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Special Issue "Advances in Sport and Performance Nutrition"

A special issue of Nutrients (ISSN 2072-6643).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (15 October 2018)

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Antonio Paoli

Department of Biomedical Sciences, University of Padova, Padova, Italy
Website | E-Mail
Interests: resistance training; metabolism; fat loss; skeletal muscle physiology; fitness; muscle hypertrophy; fasting; ketogenic diet

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Sport nutrition is a quickly-evolving and broad research field: From hydration to meal timing, and from protein needs to recovery strategies. Athletes and coaches need science-based answers to their main question: “How can I improve my performance through nutrition?” Unfortunately social media often suggests unproven and non-science-based nutrition protocols and supplements.

The design of successful strategies to preserve health and long-term performance requires a clear understanding of the contextual influences of training and nutrition in athletes, and of the complexity of training periodization. Indeed, diet and supplementation support should be periodized, taking into account the needs of daily training sessions and the specificity of each sport and performance model. Moreover, nutrient timing, quantity, and quality, and the real effectiveness of the numerous supplements available on the market are issues that are worthy to be investigated further. In addition, the usefulness of different nutritional approaches in sport (paleodiet, ketogenic diet, fasting protocols) deserves a deeper discussion.

This Special Issue of Nutrients, entitled " Advances in Sport and Performance Nutrition", welcomes the submission of manuscripts describing with either original research or systematic reviews and meta-analyses.

Potential topics may include, but are not limited to:

  • Protein needs in athletes
  • Carbohydrates for athletes
  • Fats for athletes
  • Nutrients timing for performance and recovery
  • Hydration for athletes
  • Natural products and sport
  • Sport Nutrition and health
  • Weight loss and dietary strategies in sport
  • Supplements for strength and muscle hypertrophy
  • Supplements for endurance athletes
Prof. Dr. Antonio Paoli
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All papers will be peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Nutrients is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • Sport Nutrition
  • Protein
  • Supplements
  • Hydration
  • Performance
  • Herbal supplements

Published Papers (10 papers)

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Research

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Open AccessArticle Effects of High vs. Low Glycemic Index of Post-Exercise Meals on Sleep and Exercise Performance: A Randomized, Double-Blind, Counterbalanced Polysomnographic Study
Nutrients 2018, 10(11), 1795; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu10111795
Received: 29 September 2018 / Revised: 29 October 2018 / Accepted: 14 November 2018 / Published: 18 November 2018
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Abstract
The aim of the current study was to investigate the effect of the glycemic index of post-exercise meals on sleep quality and quantity, and assess whether those changes could affect the next day’s exercise performance. Following a baseline/familiarization phase, 10 recreationally trained male
[...] Read more.
The aim of the current study was to investigate the effect of the glycemic index of post-exercise meals on sleep quality and quantity, and assess whether those changes could affect the next day’s exercise performance. Following a baseline/familiarization phase, 10 recreationally trained male volunteers (23.2 ± 1.8 years) underwent two double-blinded, randomized, counterbalanced crossover trials. In both trials, participants performed sprint interval training (SIT) in the evening. Post-exercise, participants consumed a meal with a high (HGI) or low (LGI) glycemic index. Sleep parameters were assessed by a full night polysomnography (PSG). The following morning, exercise performance was evaluated by the countermovement jump (CMJ) test, a visual reaction time (VRT) test and a 5-km cycling time trial (TT). Total sleep time (TST) and sleep efficiency were greater in the HGI trial compared to the LGI trial (p < 0.05), while sleep onset latency was shortened by four-fold (p < 0.05) and VRT decreased by 8.9% (p < 0.05) in the HGI trial compared to the LGI trial. The performance in both 5-km TT and CMJ did not differ between trials. A moderate to strong correlation was found between the difference in TST and the VRT between the two trials (p < 0.05). In conclusion, this is the first study to show that a high glycemic index meal, following a single spring interval training session, can improve both sleep duration and sleep efficiency, while reducing in parallel sleep onset latency. Those improvements in sleep did not affect jumping ability and aerobic endurance performance. In contrast, the visual reaction time performance increased proportionally to sleep improvements. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Sport and Performance Nutrition)
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Open AccessArticle Effect of New Zealand Blackcurrant Extract on Physiological Responses at Rest and during Brisk Walking in Southeast Asian Men: A Randomized, Double-Blind, Placebo-Controlled, Crossover Study
Nutrients 2018, 10(11), 1732; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu10111732
Received: 8 October 2018 / Revised: 31 October 2018 / Accepted: 7 November 2018 / Published: 12 November 2018
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Abstract
New Zealand blackcurrant (NZBC) extract affects cardiovascular and metabolic responses during rest and exercise in Caucasian men. Ethnicity and nutritional habits may affect responses to nutritional ergogenic aids. We examined the effects of NZBC extract on cardiovascular, metabolic, and physiological responses during seated
[...] Read more.
New Zealand blackcurrant (NZBC) extract affects cardiovascular and metabolic responses during rest and exercise in Caucasian men. Ethnicity and nutritional habits may affect responses to nutritional ergogenic aids. We examined the effects of NZBC extract on cardiovascular, metabolic, and physiological responses during seated rest and moderate-intensity exercise in Southeast Asian men. Seventeen healthy Thai men (age: 22 ± 3 years; body mass index (BMI): 21.8 ± 1.1 kg·m−2) participated. Resting metabolic equivalent (1-MET) was measured (Oxycon™ mobile, Germany), and an incremental walking protocol was completed to establish the relationship between walking speed and MET. In a double-blind, randomized, placebo-controlled, crossover design, cardiovascular (Physioflow, n = 12) and physiological responses (Oxycon, n = 17) were measured during both seated rest and a 30-min treadmill walk at five metabolic equivalent (5-MET), with either a seven-day intake of placebo (PL) or two capsules of NZBC extract (each 300 mg capsule contains 35% blackcurrant extract) with a 14-day washout. Paired t-tests were used with significance accepted at p < 0.05 and a trend for 0.05 > p ≤ 0.10. During 30 min of treadmill walking at 5-MET, no differences were observed for heart rate and substrate oxidation. With intake of NZBC during treadmill walking, there was a trend for increased stroke volume by 12% (PL: 83.2 ± 25.1; NZBC: 93.0 ± 24.3 mL; p = 0.072) and cardiac output increased by 12% (PL: 9.2 ± 2.6; NZBC: 10.3 ± 2.8 L·min−1; p = 0.057). Systemic vascular resistance decreased by 10% (PL: 779 ± 267; NZBC: 697 ± 245 dyn·s·cm−5; p = 0.048). NZBC extract had no effect on metabolic, physiological, and cardiovascular parameters during seated rest and exercise-induced fat oxidation in Thai men, in contrast to observations in Caucasian men. During treadmill walking, Thai men showed cardiovascular response, indicating vasodilatory effects during moderate-intensity exercise with the intake of NZBC extract. Our findings suggest that the ergogenic responses to anthocyanin intake from New Zealand blackcurrant may be ethnicity-dependent. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Sport and Performance Nutrition)
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Open AccessArticle Chronic Ingestion of Sodium and Potassium Bicarbonate, with Potassium, Magnesium and Calcium Citrate Improves Anaerobic Performance in Elite Soccer Players
Nutrients 2018, 10(11), 1610; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu10111610
Received: 14 August 2018 / Revised: 9 October 2018 / Accepted: 24 October 2018 / Published: 1 November 2018
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Abstract
Anaerobic power and anaerobic capacity significantly influence performance in many sport disciplines. These include prolonged sprints in athletics, swimming, or cycling, and other high intensity intermittent sports, such as soccer or basketball. Considering the association of exercise-induced acidosis and fatigue, the ingestion of
[...] Read more.
Anaerobic power and anaerobic capacity significantly influence performance in many sport disciplines. These include prolonged sprints in athletics, swimming, or cycling, and other high intensity intermittent sports, such as soccer or basketball. Considering the association of exercise-induced acidosis and fatigue, the ingestion of potential buffering agents such as sodium bicarbonate, has been suggested to attenuate metabolic acidosis and improve anaerobic performance. Since elite soccer players cover from 200 to 350 m while sprinting, performing 40–60 all out sprints during a game, it seems that repeated sprint ability in soccer players is among the key components of success. In our experiment, we evaluated the effectiveness of chronic supplementation with sodium and potassium bicarbonate, fortified with minerals, on speed and speed endurance in elite soccer players. Twenty-six soccer players participated in the study. The subjects were randomly divided into two groups. The experimental group was supplemented with sodium bi-carbonate and potassium di-carbonate fortified with minerals, while the control group received a placebo. The athletes were tested at baseline and after nine days of supplementation. Anaerobic performance was evaluated by the Repeated Anaerobic Sprint Test (RAST) protocol which involved 6 × 30 m max sprints, separated by 10 s of active recovery. Resting, post ingestion and post exercise concentrations of HCO3 and blood pH were measured as well as lactate concentration. The current investigation demonstrated a significant increase in RAST performance of elite soccer players supplemented with sodium and potassium bicarbonate along with calcium phosphate, potassium citrate, and magnesium citrate ingested twice a day over a nine-day training period. The improvements in anaerobic performance were caused by increased resting blood pH and bicarbonate levels. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Sport and Performance Nutrition)
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Open AccessArticle The Effect of a New Sodium Bicarbonate Loading Regimen on Anaerobic Capacity and Wrestling Performance
Nutrients 2018, 10(6), 697; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu10060697
Received: 11 April 2018 / Revised: 11 May 2018 / Accepted: 28 May 2018 / Published: 30 May 2018
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Abstract
Gastrointestinal side effects are the main problem with sodium bicarbonate (SB) use in sports. Therefore, our study assessed the effect of a new SB loading regimen on anaerobic capacity and wrestling performance. Fifty-eight wrestlers were randomized to either a progressive-dose regimen of up
[...] Read more.
Gastrointestinal side effects are the main problem with sodium bicarbonate (SB) use in sports. Therefore, our study assessed the effect of a new SB loading regimen on anaerobic capacity and wrestling performance. Fifty-eight wrestlers were randomized to either a progressive-dose regimen of up to 100 mg∙kg−1 of SB or a placebo for 10 days. Before and after treatment, athletes completed an exercise protocol that comprised, in sequence, the first Wingate, dummy throw, and second Wingate tests. Blood samples were taken pre- and post-exercise. No gastrointestinal side effects were reported during the study. After SB treatment, there were no significant improvements in the outcomes of the Wingate and dummy throw tests. The only index that significantly improved with SB, compared to the placebo (p = 0.0142), was the time-to-peak power in the second Wingate test, which decreased from 3.44 ± 1.98 to 2.35 ± 1.17 s. There were also no differences in blood lactate or glucose concentrations. In conclusion, although the new loading regimen eliminated gastrointestinal symptoms, the doses could have been too small to elicit additional improvements in anaerobic power and wrestling performance. However, shortening the time-to-peak power during fatigue may be particularly valuable and is one of the variables contributing to the final success of a combat sports athlete. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Sport and Performance Nutrition)
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Open AccessArticle Acute Caffeinated Coffee Consumption Does not Improve Time Trial Performance in an 800-m Run: A Randomized, Double-Blind, Crossover, Placebo-Controlled Study
Nutrients 2018, 10(6), 657; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu10060657
Received: 10 April 2018 / Revised: 10 May 2018 / Accepted: 15 May 2018 / Published: 23 May 2018
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Abstract
Introduction: Studies evaluating caffeinated coffee (CAF) can reveal ergogenic effects; however, studies on the effects of caffeinated coffee on running are scarce and controversial. Aim: To investigate the effects of CAF consumption compared to decaffeinated coffee (DEC) consumption on time trial performances in
[...] Read more.
Introduction: Studies evaluating caffeinated coffee (CAF) can reveal ergogenic effects; however, studies on the effects of caffeinated coffee on running are scarce and controversial. Aim: To investigate the effects of CAF consumption compared to decaffeinated coffee (DEC) consumption on time trial performances in an 800-m run in overnight-fasting runners. Methods: A randomly counterbalanced, double-blind, crossover, placebo-controlled study was conducted with 12 healthy adult males with experience in amateur endurance running. Participants conducted two trials on two different occasions, one day with either CAF or DEC, with a one-week washout. After arriving at the data collection site, participants consumed the soluble CAF (5.5 mg/kg of caffeine) or DEC and after 60 min the run was started. Before and after the 800-m race, blood pressure and lactate and glucose concentrations were measured. At the end of the run, the ratings of perceived exertion (RPE) scale was applied. Results: The runners were light consumers of habitual caffeine, with an average ingestion of 91.3 mg (range 6–420 mg/day). Time trial performances did not change between trials (DEF: 2.38 + 0.10 vs. CAF: 2.39 + 0.09 min, p = 0.336), nor did the RPE (DEC: 16.5 + 2.68 vs. CAF: 17.0 + 2.66, p = 0.326). No difference between the trials was observed for glucose and lactate concentrations, or for systolic and diastolic blood pressure levels. Conclusion: CAF consumption failed to enhance the time trial performance of an 800-m run in overnight-fasting runners, when compared with DEC ingestion. In addition, no change was found in RPE, blood pressure levels, or blood glucose and lactate concentrations between the two trials. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Sport and Performance Nutrition)
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Open AccessArticle Energy Deficit Required for Rapid Weight Loss in Elite Collegiate Wrestlers
Nutrients 2018, 10(5), 536; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu10050536
Received: 3 April 2018 / Revised: 12 April 2018 / Accepted: 24 April 2018 / Published: 26 April 2018
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Abstract
To determine energy density for rapid weight loss (RWL) of weight-classified sports, eight male elite wrestlers were instructed to lose 6% of body mass (BM) within 53 h. Energy deficit during the RWL was calculated by subtracting total energy expenditure (TEE) determined using
[...] Read more.
To determine energy density for rapid weight loss (RWL) of weight-classified sports, eight male elite wrestlers were instructed to lose 6% of body mass (BM) within 53 h. Energy deficit during the RWL was calculated by subtracting total energy expenditure (TEE) determined using the doubly labeled water method (DLW) from energy intake (EI) assessed with diet records. It was also estimated from body composition change estimated with the four-component model (4C) and other conventional methods. BM decreased significantly by 4.7 ± 0.5 kg (6.4 ± 0.5%). Total body water loss was the major component of the BM loss (71.0 ± 7.6%). TEE was 9446 ± 1422 kcal, and EI was 2366 ± 1184 kcal during the RWL of 53-h; therefore, the energy deficit was 7080 ± 1525 kcal. Thus, energy density was 1507 ± 279 kcal/kg ∆BM during the RWL, comparable with values obtained using the 4C, three-component model, dual energy X-ray absorptiometry, and stable isotope dilution. Energy density for RWL of wrestlers is lower than that commonly used (7400 or 7700 kcal/kg ΔBM). Although RWL is not recommended, we propose that commonly practiced extreme energy restriction such as 7400 or 7700 kcal/kg ΔBM during RWL appears to be meaningless. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Sport and Performance Nutrition)
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Open AccessArticle Effects of Whey Protein Hydrolysate Ingestion on Postprandial Aminoacidemia Compared with a Free Amino Acid Mixture in Young Men
Nutrients 2018, 10(4), 507; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu10040507
Received: 27 February 2018 / Revised: 10 April 2018 / Accepted: 17 April 2018 / Published: 19 April 2018
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Abstract
To stimulate muscle protein synthesis, it is important to increase the plasma levels of essential amino acids (EAA), especially leucine, by ingesting proteins. Protein hydrolysate ingestion can induce postprandial hyperaminoacidemia; however, it is unclear whether protein hydrolysate is associated with higher levels of
[...] Read more.
To stimulate muscle protein synthesis, it is important to increase the plasma levels of essential amino acids (EAA), especially leucine, by ingesting proteins. Protein hydrolysate ingestion can induce postprandial hyperaminoacidemia; however, it is unclear whether protein hydrolysate is associated with higher levels of aminoacidemia compared with a free amino acid mixture when both are ingested orally. We assessed the effects of whey protein hydrolysate (WPH) ingestion on postprandial aminoacidemia, especially plasma leucine levels, compared to ingestion of a free amino acid mixture. This study was an open-label, randomized, 4 × 4 Latin square design. After 12–15 h of fasting, 11 healthy young men ingested the WPH (3.3, 5.0, or 7.5 g of protein) or the EAA mixture (2.5 g). Blood samples were collected before ingestion and at time points from 10 to 120 min after ingestion, and amino acids, insulin, glucose and insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) concentrations in plasma were measured. Even though the EAA mixture and 5.0 g of the WPH contained similar amounts of EAA and leucine, the WPH was associated with significantly higher plasma EAA and leucine levels. These results suggest that the WPH can induce a higher level of aminoacidemia compared with a free amino acid mixture when both are ingested orally. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Sport and Performance Nutrition)
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Open AccessArticle Effects of Low Versus Moderate Glycemic Index Diets on Aerobic Capacity in Endurance Runners: Three-Week Randomized Controlled Crossover Trial
Nutrients 2018, 10(3), 370; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu10030370
Received: 22 January 2018 / Revised: 22 February 2018 / Accepted: 12 March 2018 / Published: 17 March 2018
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (808 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text | Supplementary Files
Abstract
The glycemic index (GI) of ingested carbohydrates may influence substrate oxidation during exercise and athletic performance. Therefore, the aim of this study was to assess the effect of low- and moderate-GI three-week diets on aerobic capacity and endurance performance in runners. We conducted
[...] Read more.
The glycemic index (GI) of ingested carbohydrates may influence substrate oxidation during exercise and athletic performance. Therefore, the aim of this study was to assess the effect of low- and moderate-GI three-week diets on aerobic capacity and endurance performance in runners. We conducted a randomized crossover feeding study of matched diets differing only in GI (low vs. moderate) in 21 endurance-trained runners. Each participant consumed both, low- (LGI) and moderate-GI (MGI) high-carbohydrate (~60%) and nutrient-balanced diets for three weeks each. At the beginning and end of each diet, participants had their aerobic capacity and body composition measured and performed a 12-min running test. After LGI, time to exhaustion during incremental cycling test (ICT) and distance covered in the 12-min run were significantly increased. The MGI diet led to an increase in maximal oxygen uptake ( V ˙ O2max), but no performance benefits were found after the MGI diet. The LGI and MGI diets improved time and workload at gas exchange threshold (GET) during ICT. The results indicate that a three-week high-carbohydrate LGI diet resulted in a small but significant improvement in athletic performance in endurance runners. Observed increase in V ˙ O2max on MGI diet did not affect performance. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Sport and Performance Nutrition)
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Review

Jump to: Research

Open AccessReview Role of Functional Beverages on Sport Performance and Recovery
Nutrients 2018, 10(10), 1470; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu10101470
Received: 14 August 2018 / Revised: 13 September 2018 / Accepted: 8 October 2018 / Published: 10 October 2018
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Abstract
Functional beverages represent a palatable and efficient way to hydrate and reintegrate electrolytes, carbohydrates, and other nutrients employed and/or lost during physical training and/or competitions. Bodily hydration during sporting activity is one of the best indicators of health in athletes and can be
[...] Read more.
Functional beverages represent a palatable and efficient way to hydrate and reintegrate electrolytes, carbohydrates, and other nutrients employed and/or lost during physical training and/or competitions. Bodily hydration during sporting activity is one of the best indicators of health in athletes and can be a limiting factor for sport performance. Indeed, dehydration strongly decreases athletic performance until it is a risk to health. As for other nutrients, each of them is reported to support athletes’ needs both during the physical activity and/or in the post-workout. In this study, we review the current knowledge of macronutrient-enriched functional beverages in sport taking into account the athletes’ health, sports performance, and recovery. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Sport and Performance Nutrition)
Open AccessReview Eicosapentaenoic Acid (EPA) and Docosahexaneoic Acid (DHA) in Muscle Damage and Function
Nutrients 2018, 10(5), 552; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu10050552
Received: 14 March 2018 / Revised: 10 April 2018 / Accepted: 25 April 2018 / Published: 29 April 2018
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Abstract
Nutritional supplementation not only helps in improving and maintaining performance in sports and exercise, but also contributes in reducing exercise fatigue and in recovery from exhaustion. Fish oil contains large amounts of omega-3 fatty acids, eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA; 20:5 n-3) and docosahexaenoic acid
[...] Read more.
Nutritional supplementation not only helps in improving and maintaining performance in sports and exercise, but also contributes in reducing exercise fatigue and in recovery from exhaustion. Fish oil contains large amounts of omega-3 fatty acids, eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA; 20:5 n-3) and docosahexaenoic acid (DHA; 22:6 n-3). It is widely known that omega-3 fatty acids are effective for improving cardiac function, depression, cognitive function, and blood as well as lowering blood pressure. In the relationship between omega-3 fatty acids and exercise performance, previous studies have been predicted improved endurance performance, antioxidant and anti-inflammatory responses, and effectivity against delayed-onset muscle soreness. However, the optimal dose, duration, and timing remain unclear. This review focuses on the effects of omega-3 fatty acid on muscle damage and function as evaluated by human and animal studies and summarizes its effects on muscle and nerve damage, and muscle mass and strength. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Advances in Sport and Performance Nutrition)
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