaczyk, Anna Laszczak, Anna Gogojewicz and Joanna Suliburska
Nutrients 2023, 15(1), 6; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu15010006 - 20 Dec 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2558
Abstract
The triathlon is a demanding endurance multisport, which may strongly affect the nutritional status of athletes. The aim of this study was to find whether there are any differences in energy value and nutrient intake, body mass and body composition, aerobic performance and [...] Read more.
The triathlon is a demanding endurance multisport, which may strongly affect the nutritional status of athletes. The aim of this study was to find whether there are any differences in energy value and nutrient intake, body mass and body composition, aerobic performance and hair mineral status between training and competition periods and to assess whether there is a link between hair mineral content and physical capacity and nutrition. This observational study covered 20 triathletes aged 32 ± 7 years. The results of our study indicated performance improvement during the competition period (longer time to exhaustion (p = 0.025) and lower maximal oxygen uptake at the ventilatory threshold (%VO2max_VT; p = 0.047)). However, no differences were recorded in nutrition and body composition between two training vs. competition periods. There was a significant depletion in hair iron content during the competition period (p = 0.010). Furthermore, there were significant relationships between hair calcium content and absolute maximal oxygen uptake and %VO2max_VT during the training period. It is necessary to introduce nutritional education in the group of triathletes focused on exercise-oriented nutritional periodization following the requirements of the training and competition periods, thus preventing the risk of nutrient deficiencies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Alternative Diets, Supplementation Strategies and Sports Nutrition)
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16 pages, 3080 KiB  
Article
Limonium tetragonum Promotes Running Endurance in Mice through Mitochondrial Biogenesis and Oxidative Fiber Formation
by Yong Gyun Lee, Mi-Young Song, Hwangeui Cho, Jong Sik Jin, Byung-Hyun Park and Eun Ju Bae
Nutrients 2022, 14(19), 3904; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu14193904 - 21 Sep 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 1751
Abstract
The purpose of this study was to examine whether Limonium tetragonum, cultivated in a smart-farming system with LED lamps, could increase exercise capacity in mice. C57BL/6 male mice were orally administered vehicle or Limonium tetragonum water extract (LTE), either 30 or 100 [...] Read more.
The purpose of this study was to examine whether Limonium tetragonum, cultivated in a smart-farming system with LED lamps, could increase exercise capacity in mice. C57BL/6 male mice were orally administered vehicle or Limonium tetragonum water extract (LTE), either 30 or 100 mg/kg, and were subjected to moderate intensity treadmill exercise for 4 weeks. Running distance markedly increased in the LTE group (100 mg/kg) by 80 ± 4% compared to the vehicle group, which was accompanied by a higher proportion of oxidative fibers (6 ± 6% vs. 10 ± 4%). Mitochondrial DNA content and gene expressions related to mitochondrial biogenesis were significantly increased in LTE-supplemented gastrocnemius muscles. At the molecular level, the expression of PGC-1α, a master regulator of fast-to-slow fiber-type transition, was increased downstream of the PKA/CREB signaling pathway. LTE induction of the PKA/CREB signaling pathway was also observed in C2C12 cells, which was effectively suppressed by PKA inhibitors H89 and Rp-cAMP. Altogether, these findings indicate that LTE treatment enhanced endurance exercise capacity via an improvement in mitochondrial biosynthesis and the increases in the formation of oxidative slow-twitch fibers. Future study is warranted to validate the exercise-enhancing effect of LTE in the human. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Alternative Diets, Supplementation Strategies and Sports Nutrition)
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14 pages, 1239 KiB  
Article
A New Potential Dietary Approach to Supply Micronutrients to Physically Active People through Consumption of Biofortified Vegetables
by Sara Baldassano, Maria Rita Polizzi, Leo Sabatino, Rosalia Caldarella, Andrea Macaluso, Angelina Alongi, Gaetano Felice Caldara, Vincenzo Ferrantelli and Sonya Vasto
Nutrients 2022, 14(14), 2971; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu14142971 - 20 Jul 2022
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 2187
Abstract
Micronutrients are required in many reactions involved in physical activity and exercise. Most physically active people do not meet the body’s needs in terms of micronutrients through diet. The novelty of the present manuscript is the use of an innovative dietary approach to [...] Read more.
Micronutrients are required in many reactions involved in physical activity and exercise. Most physically active people do not meet the body’s needs in terms of micronutrients through diet. The novelty of the present manuscript is the use of an innovative dietary approach to supply micronutrients to physically active people through biofortified food. Therefore, the key point of this study was to verify whether supplementation with biofortified vegetables—and specifically molybdenum (Mo)-enriched lettuce—in healthy volunteers affects essential regulators of body homeostasis and, specifically, hematological parameters, iron and lipid metabolism, and hepatic function. Twenty-four healthy volunteers were allocated in a double-blinded manner to either a control group that consumed lettuce, or the intervention group, which consumed Mo-enriched lettuce, for 12 days. Blood samples were collected at baseline (T0) and after 12 days (T1). We found that supplementation with Mo-enriched lettuce did not affect hematological parameters, liver function, or lipid metabolism, but significantly improved iron homeostasis by increasing non-binding hemoglobin iron by about 37% and transferrin saturation by about 42%, while proteins of iron metabolism (e.g., transferrin, ferritin, ceruloplasmin) were not affected. The serum molybdenum concentration increased by about 42%. In conclusion, this study shows that consumption of Mo-biofortified lettuce ameliorates iron homeostasis in healthy subjects, and suggests that it could be used as a new nutritional supplementation strategy to avoid iron deficiency in physically active people. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Alternative Diets, Supplementation Strategies and Sports Nutrition)
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10 pages, 281 KiB  
Article
Edible Flowers as a Source of Dietary Fibre (Total, Insoluble and Soluble) as a Potential Athlete’s Dietary Supplement
by Karolina Jakubczyk, Klaudia Koprowska, Aleksandra Gottschling and Katarzyna Janda-Milczarek
Nutrients 2022, 14(12), 2470; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu14122470 - 14 Jun 2022
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 3514
Abstract
Edible flowers have been gaining popularity among researchers, nutritionists and chefs all around the world. Nowadays, flowers are used to make food look and/or taste better; however, they are also a very good source of valuable nutrients (antioxidants, vitamins, proteins, fats, carbohydrates, macro [...] Read more.
Edible flowers have been gaining popularity among researchers, nutritionists and chefs all around the world. Nowadays, flowers are used to make food look and/or taste better; however, they are also a very good source of valuable nutrients (antioxidants, vitamins, proteins, fats, carbohydrates, macro and microelements). The aim of our study was to determine the content of dietary fibre and total protein in selected edible flowers; we also compared the nutritional content of petals, differentiating between the representatives of the Oleaceae and Asteraceae families, as well as herbaceous vs. woody plants. The study material consisted of petals of 12 edible flower species (Magnolia × soulangeana, Sambucus nigra L., Syringa vulgaris L. (white and violet flowers), Robinia pseudoacacia, Forsythia × intermedia, Cichorium intybus L., Bellis perennis, Tussilago farfara L., Taraxacum officinale F.H. Wiggers coll., Centaurea cyanus L., Calendula officinalis). Dietary fibre content was determined by the enzymatic-gravimetric method and ranged from 13.22 (Magnolia × soulangeana) to 62.33 (Calendula officinalis L.) g/100 g. For insoluble dietary fibre (IDF), the values ranged from 8.69 (Magnolia × soulangeana) to 57.54 (Calendula officinalis L.) g/100 g, and the content of soluble dietary fibre (SDF) was between 1.35 (Syringa vulgaris L.-white flowers) and 7.46 (Centaurea cyanus L) g/100 g. Flowers were also shown to be a good, though underappreciated, source of plant protein, with content ranging from 8.70 (Calendula officinalis L.) to 21.61 (Magnolia × soulangeana) g/100 g dry matter (Kjeldahl method). Considerable amounts of protein were found in the flowers of the olive family (Oleaceae) and woody plants, which can enrich the daily diet, especially vegan and vegetarian. Edible flowers of the Asteraceae family, especially the herbaceous representatives, contained high levels of both total dietary fibre and its insoluble fraction; therefore, they can be a rich source of these nutrients in the daily diet of athletes, which would perform a prebiotic function for gut bacteria. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Alternative Diets, Supplementation Strategies and Sports Nutrition)
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Review

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34 pages, 1376 KiB  
Review
Polyphenol Supplementation and Antioxidant Status in Athletes: A Narrative Review
by Aleksandra Bojarczuk and Magdalena Dzitkowska-Zabielska
Nutrients 2023, 15(1), 158; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu15010158 - 29 Dec 2022
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 4270
Abstract
Antioxidants in sports exercise training remain a debated research topic. Plant-derived polyphenol supplements are frequently used by athletes to reduce the negative effects of exercise-induced oxidative stress, accelerate the recovery of muscular function, and enhance performance. These processes can be efficiently modulated by [...] Read more.
Antioxidants in sports exercise training remain a debated research topic. Plant-derived polyphenol supplements are frequently used by athletes to reduce the negative effects of exercise-induced oxidative stress, accelerate the recovery of muscular function, and enhance performance. These processes can be efficiently modulated by antioxidant supplementation. The existing literature has failed to provide unequivocal evidence that dietary polyphenols should be promoted specifically among athletes. This narrative review summarizes the current knowledge regarding polyphenols’ bioavailability, their role in exercise-induced oxidative stress, antioxidant status, and supplementation strategies in athletes. Overall, we draw attention to the paucity of available evidence suggesting that most antioxidant substances are beneficial to athletes. Additional research is necessary to reveal more fully their impact on exercise-induced oxidative stress and athletes’ antioxidant status, as well as optimal dosing methods. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Alternative Diets, Supplementation Strategies and Sports Nutrition)
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28 pages, 2184 KiB  
Review
The Influence of the Differentiation of Genes Encoding Peroxisome Proliferator-Activated Receptors and Their Coactivators on Nutrient and Energy Metabolism
by Agnieszka Maciejewska-Skrendo, Myosotis Massidda, Filippo Tocco and Katarzyna Leźnicka
Nutrients 2022, 14(24), 5378; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu14245378 - 18 Dec 2022
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 2749
Abstract
Genetic components may play an important role in the regulation of nutrient and energy metabolism. In the presence of specific genetic variants, metabolic dysregulation may occur, especially in relation to the processes of digestion, assimilation, and the physiological utilization of nutrients supplied to [...] Read more.
Genetic components may play an important role in the regulation of nutrient and energy metabolism. In the presence of specific genetic variants, metabolic dysregulation may occur, especially in relation to the processes of digestion, assimilation, and the physiological utilization of nutrients supplied to the body, as well as the regulation of various metabolic pathways and the balance of metabolic changes, which may consequently affect the effectiveness of applied reduction diets and weight loss after training. There are many well-documented studies showing that the presence of certain polymorphic variants in some genes can be associated with specific changes in nutrient and energy metabolism, and consequently, with more or less desirable effects of applied caloric reduction and/or exercise intervention. This systematic review focused on the role of genes encoding peroxisome proliferator-activated receptors (PPARs) and their coactivators in nutrient and energy metabolism. The literature review prepared showed that there is a link between the presence of specific alleles described at different polymorphic points in PPAR genes and various human body characteristics that are crucial for the efficacy of nutritional and/or exercise interventions. Genetic analysis can be a valuable element that complements the work of a dietitian or trainer, allowing for the planning of a personalized diet or training that makes the best use of the innate metabolic characteristics of the person who is the subject of their interventions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Alternative Diets, Supplementation Strategies and Sports Nutrition)
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Other

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32 pages, 1976 KiB  
Systematic Review
Nutritional Ergogenic Aids in Combat Sports: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis
by Néstor Vicente-Salar, Encarna Fuster-Muñoz and Alejandro Martínez-Rodríguez
Nutrients 2022, 14(13), 2588; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu14132588 - 22 Jun 2022
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 6243
Abstract
Nutritional ergogenic aids (NEAs) are substances included within the group of sports supplements. Although they are widely consumed by athletes, evidence-based analysis is required to support training outcomes or competitive performance in specific disciplines. Combat sports have a predominant use of anaerobic metabolism [...] Read more.
Nutritional ergogenic aids (NEAs) are substances included within the group of sports supplements. Although they are widely consumed by athletes, evidence-based analysis is required to support training outcomes or competitive performance in specific disciplines. Combat sports have a predominant use of anaerobic metabolism as a source of energy, reaching peak exertion or sustained effort for very short periods of time. In this context, the use of certain NEAs could help athletes to improve their performance in those specific combat skills (i.e., the number of attacks, throws and hits; jump height; and grip strength, among others) as well as in general physical aspects (time to exhaustion [TTE], power, fatigue perception, heart rate, use of anaerobic metabolism, etc.). Medline/PubMed, Scopus and EBSCO were searched from their inception to May 2022 for randomised controlled trials (RCTs). Out of 677 articles found, 55 met the predefined inclusion criteria. Among all the studied NEAs, caffeine (5–10 mg/kg) showed strong evidence for its use in combat sports to enhance the use of glycolytic pathways for energy production during high-intensity actions due to a greater production of and tolerance to blood lactate levels. In this regard, abilities including the number of attacks, reaction time, handgrip strength, power and TTE, among others, were improved. Buffering supplements such as sodium bicarbonate, sodium citrate and beta-alanine may have a promising role in high and intermittent exertion during combat, but more studies are needed in grappling combat sports to confirm their efficacy during sustained isometric exertion. Other NEAs, including creatine, beetroot juice or glycerol, need further investigation to strengthen the evidence for performance enhancement in combat sports. Caffeine is the only NEA that has shown strong evidence for performance enhancement in combat sports. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Alternative Diets, Supplementation Strategies and Sports Nutrition)
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