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The Role of Nutrition in Exercise and Sports

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 December 2024 | Viewed by 104969

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
Unit of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Department of Movement, Human and Health Sciences, University of Rome FORO ITALICO, Piazza Lauro de Bosis 6, 00135 Rome, Italy
Interests: oxidative stress; skeletal muscle; physical activity; antioxidants; nutrition; aging
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Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Nutrition influences every bodily process through its roles in energy production and tissue plasticity. Healthy adaptation to exercise requires a balanced intake of macro-/micronutrients and minerals to ensure optimal performance during training and competition, weight maintenance, and muscle recovery from exercise. Each sport has specific nutritional requirements depending on inter-individual differences (e.g., age, disease, gender, body mass) and/or environmental factors. Sport practitioners often recommend dietary supplements to take advantage of the beneficial effects of exercise while, at the same time, counteract its potential adverse effects (e.g., muscle damage, oxidative stress, fatigue). Sport nutrition is an always-evolving science that requires continuous updates in order to find cutting-edge strategies for optimal nutrition for specific groups of individuals and consequently improve exercise performance.

This Special Issue invites submissions of manuscripts, either original research or reviews, with an emphasis on describing the interplay between nutritional strategies and/or dietary supplements with exercise and its influence in muscle health and physical performance in different groups of subjects. The main focus is on human studies, but work in animal models will also be considered. We welcome different types of manuscript submissions, including original research articles and up-to-date reviews (systematic reviews and meta-analyses).

Dr. Roberta Ceci
Dr. Guglielmo Duranti
Guest Editors

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Keywords

  • sports
  • exercise
  • performance
  • recovery
  • ergogenic Aids
  • dietary supplements
  • muscle damage
  • nutrition
  • oxidative stress
  • aging
  • fatigue
  • disease prevention

Published Papers (18 papers)

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Research

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12 pages, 1766 KiB  
Article
Methods over Materials: The Need for Sport-Specific Equations to Accurately Predict Fat Mass Using Bioimpedance Analysis or Anthropometry
by Francesco Campa, Catarina N. Matias, Tatiana Moro, Giuseppe Cerullo, Andrea Casolo, Filipe J. Teixeira and Antonio Paoli
Nutrients 2023, 15(2), 278; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu15020278 - 5 Jan 2023
Cited by 15 | Viewed by 3523
Abstract
Bioelectrical impedance analysis (BIA) and anthropometry are considered alternatives to well-established reference techniques for assessing body composition. In team sports, the percentage of fat mass (FM%) is one of the most informative parameters, and a wide range of predictive equations allow for its [...] Read more.
Bioelectrical impedance analysis (BIA) and anthropometry are considered alternatives to well-established reference techniques for assessing body composition. In team sports, the percentage of fat mass (FM%) is one of the most informative parameters, and a wide range of predictive equations allow for its estimation through both BIA and anthropometry. Although it is not clear which of these two techniques is more accurate for estimating FM%, the choice of the predictive equation could be a determining factor. The present study aimed to examine the validity of BIA and anthropometry in estimating FM% with different predictive equations, using dual X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) as a reference, in a group of futsal players. A total of 67 high-level male futsal players (age 23.7 ± 5.4 years) underwent BIA, anthropometric measurements, and DXA scanning. Four generalized, four athletic, and two sport-specific predictive equations were used for estimating FM% from raw bioelectric and anthropometric parameters. DXA-derived FM% was used as a reference. BIA-based generalized equations overestimated FM% (ranging from 1.13 to 2.69%, p < 0.05), whereas anthropometry-based generalized equations underestimated FM% in the futsal players (ranging from −1.72 to −2.04%, p < 0.05). Compared to DXA, no mean bias (p > 0.05) was observed using the athletic and sport-specific equations. Sport-specific equations allowed for more accurate and precise FM% estimations than did athletic predictive equations, with no trend (ranging from r = −0.217 to 0.235, p > 0.05). Regardless of the instrument, the choice of the equation determines the validity in FM% prediction. In conclusion, BIA and anthropometry can be used interchangeably, allowing for valid FM% estimations, provided that athletic and sport-specific equations are applied. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Role of Nutrition in Exercise and Sports)
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10 pages, 888 KiB  
Article
Effects on Spirulina Supplementation on Immune Cells’ Parameters of Elite College Athletes
by Yuting Zhang, Yan Zhang, Wei Wu, Yining Xu, Xiaohan Li, Qiner Qiu and Haimin Chen
Nutrients 2022, 14(20), 4346; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu14204346 - 17 Oct 2022
Viewed by 4634
Abstract
Objective: To identify the effect of spirulina supplementation on the immune cells’ indicators of young soccer players during the preparation period of a tournament. Methods: 39 undergraduate male soccer players were recruited and randomly allocated into a spirulina supplementation group (SP group, n [...] Read more.
Objective: To identify the effect of spirulina supplementation on the immune cells’ indicators of young soccer players during the preparation period of a tournament. Methods: 39 undergraduate male soccer players were recruited and randomly allocated into a spirulina supplementation group (SP group, n = 20) and the placebo supplementation group (PB group, n = 19). Their elbow venous blood samples were collected before and after the preparation period of a tournament, which included 8 weeks total. The differences within the group and between groups were recorded and analyzed. Results: The ratio of the basophils in the SP group between the pre-test and post-test were statistically significantly different (p < 0.05). In the PB group, the percentage of before and after in leukocytes and monocytes were statistically significantly different (p < 0.05). In the data of the post-test, the percentage of monocytes and basophils between the SP group and PB group were statistically significantly different. The delta variations of monocytes between groups were significantly different (p < 0.05). Conclusions: Intense long-duration exercise can reduce the ratio of leukocytes and monocytes in young athletes, yet the spirulina supplement can inhibit the change. It also might improve immunity to parasites, pathogenic bacterium, and rapid-onset allergies. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Role of Nutrition in Exercise and Sports)
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18 pages, 2374 KiB  
Article
Muscle-Related Effect of Whey Protein and Vitamin D3 Supplementation Provided before or after Bedtime in Males Undergoing Resistance Training
by Yan Chen, Yiheng Liang, Hang Guo, Kun Meng, Junqiang Qiu and Dan Benardot
Nutrients 2022, 14(11), 2289; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu14112289 - 30 May 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 6036
Abstract
There is increasing evidence that dietary protein intake with leucine and vitamin D is an important factor in muscle protein synthesis. This study investigated the combined effects of consuming whey protein and vitamin D3 in the evening before bedtime or in the [...] Read more.
There is increasing evidence that dietary protein intake with leucine and vitamin D is an important factor in muscle protein synthesis. This study investigated the combined effects of consuming whey protein and vitamin D3 in the evening before bedtime or in the morning after sleeping on muscle mass and strength. Healthy, untrained males (N = 42; Age = 18–24 year) were randomly assigned into three groups: before bedtime, after sleeping, and control. Subjects underwent a 6-week resistance training program in combination with supplements that provided 25 g whey protein and 4000 IU vitamin D3 for the before bedtime and after sleeping groups and a 5 g maltodextrin placebo for the control group. A significant increase in serum vitamin D was observed in both before bedtime and after sleeping groups. All groups experienced a significant gain in leg press. However, the control group did not experience significant improvements in muscle mass and associated blood hormones that were experienced by the before bedtime and after sleeping groups. No significant differences in assessed values were observed between the before bedtime and after sleeping groups. These findings suggest that the combination of whey protein and vitamin D supplements provided either before or after sleep resulted in beneficial increases in muscle mass in young males undergoing resistance training that exceeded the changes observed without these supplements. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Role of Nutrition in Exercise and Sports)
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9 pages, 308 KiB  
Article
Analysis of Intracellular and Extracellular Selenium Concentrations: Differences According to Training Level
by Víctor Toro-Román, Ignacio Bartolomé, Jesús Siquier-Coll, María C. Robles-Gil, Diego Muñoz and Marcos Maynar-Mariño
Nutrients 2022, 14(9), 1857; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu14091857 - 29 Apr 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1859
Abstract
Trace mineral element concentrations are under homeostatic control. Selenium (Se) is a very important micronutrient for the antioxidant and immune system. Se metabolism could be modified due to physical training. This research aimed to analyze the extracellular (plasma, urine and serum) and intracellular [...] Read more.
Trace mineral element concentrations are under homeostatic control. Selenium (Se) is a very important micronutrient for the antioxidant and immune system. Se metabolism could be modified due to physical training. This research aimed to analyze the extracellular (plasma, urine and serum) and intracellular (platelets and erythrocytes) concentrations of Se in athletes and to compare it with subjects with low levels of physical training. Forty young men divided into a control group (CG; n = 20; 19.25 ± 0.39 years) and a training group (TG; n = 20; 18.15 ± 0.27 years) participated in this study. The TG was formed by semi-professional soccer players. The analysis of Se was determined by inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry. The TG obtained higher values of maximum oxygen consumption and muscle percentage (p < 0.05). The TG showed reduced absolute (p < 0.01) and relative (p < 0.05) Se concentrations in erythrocytes and platelets in comparison to CG. Trace element assessments should not be limited only to extracellular compartments as there could be deficiencies at the intracellular level. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Role of Nutrition in Exercise and Sports)
15 pages, 2196 KiB  
Article
Effects of Trehalose Solutions at Different Concentrations on High-Intensity Intermittent Exercise Performance
by Naomi Hamada, Tsuyoshi Wadazumi, Yoko Hirata, Hitoshi Watanabe, Nobuko Hongu and Norie Arai
Nutrients 2022, 14(9), 1776; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu14091776 - 23 Apr 2022
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 2986
Abstract
Trehalose solution ingested during exercise induces gradual increases in blood glucose levels and the insulin response compared with glucose solution. Trehalose solution aids in the maintenance of performance in the later stages of prolonged exercise. The purpose of this study was to identify [...] Read more.
Trehalose solution ingested during exercise induces gradual increases in blood glucose levels and the insulin response compared with glucose solution. Trehalose solution aids in the maintenance of performance in the later stages of prolonged exercise. The purpose of this study was to identify the lowest concentration at which the properties of trehalose could be exploited. Groups of 12 healthy men (21.3 ± 1.3 years) and 10 healthy men (21.1 ± 0.7 years) with recreational training were included in experiments 1 and 2, respectively. Both experiments followed the same protocol. After fasting for 12 h, the participants performed a 60 min constant-load exercise at 40% V˙O2 peak using a bicycle ergometer and ingested 500 mL of a trial drink (experiment 1: water, 8% glucose, and 6 or 8% trehalose; experiment 2: 4 or 6% trehalose). They performed four sets of the Wingate test combined with a 30 min constant-load exercise at 40% V˙O2 peak. The experiment was conducted using a randomized cross-over design; trial drink experiments were conducted over intervals of 7 to 12 days. The exercise performance was evaluated based on mean power in the Wingate test. Blood was collected from the fingertip at 12 points during each experiment to measure blood glucose levels. During the high-intensity 5 h intermittent exercise, no differences were found between the groups in exercise performance in the later stages with concentrations of 8, 6, and 4% trehalose solution. The results suggest that trehalose could be useful for making a new type of mixed carbohydrate solution. Further studies to determine the trehalose response of individual athletes during endurance exercise are needed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Role of Nutrition in Exercise and Sports)
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13 pages, 2382 KiB  
Article
Can Low-Dose of Dietary Vitamin E Supplementation Reduce Exercise-Induced Muscle Damage and Oxidative Stress? A Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials
by Myunghee Kim, Hyeyoon Eo, Josephine Gahyun Lim, Hyunjung Lim and Yunsook Lim
Nutrients 2022, 14(8), 1599; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu14081599 - 12 Apr 2022
Cited by 7 | Viewed by 3968
Abstract
Vitamin E plays an important role in attenuating muscle damage caused by oxidative stress and inflammation. Despites of beneficial effects from antioxidant supplementation, effects of antioxidants on exercise-induced muscle damage are still unclear. The aim of this meta-analysis was to investigate the effects [...] Read more.
Vitamin E plays an important role in attenuating muscle damage caused by oxidative stress and inflammation. Despites of beneficial effects from antioxidant supplementation, effects of antioxidants on exercise-induced muscle damage are still unclear. The aim of this meta-analysis was to investigate the effects of dietary vitamin E supplementation on exercise-induced muscle damage, oxidative stress, and inflammation in randomized controlled trials (RCTs). The literature search was conducted through PubMed, Medline, Science Direct, Scopus, SPORTDiscuss, EBSCO, Google Scholar database up to February 2022. A total of 44 RCTs were selected, quality was assessed according to the Cochrane collaboration risk of bias tool (CCRBT), and they were analyzed by Revman 5.3. Dietary vitamin E supplementation had a protective effect on muscle damage represented by creatine kinase (CK; SMD −1.00, 95% CI: −1.95, −0.06) and lactate dehydrogenase (SMD −1.80, 95% CI: −3.21, −0.39). Muscle damage was more reduced when CK was measured immediately after exercise (SMD −1.89, 95% CI: −3.39, −0.39) and subjects were athletes (SMD −5.15, 95% CI: −9.92, −0.39). Especially vitamin E supplementation lower than 500 IU had more beneficial effects on exercise-induced muscle damage as measured by CK (SMD −1.94, 95% CI: −2.99, −0.89). In conclusion, dietary vitamin E supplementation lower than 500 IU could prevent exercise-induced muscle damage and had greater impact on athletes Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Role of Nutrition in Exercise and Sports)
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10 pages, 843 KiB  
Article
Carbohydrate Mouth Rinse Increases High but Not Low Intensity Repetitions to Failure in Resistance-Trained Males
by Raci Karayigit, Mustafa Can Eser, Fatih Gur, Cengizhan Sari, Ladislav Cepicka and Tomasz Gabrys
Nutrients 2022, 14(4), 875; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu14040875 - 19 Feb 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2828
Abstract
Carbohydrate mouth rinsing (CMR) has been shown to enhance exercise performance. However, the influence of CMR on repetitions to failure with different intensities (40% or 80% of 1 RM) is unknown. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to examine the effects of [...] Read more.
Carbohydrate mouth rinsing (CMR) has been shown to enhance exercise performance. However, the influence of CMR on repetitions to failure with different intensities (40% or 80% of 1 RM) is unknown. Therefore, the purpose of this study was to examine the effects of a 6% CMR solution on muscular endurance assessed at 40% and 80% of 1 RM in resistance-trained males. Sixteen resistance-trained males (age: 25 ± 3 years, height: 182 ± 6 cm, body mass: 86 ± 3 kg, body fat: 16 ± 3%, bench press 1 RM: 106 ± 16 kg, resistance training experience: 5 ± 1 years) completed four conditions in random order. The four conditions consisted of ten seconds of mouth rinsing with 25 mL solutions containing either maltodextrin or placebo (sweetened water) prior to performing a bench press muscular endurance test at either 40% of 1 RM or 80% of 1 RM. Total repetitions, heart rate (HR), ratings of perceived exertion (RPE), glucose (GLU) and felt arousal (FA) were recorded for each condition. There was a significant condition by intensity interaction (p = 0.02). CMR significantly increased total repetitions compared with placebo at the higher intensity (80% of 1 RM; p = 0.04), while there was no effect at the lower intensity (p = 0.20). In addition, HR, RPE, GLU and FA did not differ between conditions or across intensities (p > 0.05). In conclusion, CMR-enhanced muscular endurance performed at higher but not lower intensities. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Role of Nutrition in Exercise and Sports)
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14 pages, 1151 KiB  
Article
Effects of Inositol-Enhanced Bonded Arginine Silicate Ingestion on Cognitive and Executive Function in Gamers
by Ryan Sowinski, Drew Gonzalez, Dante Xing, Choongsung Yoo, Victoria Jenkins, Kay Nottingham, Broderick Dickerson, Megan Humphries, Megan Leonard, Joungbo Ko, Mark Faries, Wesley Kephart, Christopher J. Rasmussen and Richard B. Kreider
Nutrients 2021, 13(11), 3758; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu13113758 - 24 Oct 2021
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 8128
Abstract
Inositol stabilized arginine silicate (ASI) ingestion has been reported to increase nitric oxide levels while inositol (I) has been reported to enhance neurotransmission. The current study examined whether acute ASI + I (Inositol-enhanced bonded arginine silicate) ingestion affects cognitive function in e-sport gamers. [...] Read more.
Inositol stabilized arginine silicate (ASI) ingestion has been reported to increase nitric oxide levels while inositol (I) has been reported to enhance neurotransmission. The current study examined whether acute ASI + I (Inositol-enhanced bonded arginine silicate) ingestion affects cognitive function in e-sport gamers. In a double blind, randomized, placebo controlled, and crossover trial, 26 healthy male (n = 18) and female (n = 8) experienced gamers (23 ± 5 years, 171 ± 11 cm, 71.1 ± 14 kg, 20.7 ± 3.5 kg/m2) were randomly assigned to consume 1600 mg of ASI + I (nooLVL®, Nutrition 21) or 1600 mg of a maltodextrin placebo (PLA). Prior to testing, participants recorded their diet, refrained from consuming atypical amounts of stimulants and foods high in arginine and nitrates, and fasted for 8 h. During testing sessions, participants completed stimulant sensitivity questionnaires and performed cognitive function tests (i.e., Berg-Wisconsin Card Sorting task test, Go/No-Go test, Sternberg Task Test, Psychomotor Vigilance Task Test, Cambridge Brain Sciences Reasoning and Concentration test) and a light reaction test. Participants then ingested treatments in a randomized manner. Fifteen minutes following ingestion, participants repeated tests (Pre-Game). Participants then played their favorite video game for 1-h and repeated the battery of tests (Post-Game). Participants observed a 7–14-day washout period and then replicated the study with the alternative treatment. Data were analyzed by General Linear Model (GLM) univariate analyses with repeated measures using weight as a covariate, paired t-tests (not adjusted to weight), and mean changes from baseline with 95% Confidence Intervals (CI). Pairwise comparison revealed that there was a significant improvement in Sternberg Mean Present Reaction Time (ASI + I vs. PLA; p < 0.05). In Post-Game assessments, 4-letter Absent Reaction Time (p < 0.05), 6-letter Present Reaction Time (p < 0.01), 6-letter Absent Reaction Time (p < 0.01), Mean Present Reaction Time (p < 0.02), and Mean Absent Reaction Time (p < 0.03) were improved with ASI + I vs. PLA. There was a non-significant trend in Pre-Game Sternberg 4-letter Present Reaction time in ASI + I vs. PLA (p < 0.07). ASI + I ingestion better maintained changes in Go/No-Go Mean Accuracy and Reaction Time, Psychomotor Vigilance Task Reaction Time, and Cambridge Post-Game Visio-spatial Processing and Planning. Results provide evidence that ASI + I ingestion prior to playing video games may enhance some measures of short-term and working memory, reaction time, reasoning, and concentration in experienced gamers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Role of Nutrition in Exercise and Sports)
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18 pages, 857 KiB  
Article
Training and Racing Behaviors of Omnivorous, Vegetarian, and Vegan Endurance Runners—Results from the NURMI Study (Step 1)
by Katharina Wirnitzer, Mohamad Motevalli, Derrick Tanous, Gerold Wirnitzer, Claus Leitzmann, Karl-Heinz Wagner, Thomas Rosemann and Beat Knechtle
Nutrients 2021, 13(10), 3521; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu13103521 - 7 Oct 2021
Cited by 15 | Viewed by 6570
Abstract
As a key modulator of training adaptations and racing performance, nutrition plays a critical role in endurance runners’ success, and the training/racing behaviors of runners are potentially affected by their diet types. The present study aimed to investigate whether distance runners with a [...] Read more.
As a key modulator of training adaptations and racing performance, nutrition plays a critical role in endurance runners’ success, and the training/racing behaviors of runners are potentially affected by their diet types. The present study aimed to investigate whether distance runners with a vegan diet (i.e., devoid of foods or ingredients from animal sources), vegetarian diet (i.e., devoid of meat and flesh foods), and omnivorous diet (i.e., a mixed diet with no restriction on food sources) have different training and racing patterns in general and based on race distance subgroups. A total of 3835 recreational runners completed an online survey. Runners were assigned to dietary (omnivorous, vegetarian, and vegan) and race distance (<21 km, half-marathon, and marathon/ultra-marathon) groups. In addition to sociodemographic information, a complete profile of data sets focusing on running and racing behaviors/patterns was evaluated using a questionnaire-based epidemiological approach. There were 1272 omnivores (47% females), 598 vegetarians (64% females), and 994 vegans (65% females). Compared to vegans and vegetarians, omnivorous runners prepared for a longer time period for running events, had a higher number of half-marathons and marathons completed with a better finish time, and had more reliance on training under supervision (p < 0.05). The present findings indicate an important association of diet types with patterns of training and racing amongst endurance runners that may be related to different motives of omnivorous, vegetarian, and vegan runners for participating in events. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Role of Nutrition in Exercise and Sports)
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13 pages, 2955 KiB  
Article
The Effects of High-Protein Diet and Resistance Training on Glucose Control and Inflammatory Profile of Visceral Adipose Tissue in Rats
by Claudia Stela Medeiros, Ivo Vieira de Sousa Neto, Keemilyn Karla Santos Silva, Ana Paula Castro Cantuária, Taia Maria Berto Rezende, Octávio Luiz Franco, Rita de Cassia Marqueti, Leandro Ceotto Freitas-Lima, Ronaldo Carvalho Araujo, Azize Yildirim, Richard Mackenzie and Jeeser Alves Almeida
Nutrients 2021, 13(6), 1969; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu13061969 - 8 Jun 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 4090
Abstract
High-protein diets (HPDs) are widely accepted as a way to stimulate muscle protein synthesis when combined with resistance training (RT). However, the effects of HPDs on adipose tissue plasticity and local inflammation are yet to be determined. This study investigated the impact of [...] Read more.
High-protein diets (HPDs) are widely accepted as a way to stimulate muscle protein synthesis when combined with resistance training (RT). However, the effects of HPDs on adipose tissue plasticity and local inflammation are yet to be determined. This study investigated the impact of HPDs on glucose control, adipocyte size, and epididymal adipose inflammatory biomarkers in resistance-trained rats. Eighteen Wistar rats were randomly assigned to four groups: normal-protein (NPD; 17% protein total dietary intake) and HPD (26.1% protein) without RT and NPD and HPD with RT. Trained groups received RT for 12 weeks with weights secured to their tails. Glucose and insulin tolerance tests, adipocyte size, and an array of cytokines were determined. While HPD without RT induced glucose intolerance, enlarged adipocytes, and increased TNF-α, MCP-1, and IL1-β levels in epididymal adipose tissue (p < 0.05), RT diminished these deleterious effects, with the HPD + RT group displaying improved blood glucose control without inflammatory cytokine increases in epididymal adipose tissue (p < 0.05). Furthermore, RT increased glutathione expression independent of diet (p < 0.05). RT may offer protection against adipocyte hypertrophy, pro-inflammatory states, and glucose intolerance during HPDs. The results highlight the potential protective effects of RT to mitigate the maladaptive effects of HPDs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Role of Nutrition in Exercise and Sports)
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19 pages, 2274 KiB  
Article
A Low-Carbohydrate Ketogenic Diet and Treadmill Training Enhanced Fatty Acid Oxidation Capacity but Did Not Enhance Maximal Exercise Capacity in Mice
by Sihui Ma, Jiao Yang, Takaki Tominaga, Chunhong Liu and Katsuhiko Suzuki
Nutrients 2021, 13(2), 611; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu13020611 - 13 Feb 2021
Cited by 11 | Viewed by 3655
Abstract
The low-carbohydrate ketogenic diet (LCKD) is a dietary approach characterized by the intake of high amounts of fat, a balanced amount of protein, and low carbohydrates, which is insufficient for metabolic demands. Previous studies have shown that an LCKD alone may contribute to [...] Read more.
The low-carbohydrate ketogenic diet (LCKD) is a dietary approach characterized by the intake of high amounts of fat, a balanced amount of protein, and low carbohydrates, which is insufficient for metabolic demands. Previous studies have shown that an LCKD alone may contribute to fatty acid oxidation capacity, along with endurance. In the present study, we combined a 10-week LCKD with an 8-week forced treadmill running program to determine whether training in conjunction with LCKD enhanced fatty acid oxidation capacity, as well as whether the maximal exercise capacity would be affected by an LCKD or training in a mice model. We found that the lipid pool and fatty acid oxidation capacity were both enhanced following the 10-week LCKD. Further, key fatty acid oxidation related genes were upregulated. In contrast, the 8-week training regimen had no effect on fatty acid and ketone body oxidation. Key genes involved in carbohydrate utilization were downregulated in the LCKD groups. However, the improved fatty acid oxidation capacity did not translate into an enhanced maximal exercise capacity. In summary, while favoring the fatty acid oxidation system, an LCKD, alone or combined with training, had no beneficial effects in our intensive exercise-evaluation model. Therefore, an LCKD may be promising to improve endurance in low- to moderate-intensity exercise, and may not be an optimal choice for those partaking in high-intensity exercise. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Role of Nutrition in Exercise and Sports)
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19 pages, 1550 KiB  
Article
Feeding Your Himalayan Expedition: Nutritional Signatures and Body Composition Adaptations of Trekkers and Porters
by Danilo Bondi, Anna Maria Aloisi, Tiziana Pietrangelo, Raffaela Piccinelli, Cinzia Le Donne, Tereza Jandova, Stefano Pieretti, Mattia Taraborrelli, Carmen Santangelo, Bruna Lattanzi and Vittore Verratti
Nutrients 2021, 13(2), 460; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu13020460 - 30 Jan 2021
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 3129
Abstract
High-altitude exposure leads to many physiological challenges, such as weight loss and dehydration. However, little attention has been posed to the role of nutrition and ethnic differences. Aiming to fulfill this gap, five Italian trekkers and seven Nepalese porters, all males, recorded their [...] Read more.
High-altitude exposure leads to many physiological challenges, such as weight loss and dehydration. However, little attention has been posed to the role of nutrition and ethnic differences. Aiming to fulfill this gap, five Italian trekkers and seven Nepalese porters, all males, recorded their diet in diaries during a Himalayan expedition (19 days), and the average daily intake of micro and macro-nutrients were calculated. Bioimpedance analysis was performed five times during the trek; muscle ultrasound was performed before and after the expedition, only for the Italians. The Nepalese group consumed a lot of rice and only Italians consumed cheese. Water intake was slightly over 3000 g/d for both groups. Nepalese diet had a higher density of dietary fibre and lower density of riboflavin, vitamins A, K, and B12. Intake of calcium was lower than recommended levels. Body mass index, waist circumference, fat-free mass, and total body water decreased in both groups, whereas resistance (Rz) increased. Italians reactance (Xc) increased at day 9, whereas that of Nepalese occurred at days 5, 9, and 16. The cross-sectional area of the Vastus lateralis was reduced after the expedition. Specific nutritional and food-related risk factors guidance is needed for diverse expedition groups. Loss of muscle mass and balance of fluids both deserve a particular focus as concerns altitude expeditions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Role of Nutrition in Exercise and Sports)
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13 pages, 3796 KiB  
Article
Effects of Oral Resveratrol Supplementation on Glycogen Replenishment and Mitochondria Biogenesis in Exercised Human Skeletal Muscle
by Chun-Ching Huang, Chia-Chen Liu, Jung-Piao Tsao, Chin-Lin Hsu and I-Shiung Cheng
Nutrients 2020, 12(12), 3721; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12123721 - 2 Dec 2020
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 3544
Abstract
The present study aimed to investigate the effect of oral resveratrol supplementation on the key molecular gene expressions involved in mitochondria biogenesis and glycogen resynthesis in human skeletal muscle. Nine young male athletes participated in the single-blind and crossover designed study. All subjects [...] Read more.
The present study aimed to investigate the effect of oral resveratrol supplementation on the key molecular gene expressions involved in mitochondria biogenesis and glycogen resynthesis in human skeletal muscle. Nine young male athletes participated in the single-blind and crossover designed study. All subjects completed a 4-day resveratrol and placebo supplement in a randomized order while performing a single bout of cycling exercise. Immediately after the exercise challenge, the subjects consumed a carbohydrate (CHO) meal (2 g CHO/Kg body mass) with either resveratrol or placebo capsules. Biopsied muscle samples, blood samples and expired gas samples were obtained at 0 h and 3 h after exercise. The muscle samples were measured for gene transcription factor expression by real-time PCR for glucose uptake and mitochondria biogenesis. Plasma glucose, insulin, glycerol, non-esterified fatty acid concentrations and respiratory exchange ratio were analyzed during post-exercise recovery periods. The results showed that the muscle glycogen concentrations were higher at 3 h than at 0 h; however, there were no difference between resveratrol trial and placebo trial. There were no significantly different concentrations in plasma parameters between the two trials. Similarly, no measured gene expressions were significant between the two trials. The evidence concluded that the 4-day oral resveratrol supplementation did not improve post-exercise muscle glycogen resynthesis and related glucose uptake and mitochondrial biosynthesis gene expression in men. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Role of Nutrition in Exercise and Sports)
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Review

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20 pages, 421 KiB  
Review
Nutritional Considerations for Injury Prevention and Recovery in Combat Sports
by Hüseyin Hüsrev Turnagöl, Şükran Nazan Koşar, Yasemin Güzel, Selin Aktitiz and Muhammed Mustafa Atakan
Nutrients 2022, 14(1), 53; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu14010053 - 23 Dec 2021
Cited by 20 | Viewed by 16163
Abstract
Sports participation is not without risk, and most athletes incur at least one injury throughout their careers. Combat sports are popular all around the world, and about one-third of their injuries result in more than 7 days of absence from competition or training. [...] Read more.
Sports participation is not without risk, and most athletes incur at least one injury throughout their careers. Combat sports are popular all around the world, and about one-third of their injuries result in more than 7 days of absence from competition or training. The most frequently injured body regions are the head and neck, followed by the upper and lower limbs, while the most common tissue types injured are superficial tissues and skin, followed by ligaments and joint capsules. Nutrition has significant implications for injury prevention and enhancement of the recovery process due to its effect on the overall physical and psychological well-being of the athlete and improving tissue healing. In particular, amino acid and protein intake, antioxidants, creatine, and omega-3 are given special attention due to their therapeutic roles in preventing muscle loss and anabolic resistance as well as promoting injury healing. The purpose of this review is to present the roles of various nutritional strategies in reducing the risk of injury and improving the treatment and rehabilitation process in combat sports. In this respect, nutritional considerations for muscle, joint, and bone injuries as well as sports-related concussions are presented. The injury risk associated with rapid weight loss is also discussed. Finally, preoperative nutrition and nutritional considerations for returning to a sport after rehabilitation are addressed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Role of Nutrition in Exercise and Sports)
23 pages, 5520 KiB  
Review
The Effect of Beetroot Ingestion on High-Intensity Interval Training: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis
by Tak Hiong Wong, Alexiaa Sim and Stephen F. Burns
Nutrients 2021, 13(11), 3674; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu13113674 - 20 Oct 2021
Cited by 14 | Viewed by 6522
Abstract
Dietary nitrate supplementation has shown promising ergogenic effects on endurance exercise. However, at present there is no systematic analysis evaluating the effects of acute or chronic nitrate supplementation on performance measures during high-intensity interval training (HIIT) and sprint interval training (SIT). The main [...] Read more.
Dietary nitrate supplementation has shown promising ergogenic effects on endurance exercise. However, at present there is no systematic analysis evaluating the effects of acute or chronic nitrate supplementation on performance measures during high-intensity interval training (HIIT) and sprint interval training (SIT). The main aim of this systematic review and meta-analysis was to evaluate the evidence for supplementation of dietary beetroot—a common source of nitrate—to improve peak and mean power output during HIIT and SIT. A systematic literature search was carried out following PRISMA guidelines and the PICOS framework within the following databases: PubMed, ProQuest, ScienceDirect, and SPORTDiscus. Search terms used were: ((nitrate OR nitrite OR beetroot) AND (HIIT or high intensity or sprint interval or SIT) AND (performance)). A total of 17 studies were included and reviewed independently. Seven studies applied an acute supplementation strategy and ten studies applied chronic supplementation. The standardised mean difference for mean power output showed an overall trivial, non-significant effect in favour of placebo (Hedges’ g = −0.05, 95% CI −0.32 to 0.21, Z = 0.39, p = 0.69). The standardised mean difference for peak power output showed a trivial, non-significant effect in favour of the beetroot juice intervention (Hedges’ g = 0.08, 95% CI −0.14 to 0.30, Z = 0.72, p = 0.47). The present meta-analysis showed trivial statistical heterogeneity in power output, but the variation in the exercise protocols, nitrate dosage, type of beetroot products, supplementation strategy, and duration among studies restricted a firm conclusion of the effect of beetroot supplementation on HIIT performance. Our findings suggest that beetroot supplementation offers no significant improvement to peak or mean power output during HIIT or SIT. Future research could further examine the ergogenic potential by optimising the beetroot supplementation strategy in terms of dosage, timing, and type of beetroot product. The potential combined effect of other ingredients in the beetroot products should not be undermined. Finally, a chronic supplementation protocol with a higher beetroot dosage (>12.9 mmol/day for 6 days) is recommended for future HIIT and SIT study. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Role of Nutrition in Exercise and Sports)
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14 pages, 894 KiB  
Review
Can Physical Activity Influence Human Gut Microbiota Composition Independently of Diet? A Systematic Review
by Barbara Dorelli, Francesca Gallè, Corrado De Vito, Guglielmo Duranti, Matteo Iachini, Matteo Zaccarin, Jacopo Preziosi Standoli, Roberta Ceci, Ferdinando Romano, Giorgio Liguori, Vincenzo Romano Spica, Stefania Sabatini, Federica Valeriani and Maria Sofia Cattaruzza
Nutrients 2021, 13(6), 1890; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu13061890 - 31 May 2021
Cited by 29 | Viewed by 6038
Abstract
Evidence suggests that physical activity (PA) influences the human gut microbiota composition, but its role is unclear because of dietary interference. The aim of this review is to clarify this issue from this new perspective in healthy individuals. Articles analyzing intestinal microbiota from [...] Read more.
Evidence suggests that physical activity (PA) influences the human gut microbiota composition, but its role is unclear because of dietary interference. The aim of this review is to clarify this issue from this new perspective in healthy individuals. Articles analyzing intestinal microbiota from fecal samples by 16S rRNA amplicon sequencing were selected by searching the electronic databases PubMed, Scopus, and Web of Science until December 2020. For each study, methodological quality was assessed, and results about microbiota biodiversity indices, phylum and genus composition, and information on PA and diet were considered. From 997 potentially relevant articles, 10 met the inclusion criteria and were analyzed. Five studies involved athletes, three were performed on active people classified on the basis of habitual PA level, and two among sedentary subjects undergoing exercise interventions. The majority of the studies reported higher variability and prevalence of the phylum Firmicutes (genera Ruminococcaceae or Fecalibacteria) in active compared to inactive individuals, especially in athletes. The assessment of diet as a possible confounder of PA/exercise effects was completed only in four studies. They reported a similar abundance of Lachnospiraceae, Paraprevotellaceae, Ruminococcaceae, and Veillonellaceae, which are involved in metabolic, protective, structural, and histological functions. Further studies are needed to confirm these findings. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Role of Nutrition in Exercise and Sports)
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18 pages, 564 KiB  
Perspective
The VegPlate for Sports: A Plant-Based Food Guide for Athletes
by Luciana Baroni, Ettore Pelosi, Francesca Giampieri and Maurizio Battino
Nutrients 2023, 15(7), 1746; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu15071746 - 3 Apr 2023
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 12056
Abstract
Background: Nutrition strategies improve physiological and biochemical adaptation to training, facilitate more intense workouts, promote faster recoveries after a workout in anticipation of the next, and help to prepare for a race and maintain the body’s hydration status. Although vegetarianism (i.e., lacto-ovo and [...] Read more.
Background: Nutrition strategies improve physiological and biochemical adaptation to training, facilitate more intense workouts, promote faster recoveries after a workout in anticipation of the next, and help to prepare for a race and maintain the body’s hydration status. Although vegetarianism (i.e., lacto-ovo and veganism) has become increasingly popular in recent years, the number of vegetarian athletes is not known, and no specific recommendations have been made for vegetarian dietary planning in sports. Well-planned diets are mandatory to obtain the best performance, and the available literature reports that those excluding all types of flesh foods (meat, poultry, game, and seafood) neither find advantages nor suffer from disadvantages, compared to omnivorous diets, for strength, anaerobic, or aerobic exercise performance; additionally, some benefits can be derived for general health. Methods: We conceived the VegPlate for Sports, a vegetarian food guide (VFG) based on the already-validated VegPlate facilitating method, designed according to the Italian dietary reference intakes (DRIs). Results: The VegPlate for Sports is suitable for men and women who are active in sports and adhere to a vegetarian (i.e., lacto-ovo and vegan) diet, and provides weight-based, adequate dietary planning. Conclusions: The VegPlate for Sports represents a practical tool for nutrition professionals and gives the possibility to plan diets based on energy, carbohydrate (CHO), and protein (PRO) necessities, from 50 to 90 Kg body weight (BW). Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Role of Nutrition in Exercise and Sports)
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9 pages, 794 KiB  
Brief Report
The Effect of Different Postprandial Exercise Types on Glucose Response to Breakfast in Individuals with Type 2 Diabetes
by Alessio Bellini, Andrea Nicolò, Rocco Bulzomì, Ilenia Bazzucchi and Massimo Sacchetti
Nutrients 2021, 13(5), 1440; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu13051440 - 24 Apr 2021
Cited by 12 | Viewed by 4645
Abstract
Postprandial exercise represents an important tool for improving the glycemic response to a meal. This study evaluates the effects of the combination and sequence of different exercise types on the postprandial glycemic response in patients with type 2 diabetes. In this repeated-measures crossover [...] Read more.
Postprandial exercise represents an important tool for improving the glycemic response to a meal. This study evaluates the effects of the combination and sequence of different exercise types on the postprandial glycemic response in patients with type 2 diabetes. In this repeated-measures crossover study, eight patients with type 2 diabetes performed five experimental conditions in a randomized order: (i) uninterrupted sitting (CON); (ii) 30 min of moderate intensity aerobic exercise (walking) (A); (iii) 30 min of combined aerobic and resistance exercise (AR); (iv) 30 min of combined resistance and aerobic exercise (RA); and (v) 15 min of resistance exercise (R). All the exercise sessions started 30 min after the beginning of a standardized breakfast. All the exercise conditions showed a significant attenuation of the post-meal glycemic excursion (P < 0.003) and the glucose incremental area under the curve at 0–120 min (P < 0.028) and 0–180 min (P < 0.048) compared with CON. A greater reduction in the glycemic peak was observed in A and AR compared to RA (P < 0.02). All the exercise types improved the post-meal glycemic response in patients with type 2 diabetes, with greater benefits when walking was performed alone or before resistance exercise. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Role of Nutrition in Exercise and Sports)
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