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“Merging COACHING with SPORT SCIENCE & MEDICINE” Summer 2013

Rosie MacLennan Rosie and her coach , Dave Ross, talk about insights into winning and the sport of trampoline.


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Editorial As we travel across our great nation, we are continuously amazed at the breadth and depth of our talent pool in both coaching and sport science. This issue of the High Performance SIRCuit showcases some of the innovations in research and methodology being employed by our national teams. The effects of aerodynamics and optimal team placement are analyzed by Mike Patton, in a great article studying team pursuit cycling. Dr Gordon McMorland’s research describes the prevalence (susceptibility) of lower back pain in high performance sport and what we can do to minimize the impact on the athletes. The topic of supplements and their impact on the athlete’s immune system is investigated as Catherine Naulleau provides excellent guidelines; SIRC puts quercetin under the microscope to enhance the learning experience. During the captivating interview with Mike Christie, from OTP, we learn that the “data doesn’t lie” as he shares with us how the Canadian team is using Performance Analysis in coaching. The audio interview, video analysis, and article by Robert Carroll round out our dynamic section on Performance Analysts.

Debra Gassewitz President & CEO SIRC

Rosie McLennan is as charming as ever in her video taken by OTP when she speaks to facing her challenges and the exemplary team effort required, led by her coach Dave Ross, in her pursuit of the podium. Check out the insightful comments from the IST editorial board as well as the Recommended Readings for coaches, as they have definitely captured our attention. This issue we are thrilled that Human Kinetics has offered copies of their high performance books as prizes, so be sure to enter to win. Thanks again for your feedback and contributions, it really is a pleasure to pull together and share the knowledge of our coaching and sport science communities.

HP SIRCuit is partially funded by

Editor Creative Director Design Team Content Director

Debra Gassewitz David Roberts Chloé Lymburner Kim Sparling Nancy Rebel

Contributing Editor Special Thanks Translation

Dr. Jon Kolb, OTP Cara Thibault, OTP Paul Dorotich, OTP and all the contributors Marcel Nadeau

Photos courtesy of

Canadian Olympic Committee Cycling Canada Coaches of Canada Dave Ross SIRC photo collection

Sport Information Resource Centre (SIRC) is Canada’s national sport library, established over 40 years ago. Mailing address: SIRC 180 Elgin Street, suite 1400 Ottawa, Ontario, Canada K2P 2K3 | Tel: +1 (613) 231-7472 Disclaimer: Author’s opinions expressed in the articles are not necessarily those of SIRCuit, its publisher, the Editor, or the Editorial Board. SIRC makes no representations or warranties whatsoever as to the accuracy, completeness or suitability for any purpose of the content. Copyright © 2013 SIRC. All rights reserved. No part of the publication may be reproduced, stored, transmitted, or disseminated, in any form, or by any means, without prior written permission from SIRC, to whom all requests to reproduce copyright material should be directed, in writing.

Jon Kolb, PhD Director, Sport Science, Medicine and Innovation, Own the Podium


Performance Performance 4

Seeking performance gains in team pursuit cycling through state-of-the-art field aerodynamic testing and computerized pacing optimization 8 Performance Analysis - Should all coaches be analysts? - Interview with Mike Christie

Proactive & Preventative Medicine 18 22

Preventing infection and maintaining immune function using nutritional strategies Prevention of lower back pain

Competitive Intelligence 28

Quercetin: A commentary on the sports science research

Sport Innovation 16

OTP’s High Performance Athlete Development Research Advisory Panel OTP’s National High Performance Athlete Development Strategy and Plan

Departments 14 30 13 32 33

Athlete Focus - Rosie MacLennan Stay Informed with SIRC Upcoming Events Recommended Readings IST Journal Club Français

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Aerodynamic Testing Seeking performance gains in team pursuit cycling through state-of-the-art field aerodynamic testing and computerized pacing optimization Mike Patton - Certified Exercise Physiologist

image courtesy N. Scholz

KEY POINTS This study focuses on developing an ideal pacing strategy (mathematical model) using an optimization algorithm based on tracking the varied work capacity of athletes. Aerodynamics plays a large role in sports like track cycling where a small reduction in aerodynamic drag translates into a large increase in speed for the same power output. Individual timed events such as in Speed Skating, Athletics, Swimming, and Canoe/Kayak could make use of new technology for measuring speed and power output to estimate optimal strategies.

Introduction Team pursuit track cycling is an event where a group of cyclists try to minimize the time taken to cover a fixed distance (either 3 or 4km), by strategically alternating between drafting and leading during the race. Achieving peak performance requires a highly complex optimization of the order of riders in a group, the distribution of work amongst the group, and the team pacing strategy. Much of this work is done painstakingly by coaches and athletes through a great deal of trial-and-error in the months and years leading to an Olympic Games. This article describes part of the process by which the Canadian Women’s Team Pursuit Team, led by Coach Tanya Dubnicoff, sought the fastest team and the fastest strategy for the Olympic Games in London. Aerodynamic Testing in the Field Ensuring that every bit of energy an athlete produces is used to go as fast as possible is the challenge in nearly every sport. The physics of track cycling dictate that aerodynamics play an overwhelmingly large role in the translation of an athlete’s power output into forward velocity. For example, a typical Women’s Team Pursuit cyclist riding on a track at a relatively easy 30 km/h expends about 86% of At racing speeds approaching or her energy combating aerodynamic exceeding 60 km/h, aerodynamic drag drag. At racing speeds approaching represents almost 96% of all the drag or exceeding 60 km/h, aerodynamic forces acting on her. drag represents almost 96% of all the drag forces acting on her. Hence, a Hence, a small reduction in small reduction in aerodynamic drag aerodynamic drag would translate into would translate into a large increase a large increase in speed for the same in speed for the same power output.

power output.

For the members of the Team Pursuit squad, optimization of aerodynamics occurred through two strategies: using the fastest possible equipment, and evaluating the efficiency of each athlete’s body position. The typical approach to minimizing aerodynamic drag is to spend time in a wind tunnel. The tunnel permits riders to get highly accurate measurements and can help squeeze the maximum performance gains out of position changes and equipment selection. However, wind tunnel time is very expensive, and requires that the athlete take a considerable amount of time off from normal training and adds non-training stress due to the travel. Adding to these roadblocks is the reality that wind tunnels are often booked months in advance, so it is difficult to even get access to the tunnels. Mike Patton completed a Master’s of Kinesiology from the University of Calgary in applied exercise physiology, and is a CSEP Certified Exercise Physiologist. He has been involved with the testing and training of elite athletes for the last 8 years, working at the Canadian Sport Centre - Calgary and more recently as the performance scientist and IST lead for Cycling Canada (Track).

Bicycles in motion obey well-established Newtonian laws of physics, so a very accurate mathematical model can be used to describe the power output required for a given velocity. Several authors have published articles showing the validity of this equation to predict the power output required to ride a bicycle on roads and velodromes (Martin, Milliken, Cobb, McFadden, & Coggan, 1998; Martin, Gardner, Barras, & Martin, 2006): P=(1/2∙ρ∙C_D A∙〖v_air〗^2∙v_ground )+(C_RR∙m∙g∙v_ground )+(m∙a∙v_ground )+(s∙m∙g∙v_ground )

(Equation 1)

where P is power output, ρ is air density, CDA is the product of the aerodynamic drag coefficient and frontal surface area, v is velocity (air or ground), CRR is the coefficient of rolling drag, m is the mass of the cyclist and all of their equipment, g is acceleration due to gravity, a is forward acceleration, and s is the slope of the surface being ridden.


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More recently, Robert Chung (2012) has developed a method called “Virtual Elevation” which allows us to calculate very accurate estimates of CDA and CRR using a power meter and a specific test protocol. In its simplest form, the method takes the measured power, velocity (air and ground), air density and rider mass, along with educated guesses of CDA and CRR, and calculates the slope that would be required to account for both the measured power output and velocity. By integrating the calculated slopes, a virtual elevation profile can be constructed. The estimated CDA and CRR are then systematically adjusted in order to align the virtual elevation with the true elevation. Given that the elevation change from riding around a velodrome is zero, only a very precise combination of drag coefficient values will produce an accurate elevation profile. It was not possible to spend time in the wind tunnel with each of the members of the Team Pursuit, so we employed Virtual Elevation testing. We achieved additional accuracy in our aerodynamic testing by using a novel air speed sensor and specifically designed software from Alphamantis Technologies, Inc. This air speed sensor (Aerostick, Alphamantis Technologies, Inc.) enabled us to measure any rider-induced wind instead of assuming zero wind conditions. Team Pursuit Pacing Optimization In order to approach this complex problem, we had custom software developed by Dr. Andy Froncioni (Alphamantis Technologies, Inc.). This software was built using the sophisticated physics model that we applied during the aerodynamic testing coupled with a physiological fatigue model, similar to the framework that Wagner and colleagues (2011) applied. Once the drag coefficients have been estimated for a cyclist, it is possible to model the time required to cover any distance on a velodrome quite accurately by inputting power output and integrating the resulting speed over time. Given this predictive ability, it is possible to use the model to evaluate different applications of power output throughout a race to measure its impact on final time. de Koning et al. (1999) were among the first to attempt this in track cycling specifically. They sought to find the optimal strategy for individual 1000m and 4000m events by modeling the physics as described above, but also by modeling the cyclists’ aerobic and anaerobic energy production. The physiological model they used assumed a fixed “anaerobic capacity” that could be distributed in any number of ways in


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the process of searching for the fastest performance time (de Koning, Bobbert, & Foster, 1999). This model is similar to the concept put forward by Monod and Scherrer (1965), known as the Critical Power (CP) model, which also postulates a fixed Anaerobic Work Capacity (AWC). The robustness of such a simple equation to predict time to exhaustion at a wide range of power outputs leaves it as an ideal candidate for use as the physiological model for evaluating pacing strategies. Team Pursuit cycling is characterized by large fluctuations in power output during the course of the race, due to the fact that riders exchange the lead position a number of times throughout the race. Unfortunately, the standard CP model is unable to properly account for the effects of intermittent exercise on time to exhaustion, which led us to adopt a CP model for intermittent exercise similar to the ones proposed by other authors (Morton & Billat, 2004; Skiba, Chidnok, Vanhatalo, & Jones, 2012). The model of Skiba et al. (2012) allowed for continuous tracking of the state of W’ (similar to the AWC mentioned above). However, we decided to simplify the model proposed by these authors, who applied an exponential constant (τW’) to the reconstitution of W’. Due to the brief nature of the recovery periods in team pursuit, and the fact that the reconstitution rate was essentially linear during that time when calculated using the representative τW’ values from their paper, we chose to apply a simple linear constant. We tracked W’ over time, as follows: 〖W^’〗_n= 〖W’〗_(n-1)-((P-CP))/dt∙K ,

(Equation 2)

where W’n is the calculated value of W’ at the current time step, W’n-1 is the previous state of W’, and dt is the change in time for the current time step. The variable K (the linear recovery constant) was set somewhat arbitrarily for each rider, as we were unable to accurately model K in the time-frame we had available. This certainly remains an opportunity for further development of our approach. We set K = 1 when P was greater than CP, and K at 0.5 for when P was less than CP. We obtained individualized estimates of CP and W’ from power output data that was collected from each training session and race the athlete performed using their power meter data. The riders behind the leader expend up to 30-35% less energy than they would if they were riding on their own (Broker, Kyle,


& Burke, 1999). There is considerable variability between individuals on the team, however. The range of drafting-related power reductions was between 22% and 40%. For our pacing optimization, we measured all of the unique draftingrelated reductions in power output (draft factors) for each rider. These draft factors enabled us to model the power requirements of riders in second and third positions continuously in order to accurately calculate the state of W’ for all riders in the group. Finding the envelope of optimal combination(s) of variables for maximizing performance in the Team Pursuit, requires a systematic approach. Wagner et al. (2011) proposed a method to optimize the rider order and pacing strategy in Women’s Team Pursuit. Briefly, they used a computer algorithm that approximates genetic evolution over time. Random, but small changes to the rider strategy and power output are made by the algorithm. If those random changes result in a faster time, that “gene” is carried forward until the algorithm is stopped. We chose a very similar optimization algorithm called “simulated annealing” (Kirkpatrick, Gelatt Jr., & Vecchi, 1983). It introduces random changes to variables in the model over time in a similar way, with the advantage being that it is often much quicker to arrive at a good solution than the genetic algorithm (Kundu, Mahato, Mahanty, & Acharyya, 2008). We did not accept strategies whereby any rider’s W’ was fully depleted before the end of the race, preventing the likely scenario of that rider being dropped from the group if that happened in reality. It should be noted that the final race time is taken on the third rider crossing the finish line, meaning that if a rider is dropped, they ultimately determine the final time for the whole team. At the 2012 Track Cycling World Championships in Melbourne, Australia, the team rode a time of 3:19.494 in qualifying, and followed up with a 3:19.529 in the 3rd/4th final to take the Bronze Medal. Using environmental and power

output data from the qualifying ride, our model-calculated time was 3:19.18. After performing our pacing optimization, we predicted that the team should be able to achieve a time of 3:17.06. At the Olympic Games in August of 2012, the team rode a time of 3:17.915 on a very similar track, with almost identical environmental conditions. Unfortunately, we have very limited information with which to compare the optimized strategy to the one the team rode in London because the power meters were removed for the games in order to minimize the weight of the bikes.

Figure 1. Actual and optimized pacing strategies for the Canadian Women’s Team Pursuit. The changes in power denote athlete exchanges.

Opportunities for Future Development A considerable amount of work remains, especially with respect to the fatigue model described earlier in this article. The pace fluctuations that would occur with the optimized pacing strategy may create significant neuromuscular fatigue which may render the optimized solution, in fact, untenable. This neuromuscular fatigue is likely distinct from the fatigue related to the accumulation of metabolites. For example, the fatigue related to the standing start of the team pursuit is not captured fully in our fatigue model. Furthermore, one of the most significant sources of error with the pacing optimization appears to be in our ability to predict the athlete’s capacity on the day of racing. Work is ongoing in an attempt to reduce the error in our prediction, but given the inherent variability in human time-trial performance (Curell & Jeukendrup, 2008), future model outputs should produce an optimized final range of times, rather than a single value. Sports that have the capacity to measure locomotor power output and speed accurately would be very strong candidates for using this approach for pacing optimization. Individual timed events such as those in sports like Speed Skating, Athletics, Swimming and Canoe/ Kayak could make use of new technology for measuring speed and power output to estimate optimal strategies. More complex situations such as athlete selection in Rowing or Speed Skating Team Pursuit could use the techniques we have outlined specifically for Team Pursuit Cycling.∆

Individual timed events such as those in sports like Speed Skating, Athletics, Swimming and Canoe/Kayak could make use of new technology ... to estimate optimal strategies.

For references, click here


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Performance Analysis This feature focuses on the role of performance analysis in high performance sport. Presented here are two companion pieces highlighting:

1) a thought provoking discussion by Rob Carroll on the partnership between the coach and the performance analyst in managing and interpreting performance data in the sports science context; and 2) an interview with Mike Christie, from Own The Podium, explaining the relevance and importance of performance analysis in high performance sport. KEY POINTS The roles of coach and performance analyst are evolving in the context of high performance sport and should be promoted as an essential element of a coordinated approach to training. With the large amount of data, the performance analyst provides their expertise to manage the data, use the appropriate tools to filter the information, and provide access to the relevant piece of data that impacts performance in a positive way

Performance analysis provides the necessary objective data, there is no argument, it presents the facts. Performance analysis provides the confidence in performance that allows for the marginal gains necessary in high performance sport to determine what is a competitive necessity and what is a competitive edge.

Should All Coaches Be Analysts? Robert Carroll

As a practicing Performance Analyst, I have always found that there is something peculiar about the role. Most other sports science personnel such as Strength and Conditioning, Psychology, and Nutritionists are invariably left to their own devices. These practitioners, while consulting with the Head Coach or Manager, often present their plans, goals and findings directly to the athletes and not through the coaches. In my experience, performance analysts don’t have the same level of interaction with players. The job is more of an interpreter, they act as the eyes and ears for the coaches, pass the information onto them, who in turn deal with the athletes directly. This is somewhat understandable, while the other sports science personnel need to have a deep understanding of the physical and emotional demands of the sport, the minutiae of the technical and tactical elements are something they do not need to concern themselves with. This often means their skills are easier to transfer from sport to sport. The principles of what they practice remain the same, they are simply applying their skills under a new set of

sports specific demands. The analyst on the other hand must understand the coach’s philosophy, the game plan and both the technical and tactical requirements of the sport. This sports specific understanding is much harder to transfer. The role of an analyst often involves more interaction with the coaches than the athletes. In a recent study on the role of performance analysts within elite football, 72.9% of respondents said they did not lead the feedback to players (Wright et al., 2013). This is not something I have found with the other sports science disciplines. For an analyst to have a similar working relationship (as other sports science disciplines) with the athletes, they would need to be a coaching expert in that sport, understand the philosophy of the coach so they are not sending mixed messages and they must possess all the technical expertise required to fill the role of an analyst. If you are such a skilled coach it is more likely that you would be applying your skills as a coach and not an analyst. (continued on pg. 10)

Interview with Mike Christie In his role as Performance Intelligence and Analysis Advisor for Own The Podium, Mike Christie talks to SIRC’s Debra Gassewitz on the relevance and importance of performance analysis in high performance sport.

Practical Applications at the Olympics

Click here to listen to the full interview.

What is the greatest benefit of using performance analysts? … providing both the coach and the athlete objective data. The athlete & coach will be able to remember about 30% of the actual performance, what performance analysis does is answers that other 70% …the data doesn’t lie > Dartfish software showing Wengen Men’s Downhill World Cup Hermann Maier and Erik Guay overlay to compare lines between the two skiers.

Click here to listen to the story. 2010 Vancouver Olympic Winter Games – Maelle Ricker, snowboarding The coach wanted the confidence that the athlete was on track (in fact leading) before the mistake was made, the video analysis provided the confidence to the coach and athlete that they were on proper form. “they wanted that little bit of reassurance, that objective data” Click here to listen to the story.

... the biggest impact for “performance analysts tends

Click to view

With our Olympic and Paralympic teams we are in this world of Big Data, being able to manage that is a challenge… [performance analysts] make sure we have the relevant piece of data that is going to impact performance in a positive way.

2006 Torino Olympic Winter Games MJen’s Super G – Canada’s first time having a performance technology strategy at the Olympics.

to be in the daily training environment... — mc


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continued from page 9

Research The fact that the role of an analyst is so ingrained in the coaching process makes me wonder, should analysis just be something every coach does and not a separate discipline? Although to date academic research has been limited in the role of performance analysis within elite sport, there have been some interesting papers published recently. Wright, Atkins and Jones (2012) examined elite coaches’ engagement with performance analysis services (match, notational analysis and technique analysis). There were some interesting findings within this; the fact that 91% of coaches completed some form of their own analysis is quite interesting. While this looks like a large percentage and seems to suggest that coaches are assuming the role of analysts, it should be noted that 68% of respondents did not have access to a performance analyst. Meaning that in order to provide analysis to their athlete’s they would have to perform this task themselves. Although it is hard to extrapolate the exact number it is clear that there are a percentage of coaches who have access to performance analysts and are not conducting any analysis themselves. Performance Analysis Model I should clarify that the role of an analyst can vary from job to job and sport to sport. In my analysis model, regardless of the sport I am working with, I break the role into four very distinct sections. These sections refer to both Data and Video analysis. 1. Collection 2. Management 3. Analysis 4. Visualization While I don’t advocate that all of the responsibilities associated with this model be passed to coaches, I do think there is much greater value in the coaches taking ownership of some of them. Traditionally, the collection stage has been the fundamental job of the analyst, collecting both video and data. A big reason for this is that in the early years of performance analysis it was a very technical job. The equipment was expensive and took a lot of specialist training. This has changed. Simply look at the number of mobile Apps, cheap cameras, and the ever decreasing cost of performance analysis software.


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The lack of technical expertise is still a big barrier to coaches taking ownership of collecting video and data. But will we be able to still say that in a few years; in fact can we even say that now? Technology is getting cheaper, more powerful and certainly easier to use. As more technologically savvy coaches enter the frame, I believe we will see a natural progression for them to collect video and data themselves. This is not necessarily a bad thing and I think it’s something that should be embraced rather than feared by analysts. There is always an element of Chinese whispers when you have interpreters and perhaps, with the performance analysts mostly removed from this step, it will allow greater coaching to take place. This need for coaches to be analysts themselves is also evidenced in the number of national governing bodies who are now including compulsory elements of technique and match analysis in their coaching framework. Personally, I have been involved in the development of the analysis modules on some the UEFA Pro License courses (FAI and IFA). Despite many of these coaches having access to performance analysts they do find it beneficial to both understand the analysis process and be able to perform some of the tasks as they take more ownership of the process. There are some great examples of this where I have seen specialist skills coaches within team sports take full responsibility for their own analysis. These coaches do not rely on the services of the performance analysts and see much greater value in collecting and tagging the footage The performance analyst of the themselves. These coaches do not refuture will be more inclined to deal quire the services with Big Data and all the statistical of the analyst in techniques and visualization skills either the collecrequired to gain an edge. tion or feedback processes, preferring to deal directly with their athletes. For me this is a prime example where removing the interpreter could improve the analysis and coaching process rather than hinder it. The points mentioned about collecting video and data are certainly true for the video parts of the Analysis and Visualization steps. Coaches can, and are, taking much greater responsibility in terms of the technical skills needed to perform these


functions. Where I think analysts add critically important value is when it comes to the management of both data and video, especially in terms of the technical requirements involved in storing and categorising vast amounts of video (online and offline). Perhaps more importantly, managing the huge quantities of data now being produced, either manually created by performance analysis software or by other devices such as storage resource management (SRM) and GPS, requires some very specialist skills. These skills are not something coaches will (or should) know and therefore require a performance analyst to be involved.

... should all coaches be analysts? My answer is Yes and No ... analysts add critically important value is when it comes to the management of both data and video...

When it comes to analysing data (statistically) and visualizing data (using Excel or Business Intelligence tools), this is where I see performance analysts adding great value. These skillsets require a lot of training and the sheer width and depth of data now being produced requires a very particular set of skills to make the most of it all. To answer my initial question – should all coaches be analysts? My answer is Yes and No. Coaches should be willing to take on more ownership of the analysis process, certainly in those first few steps of collecting and categorising. I believe this would add greatly to the coaching process, especially to the quality of data collected. In this regard the performance analyst should merely act as a facilitator and apply their skills higher up the chain. As the analysis gets more in-depth, there are obvious time constraints but that does not mean the coach should step back from this process entirely. In summary, I believe that large parts of the traditional job of a video analyst will be consumed by the coaches of the future. The performance analyst of the future will be more inclined to deal with Big Data and all the statistical techniques and visualization skills required to gain an edge. ∆ For references, click here

Robert Carroll is a Sports Performance Consultant and works with sports teams and organisations, at national and international levels, to collect, analyse and visualize performance data so they can make better decisions on and off the pitch. Robert is the founder of a data analytics company called Gaelic Stats. Gaelic Stats provides both a data collection and research service to the Gaelic Athletic Association and is the first company of its kind in Ireland. Robert is also the founder of, the hub of performance analysis news and views. website provides a forum for performance analysts to share, interact and communicate with one another. The site attracts a huge audience of performance analysts from around the world.


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Calendar For more events, check out the SIRC Conference Calendar.

June 2013 19 – 21

2013 National Coaching Conference - Quality Coaches, Quality Sport Colorado Springs, Colorado 18th Annual Congress of the European College of Sport Science – Unifying Sport Science Barcelona, Spain

July 2013 10-13


National Strength and Conditioning Association (NSCA) 36th Annual National Conference Las Vegas, Nevada

FISU Conference - University and Olympic Sport: Two Models One Goal? Kazan, Russian Federation

August 2013 9-11 26-31

2013 Hockey Coaches Conference Vancouver, BC

VIII International Forum on Elite Sport Rio de Janeiro, Brazil

September 2013 3-5



The British Association of Sport and Exercises Sciences (BASES) Conference 2013 – New Directions in Sport and Exercise Science: What are the Next Steps? Preston, United Kingdom International Council for Coaching Excellence (ICCE) Global Coach Conference 2013 Durban, South Africa SPort INnovation (SPIN) Summit Symposium Calgary, Alberta

October 2013 9-11 16-19

29 Oct. 30Nov. 3

International Altitude Training Symposium Colorado Springs, Colorado

Canadian Society for Exercise Physiology (CSEPSCPE) 2013 - Extreme Human Physiology: Pathology to Performance Toronto, Ontario Sport Canada Research Initiative Conference Ottawa, Ontario

10th IOC World Conference on Sport and the Environment Sochi, Russia


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Athlete Focus

Rosannagh (Rosie) MacLennan Sport: Gymnastics - Trampoline Height: 158cm Weight: 54kg Date of Birth: 28/08/1988 Birth Place: King City, ON Residence: King City , ON Twitter: Website: Team Canada:



Rosannagh (Rosie) MacLennan, the youngest of four siblings started trampoline at the age of seven, made Ontario’s team by nine, was competing internationally by eleven and was the Canadian National Women’s Champion in 2005, 2009, and 2011. MacLennan currently trains at Skyrider’s Trampoline Place with Coach David Ross who has coached all of Canada’s Olympic trampolinists.

• Bachelor’s degree in Physical Education and Health, University of Toronto, 2011

At the 2007 World Championships in Quebec City, Rosie earned a spot for Canada at the Beijing Olympics alongside longtime friend, synchronized trampoline partner and fellow Olympian Karen Cockburn. At the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, Rosie qualified for the finals and went on to place 7th place overall. MacLennan competed at her second Olympic Games in 2012, scored a career best 57.305 to capture gold in the women’s trampoline competition in London. Even off the trampoline, she remains active through some of her favourite sports like skiing, snowboarding, wakeboarding and dancing.

Community Involvement

• Currently working on her Masters • Research Focus: Health promotion and how athletes can work with not-for-profit organizations to advocate for healthy active living. • Involved with Dove’s Unstoppable campaign with the goal of preventing girls from giving up on the sports and activities that can help them build their confidence and self-esteem • Athlete Ambassador with Right to Play and their ‘Level the Field’ campaign • Honorary member and spokesperson for Kids Now that supports mentorship for Canada’s youth

Career Highlights 2012 2011 2011 2009 2009 2008 2007

London Olympic Games – 1st place Pan American Games – 1st place Trampoline World Championships – 1st place Canada Cup – 1st place Elite Canada – 1st place Beijing Olympic Games – 7th place World Championships Synchronized Trampoline - 1st place Canadian National Women’s Champion –

2005, 2009, 2011


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Behind the Scenes with an Olympic Champion: Insights into Winning and the sport of Trampoline A conversation with Rosie MacLennan and Dave Ross Rosie MacLeannan has been thrust into the spot light as Canada’s only gold medalist at the 2012 Olympic Games in London. She has managed that transition with the same grace and confidence that lead her to such heights. But Rosie is not done. The desire to test her limits and take her skills to yet another level burns bright, as you will see in this interview with Own The Podium. Follow the link to the embedded video, where Rosie tells us what motivates her to continue training after reaching the apex of Olympic success. We offer a glimpse into impact of Rosie’s win in London and gain an appreciation of the work required to achieve it. Take a look behind the scenes while Dave Ross explains his approach to elite performance and how his coaching philosophy has lead to repeated Olympic success. The impact of a single club, a dedicated coach, and motivated athletes is truly remarkable.

Click to view

David A. Ross

Founder Skyriders Trampoline Place / Canadian Olympic Team Coach As the Founder, President and coach at Skyriders Trampoline Place, Dave Ross has been a Pioneer of Trampoline Sports in Canada. He started out achieving an Honours Degree in Physics from Queen’s University. During that time he was active as a competitive gymnast. In 2012, he was the recipient of the Jack Donohue ‘Coach of the Year’ Award for his dedication and commitment to coaching that has brought numerous Canadian athletes to international success. His enthusiasm, as well as his personal abilities, launched him into the history books, developing the most impressive and technically advanced trampoline equipment in the world today. Français

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Sport Innovation

Introducing Own the Podium’s High Performance Athlete Development Research Advisory Panel by Joe Baker, PhD Given the limited resources available for athlete development and high performance sport in Canada, it is critical that they are used as effectively as possible. One area where this is clearly important is identification and development of the high performance athlete. To this end, in the fall of 2012 Own the Podium (OTP) created the High Performance Athlete Development Research Advisory Panel, a group of academic and professional members from across Canada to support OTP’s evidence-based approach to athlete selection and development. Although this panel will expand over time, it currently includes Dr. Joe Baker (Chair, York University), Debra Gassewitz (CEO, Sport Information Resource Centre), Dr. Vick Harber (University of Alberta), Dr. Nicola Hodges (University of British Columbia), Dr. Stephen Norris (Winsport) and Vanessa Paun (OTP representative).

The Research Advisory Panel’s primary objective is to develop and support a targeted research agenda for meeting OTP’s mission of sustainable podium performances at the Olympic and Paralympic Games. Over the next few months, OTP and the Research Advisory Panel will be developing a research agenda that reflects the needs to targeted high performance sports in Canada. This process will be inclusive and feedback from various stakeholders in the high performance community will be sought with regard to the general and specific research necessary to assist their delivery of high performance sport services and coaching. The Research Advisory Panel has hit the ground running and is already conducting research to support several short-term projects for OTP. Details of these projects and more information about the High Performance Athlete Development Research Advisory Panel will be available at this year’s SPIN Summit in Calgary.

Own the Podium’s National High Performance Athlete Development Strategy and Plan by Vanessa Paun Own the Podium (OTP) has recently formalized its National High Performance Athlete Development Strategy and Plan. A key part of this strategy is the clarity and communication of the language used in relation to this area. High Performance Athlete Development (HPAD) encompasses both the identification and transfer of potential high performance athletes, and forms part of a systematic approach to developing podium potential athletes. Terminology moving forward will focus on the use of the term “athlete potential” its quantification and the potential to develop, rather than the traditionalistic “talent” which has numerous negative connotations and beliefs tied to it. For further information on the Strategy and Plan please contact Vanessa Paun (vanessa.paun@ownthepodium. org) (High Performance Athlete Development Advisor) Own the Podium.

Proactive & Preventative Medicine

Preventing infection and maintaining immune function using nutritional strategies Catherine Naulleau, VIVAĂ? Experts en nutrition

(This article has been translated from the original French text)


t is well documented that moderate exercise prevents many infections and greatly improves immune system function. In contrast, among elite athletes, who train at a faster pace and at a higher intensity, the risk of illness increases significantly and the effectiveness of the immune system to fight infections is reduced. Other factors, including exposure to pathogens, lifestyle, sleep and recovery, the overall nutrition of the athlete and the psychosocial aspects should be considered in addition to volume and intensity of training.

KEY POINTS The high intensity training of elite sport significantly increases the risk of illness and reduces the effectiveness of the immune system to fight infection is reduced. Nutritional strategies in relation to sleep, stress, recovery, and supplements, implemented before, during and after workouts and travel can help to prevent infections in athletes and maintain a strong and healthy immune system. Recommendations include – Isolating athletes who are ill, working with a nutritionist to address the specific needs of the athlete, reducing outside stressors and getting adequate sleep.

It is recommended to eat within 30 minutes of high intensity physical exercise to properly rebuild energy reserves (glycogen) and repair muscle fibers Catherine Naulleau is a sports nutritionist from Montreal, Quebec and holds a Masters degree from University of Montreal. She works currently with a group of nutritionists at VIVAÏ, Experts in nutrition, offering private consultations, nutrition plans and programs, conferences for clubs, schools and sports federations. She is also a consultant for the INSQ (Institut national du sport du Québec). She has over seven years of experience working with high level athletes. She is currently working with the short track speed skating team, the judo team and the para-cycling team as well as many other individual high level athletes and paraathletes from many sports. In the last olympic cycle, she also worked with the synchronized swimming team. In her free time, she enjoys road bike racing and suffering through timetrials. Her past athletic career also includes 8 years as a lightweight rower.

Each episode of acute prolonged exercise performed at high intensity causes a significant physiological stress on immunity and host-pathogen defense, in addition to having an effect on the level of stress hormones, cytokines, pro- and anti-inflammatories and increased oxidative stress. From these facts, many researchers have examined the nutritional strategies to implement before, during and after workouts and travel to major competitions to better understand how it is possible to prevent upper respiratory tract infections (URTIs) in athletes and maintain a strong and healthy immune system. We briefly present solutions for minimizing these concerns as they can greatly affect the performance of your athletes. Nutritional strategies to prevent upper respiratory tract infections in athletes and maintain a strong and healthy immune system are discussed in the context of these five areas: 1. Food and sleep 4. Supplements to diminish respiratory 2. Carbohydrate stress and stress hormones tract infections 3. Recovery after exercise 5. Strategies for travel

1. Food and sleep The most important aspect in terms of the prevention of diseases and upper respiratory tract infections among athletes are two main factors that go together: food and sleep. Elite athletes may have an advantage when they pay attention to their diet, ensuring adequate energy intake, intake of carbohydrates and protein to meet their needs and avoiding any restrictions that would lead to a micronutrient deficiency. It is clearly demonstrated that by meeting their nutritional needs, athletes can better maintain their immune function. Athletes must be able to eat three meals a day, including snacks as needed and pay attention to their recovery after each workout to give their body what it needs to be ready for the next workout. Several studies have shown significant results between the total amount of sleep (number of hours per night) and sleep quality (number of times a person wakes up during the night) as the protective effect of preventing URTIs in healthy adults. A recent study showed that when 143 healthy adults were exposed to a virus for 14 days, all subjects with poorer sleep quality (who woke up more often during the night) were five times more likely to get sick than those who had a higher quality of sleep. While there is little information on the link between sleep and the rate of URTIs in athletes, it is still important to put forth this factor to maximize the recovery and performance in athletes and thus reduce their risk of URTIs. 2. Carbohydrate stress and stress hormones A nutritional strategy that has shown very successful results through the study is carbohydrate intake during prolonged exercise. From 1995 until the present, a number of studies have shown that ingestion of carbohydrate (~ 60g of carbs per hour) during prolonged exercise (> 2 hours) significantly reduces the increase in neutrophil and monocytes (white blood cells) count, stress hormones such as cortisol and epinephrine, and cytokines such as IL-6, IL-10 recognized for their pro-inflammatory effect. However, carbohydrate intake does not seem to have any effect on immune function or on the oxidative stress caused by prolonged stress. Other studies are looking at nutritional strategies to better maintain these functions and to see if it is possible to add something before exercise or to increase carbohydrates consumed during effort. 3. Recovery after exercise It is well established that following an endurance exercise > 2 hours, there is a window of opportunity where immune system defence against pathogens is reduced, thereby dramatically increasing the risk of infections. This period may last from 3 to 72 hours after prolonged and intense effort. Studies with marathoners and ultra-endurance athletes have shown that these athletes had more URTIs than athletes training in shorter distances and for shorter times. It is recommended to eat within 30 minutes of high intensity physical exercise to properly rebuild energy reserves (glycogen) and repair muscle fibers broken during the exercise. This post-workout time allows the athlete to maximize the absorption of nutrients, but also to seize the opportunity of the metabolic and hormonal response to the effort. The body is ready! If the athlete waits too long before eating (1 hour or more) the recovery is compromised and it increases his chances in the long run, to frequently catch infections.


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4. Supplements to diminish respiratory tract infections There is more and more evidence that certain supplements can have a big impact. Supplements such as flavonoids, quercetin and some strains of probiotics (Lactobacillus) may increase some aspects of immune function and thus reduce the incidence of disease in athletes and those who have a weaker immune system. Limited, conflicting or insufficient data, limits interest in supplements such as omega-3, B-glucans, bovine colostrum, ginseng, echinacea or the use of large doses of some vitamins, such as vitamin C and vitamin E. There is also not enough evidence that glutamine and amino acids somehow help to prevent infections. The body has a large storage pool of these nutrients, and studies show that exercise alone cannot significantly reduce these reserves.

A recent hypothesis has been propogated over the latest studies. Because the immune system is so complex and diverse, the approach should rather be to use a combination of supplements rather than studying them individually. It is stated that using large doses of a single supplement may perhaps not be as effective as strategy using a cocktail-type approach with a combination of supplements together. The table below is a review of many available studies published on the use of supplements that can play a role in the immunity of athletes as well as recommendations as to their use.





Maintains blood glucose during exercise, lowers release of stress hormones, counters negative immune changes post-exercise

Recommended: up to 60 g per hour of heavy exertion helps dampen immune inflammatory responses, but not immune dysfunction

Fruit & vegetable extracts rich in polyphenols & flavonoïds

Act as ibuprofen substitutes by attenuating exercise induced inflammation: also decrease oxidative stress.

Recommended: but most research focused on oxidative stress

Quercetin (aglycone and isoquercetin)

In vitro studies show strong anti- inflammatory, anti-oxidative, and anti- pathogenic effects. Animal data indicate increase in mitochondrial biogenesis and endurance performance, reduction in illness

Recommended: especially when mixed with other flavonoids and nutrients. Human studies show strong reduction in illness rates during heavy training and mild stimulation of mitochondrial biogenesis and endurance performance in untrained subjects; antiinflammatory and anti-oxidative effects when mixed with green tea extract and fish oil

Bovine colostrums

Mix of immune, growth, and hormonal factors to improve immune function and lower illness risk

Mixed results, and more data needed


Improve intestinal microbial flora, and thereby enhance gut and systematic immune function

Mixed results, and more data needed


Receptors found on intestinal wall immune cells interact with β -glucan improving innate immunity

Mixed results, mushroom β-glucan may be effective, but more data needed

Vitamin E

Quenches exercise-induced reactive oxygen species (ROS) and augments immunity

Not recommended: may be pro-oxidative and proinflammatory

Vitamin C

Quenches ROS and augments immunity

Not recommended: not consistently different from placebo

Multiple vitamins and minerals

Work together to quench ROS and reduce inflammation

Not recommended: not different from placebo: balanced diet is sufficient


Important immune cell energy substrate that is lowered with prolonged exercise

Not recommended: body stores exceed exerciselowering effects

Branched-chain amino acids (BCAAs)

BCAAs (valine, isoleucine, and leucine) are the major nitrogen source for glutamine synthesis in muscle

Not recommended: Not recommended; data inconclusive, and rationale based on glutamine is faulty

N-3 PUFAs (fish oil)

Exerts anti-inflammatory and immune-regulatory effects postexercise

Not recommended: no different than placebo

Herbal supplements (e.g., Ginseng, Echinacea)

Contain bioactive molecules that augment immunity and counter infection

Not recommended: humans studies do not show consistent support within an athletic content

Walsh et al. 2011 The physiological effects of certain polyphenols such as quercetin, EGCG (green tea extract), turmeric, lycopene and resveratrol generated a lot of interest from exercise immunologists due to their anti-oxidative, anti-inflammatory, anti-pathogenic, cardioprotective, anti-car20

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cinogenic effects. Several recent studies of quercetin supplementation in humans have been conducted to determine its mechanism of action on the post-exercise inflammation, oxidative stress, immune dysfunction, its ability to improve endurance and reduce incidence of infec-


tions due to physical stress. When quercetin combined with other polyphenols and nutrients such as green tea extract, iso-quercetin and fish oils, it was noted that there was a significant reduction of inflammation induced by exercise and oxidative stress caused by exertion. In addition, improved innate immune system functions, the ability to defend themselves and to protect themselves from pathogen, are largely increased. Quercetin supplementation (1000 mg / day for 2 to 3 weeks) also reduced the rate of upper respiratory tract infections in athletes subjected to great physical stress. Quercetin has several bioactive effects and is the polyphenol the most absorbed in the intestine. However, yet to be determined remains the optimal dose for the athletic population and the best cocktail from which they could benefit most during each of the following: periods of intense workouts, trips, and competitions as well as during their recovery. 5. Strategies for travel As the saying goes: Prevention is better than cure. While there is no exact method to completely eliminate the risk of catching a cold or any upper respiratory tract infection, there are different lifesytle and nutritional strategies that each athlete can implement on a daily basis, during periods of intense training and when traveling. The following recommendations are made by the group of BASES experts to reduce immunosuppression encountered during prolonged high-intensity efforts and to reduce the risk of URTIs. 1) All athletes, coaches, members of the support team should ensure they have all their shots up to date for travel. The influenza vaccine should be received annually. 2) Minimize contact with infected people, young children, animals. 3) Keep away from people who cough, sneeze or have a runny nose. When possible and appropriate, ask that these people wear a disposable mask. 4) Wash hands frequently: before meals, after touching objects belonging to contagious people, animals, blood, secretions, public places, toilets, public transport, etc. 5) Try as best as possible not to put fingers in the face or mouth. Use hand sanitizing gel to wash hands with alcohol (eg Purell) 6) Do not share water bottles, cups, napkins, etc..with your family or among athletes. 7) When traveling and on trips, choose cold beverages in sealed bottles, avoid raw vegetables, only eat fruit that you can peel and avoid undercooked meat. 8) Quickly isolate other athletes and individuals with symptoms of upper respiratory tract infections (deep cough, runny nose, sneezing, discharge, nasal congestion, etc.). 9) Protect the airway from being exposed to very cold or very dry air during strenuous efforts by wearing a mask. The use of a nebulizer after repeated effort in a cold environment is also highly recommended. 10) Ensure adequate intake of energy, protein and micronutrients by working with a nutritionist, who will advise athletes on their specific needs.

11) Avoid drastic diets and quick weight loss. For sports with weight classes, be sure to follow up with a nutritionist for athletes who find it more difficult to make weight. Make sure that the weight class is well suited to the health of the athlete. 12) Make sure there is an adequate carbohydrate intake before and during prolonged intensive efforts to reduce the duration and severity of immunosuppression due to such efforts. Ingestion of 30-60g of carbohydrate per hour during prolonged efforts showed a significant reduction in stress hormones and anti-inflammatory cytokine response during exercise. By minimizing these effects, the risk of URTI is reduced. 13) The effectiveness of certain “immunostimulant” supplements have not been confirmed (eg Cold Fx, echinacea, etc.) However, there is sufficient evidence in the literature that certain flavonoids (eg, quercetin) and probiotic Lactobacillus strains may reduce the incidence of URTI (upper respiratory infections) in physically active individuals. The daily intake of probiotics may also reduce the risk of gastrointestinal infections. It is recommended that supplementation start at least one week before a scheduled trip, be continued for the duration of the trip and also on return from the trip. Doses of 10 billion bacteria are recommended and should be adjusted according to individual tolerance. 14) Wear appropriate clothing depending on the season and the environmental surroundings and outside temperature. Try to keep warm and do not stay in wet clothes after exercise. 15) Get enough sleep (at least seven hours per night is recommended). If you are not getting adequate sleep, consider watching and noting the quantity and quality of sleep using noninvasive methods such as motion sensors or some iPhone applications as an interesting way to measure sleep.


SIRC puts the microscope on Quercetin Quercetin is a polyphenolic substance that is one of the most abundantly available natural flavonoids, a group of plant-based substances with powerful antioxidant properties. It is found in fruits and vegetables such as apple skins, onions, berries, herbs, tea and red wine. In the sport science context, quercetin is being studied in both humans and animals for its positive implications in boosting immune system function, its potential to enhance endurance and performance, and its ability to stimulate mitochondrial biogenesis (boosts energy production) in animals. Check out SIRC’s article further on in this issue as we provide an overview on research into quercetin’s applications in the areas of: immune system function, endurance capacity and performance, antioxidants and fatigue, and mitochondrial biogenesis.

Travel Resources Nutrition for Travel Long Distance Travel Travel Strategies to Enhance Performance Updated.pdf 16) Keep all other stress to a minimum. Consult with a sports psychologist or mental training coach who can greatly help in finding solutions and strategies to reduce this stress and change some behavior or find better coping strategies.∆ For references, click here

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Proactive & Preventative Medicine

Preventing low back pain Dr. G. McMorland, DC


ow back pain (LBP) is an important health concern that affects most of us at some point in our lives1. By the age of 30, nearly half of the population will have experienced an episode of disabling LBP. The point prevalence, which is the incidence of back pain in a population at any given time, ranges from 15-30%.

The athletic community experiences similar troubles from LBP. For example, 85% of male gymnasts, 80% of weightlifters, 69% of wrestlers, 58% of soccer players, 50% of tennis players, and 30% of golfers report experiencing LBP at some point during their competitive career2,3. The one-year prevalence of back pain in elite sport is estimated at 6-15%4.

KEY POINTS By the age of 30, nearly half of the population will have experienced an episode of disabling LBP 2/3 of those experiencing LBP will have recurrent episodes and 1/3 will experience periods of disability. Back injuries can result from poor technique, muscle imbalances, and excessive training loads. Prevention strategies should include: functional testing to detect deficits and psychosocial screening to detect risk. Prevention of LBP strategies fall into 2 categories: 1. Primary Prevention are strategies to prevent a first-time episode of LBP. a. Poor techniques b. Excessive training loads c. Muscle imbalances 2. Secondary Prevention are strategies to prevent future episodes of LBP once the person has recovered or is recovering from their initial bout. a. Bio (Physical considerations) b. PsychoSocial

Things like maintaining a healthy weight, stopping smoking and daily physical exercise may have protective effects against LBP.

Large, population-based research studies now suggest that first-time, acute low back pain may not be as benign as we once thought5. It is generally accepted that the vast majority of back pain is mild and rarely disabling, with only a small proportion of these people seeking care from a health care professional6. The troubling fact is that among those seeking care, almost 2/3 (62%) will continue to have pain one year after consultation. 16% of those initially off work due to their back pain were still unable to return to work 6 months later. Approximately 8% of those experiencing back pain for the first time will go on to develop chronic, unremitting back pain that limits their ability to participate in their normal activities. As a result, prevention of low back pain remains a very high research priority. Prevalence of athletes reporting LBP Sport




Gymnastics (Male)










Prevention Strategies Prevention of LBP strategies fall into 2 categories: 1. Primary Prevention are strategies to prevent a first-time episode of LBP. 2. Secondary Prevention are strategies to prevent future episodes of LBP once the person has recovered or is recovering from their initial bout. Primary prevention For both the general and active adult populations, unfortunately, the evidence surrounding the prevention of first episode LBP is quite limited. This is likely due to the wide variance of intrinsic and extrinsic factors influencing the onset and recurrence of back pain. Several systematic reviews evaluating back pain prevention have been published in the literature within the past decade (Cochrane collaboration, etc.). None of these reviews found solid evidence that prevention mechanisms such as exercise, lumbar and shoe supports and various educational strategies were effective. Current best practices, recommended by LBP guideline working groups (e.g. European) came to the following conclusions regarding back pain prevention: • physical exercise is recommended to reduce the frequency and duration of repeat episodes of back pain. Unfortunately, no specific exercise approach was favoured. • information and education about back problems should be considered. • further research is required. Specifically, a need for good quality randomised clinical trials to determine the effectiveness of specific interventions aimed at certain risk/ target groups. Identified study areas included: health promotion programme effectiveness, impact of daily physical activity, information aimed at reducing fear-avoidance and demedicalisation of back pain and the generalizability of different approaches to broad populations (adult, workers and adolescents).


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There is emerging, albeit limited evidence that primary prevention strategies for LBP may mimic other chronic diseases such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Things like maintaining a healthy weight, stopping smoking and daily physical exercise may have protective effects against LBP1. Prevention of LBP in young athletes requires special attention. For the younger athlete, back pain must be taken seriously to avoid delays in diagnosis and treatment7. The etiology of back pain in youths is usually significantSporting activities that require ly different than repetitive directional loading what is seen in the tend to yield muscle imbalance adult population. and inflexibility, predisposing the Back pain in young athlete to injury. For example, athletes tends to stem from strucgymnasts, divers and football tural injury, such lineman will be exposed to as spondylolysis repetitive lumbar extension (stress fractures of movements. the posterior vertebral elements). Disc herniation and sprain/strain injuries are less common. Structural differences in the paediatric or adolescent spine include growth cartilage and secondary ossification centres that are susceptible to compression, distraction and torsional forces. Back injuries can result from poor technique and excessive training loads, particularly during times of rapid growth8. Sporting activities that require repetitive directional loading tend to yield muscle imbalance and inflexibility, predisposing the athlete to injury. For example, gymnasts, divers and football lineman will be exposed to repetitive lumbar extension movements. Cumulative trauma and repetitive strain from these movements can result in stress fractures to the pars interarticularis (spondylolysis) or development of a posterior element overuse syndrome (e.g. facet joint syndrome, Baastrup’s disease). Repetitive trunk flexion activities are associated with back injuries such as vertebral avulsion fractures (apophyseal ring, posterior element) and disc herniations.

that may be more relevant in the consideration of prevention initiatives. Approximately 2/3 of those experiencing an episode of LBP will experience recurrent episodes and approximately 1/3 will experience periods of disability. Once someone has had back pain, focus should turn to what can be done to prevent the next episode or minimise its impact. Current best practices support the Bio-psycho-social model for back pain management, taking into account the multifactorial aspects influencing recovery and healing1. Bio (Physical considerations) The relation between functional deficits or impairments and LBP has been studied extensively, but remains elusive. Many functional deficits have been identified at a higher incidence in LBP patients when compared to normal populations. The nature of this research does not allow us to distinguish whether the associated dysfunction or impairment is the result of the pain or its cause. Prospective trials are also lacking to determine if correction of these functional deficits leads to better outcomes, including reduced reoccurrence of future back pain episodes18. Isokinetic strength: Reduced trunk extensor strength and alterations in the relative ratio of endurance strength of the core muscles has been associated with recurrent episodes of back pain9,10,11. Back muscle fatigueability, as measured by sEMG, is more prevalent in chronic LBP sufferers. This same finding is reported to correctly predict which asymptomatic manual material handlers will report future LBP12. A comprehensive, multidisciplinary functional restoration program, including emphasis on restoring trunk extensor strength successfully returned many chronic LBP patients to work13. Achieving Neutral spine – Dr Gordon McMorland Once you know how to find your neutral spine position, the next step in core stability is learning how control the mobility of your low back when performing movement and exercise. This video shows how to engage your core stabilizing muscles.

Return to play timelines for these types of injuries can be in excess of 8 months; hence pro-active prevention strategies are prudent. Recognition of risk factors, such as excessive training (repetitive loading cycles), improper technique and muscle imbalances is key to preventing these injuries. Muscle imbalances and inflexibilities can be more pronounced during periods of rapid growth. Training volumes should be reduced during these periods, with an emphasis being placed on proper technique as well as customized exercises to address any muscular imbalance and incoordination7. Secondary Prevention Strategies Although it appears at this time unlikely that a primary episode of LBP can be prevented, it is perhaps the consequences of LBP 24

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Flexion-Relaxation Phenomena: This describes the normal involuntary relaxation phenomenon (as measured by sEMG) of the erector spinae muscles that occurs in terminal stage of standing trunk flexion. Independent of pain, this phenomenon fails to occur in back pain patients14. Incoordination and Delayed Reaction Times: Whether attempting a voluntary movement or if exposed to an unexpected perturbation, motor control “signatures” have been identified in LBP sufferers. Characteristic motor system adaptations have been associated with back pain sufferers. Rehabilitative strategies aimed at correction of these functional deficits have subsequently been associated with reduced pain and return to normal activity levels15,16,17,18.

tem has the ability to sense the prime mover’s weakness and adapts by recruiting additional motor units from either another, uninjured part of the same muscle, or another muscle capable of performing the same movement (synergist). An example of this synergistic dominance to achieve movement would be substitution of the hamstrings and lumbar erector spinae to achieve hip extension instead of the gluteals. Functional rehabilitation would focus on correcting these muscle imbalances and aberrant movement control patterns to reduce the repetitive loading into the lumbar region, thereby reducing the likelihood of recurrent LBP.

Modern advances in rehabilitation have focused on normalizing dynamic motor system control and coordination18,19. Efficiency of the human movement system requires coordinated agonist, antagonist, synergist and stabilizing muscle recruitment. Imbalance or impairment in the movement system creates abnormal stress and strain, which has a cumulative effect over time, eventually resulting in local tissue injury. This repetitive strain model of injury (RSI) is graphically depicted below:

Figure 2 Lower Crossed Syndrome Although, intuitively, this model is attractive as a prevention strategy, support in the literature is limited. Many functional tests have been developed in an effort to assess function, independent of pain. Functional movement screening (FMS), developed by Cook and Burton, has gained popularity as a pre-participation tool. Some preliminary research has shown that poor results on the FMS are associated with higher risk of injury20,21,22. It has also been suggested that impairments in the movement control at the hip joints may contribute to ongoing LBP complaints23. FMS, when combined with other physical functional fitness testing, has been associated with significantly increased risk of future LBP episodes24. Figure 1 Repetitive Strain injury cycle (click to enlarge image) The important thing to note is that this motor system adaptation can remain after the pain and symptoms have resolved. Ongoing functional deficit can predispose one to recurrent back pain through the repetitive strain injury model. An example is Janda’s lower crossed syndrome. Weak external obliques, lower abdominal muscles and gluteals are combined with tightness in the hip flexors and lumbar erector spinae. The nervous sys-


The evidence supporting physical testing as a predictive tool for future LBP episodes is certainly not conclusive. This is possibly due to the underlying assumption that all back problems are the same25. One of the greatest challenges and a current trend being sought by clinicians and researchers in LBP is sub-classification of back pain. Perhaps, being able to stratify back pain patients into sub-groups according to specific history and physical exam findings will begin to bear fruit through refined treatment approaches and outcomes research26, 27, 28.

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PsychoSocial Various psychosocial factors have been identified as barriers to recovery from back pain. Current best practices support implementing a “flags” system to screen for psychosocial overlay. These flags are now generally accepted as being more predictive of poor recovery and recurring LBP than physical function testing6,18,29. The flags system includes: • Yellow flags: Psychological factors such as Catastrophic thinking and fear-avoidance behaviour • Black flags: Workplace organisational or environmental factors • Blue flags: Individual perceptions and attitudes about the workplace Catastrophic thinking: Fear of major pathology or illness as a cause for their back pain or thoughts such as “I’ll never get better” are associated with anxiety and deconditioning.

cise may have protective effects against LBP. It is perhaps the consequences of LBP that may be more relevant in the consideration of prevention initiatives. These secondary prevention strategies incorporate the multitude of factors that interconnect under the bio-psycho-social model to influence recovery and recurrence. ∆ For references, click here Once you are able to achieve neutral spine, you are ready to move on to exercises that will help increase your core strength and stability. Each of the following core stability exercises includes a multi-level progression. The first levels for each are displayed here. Follow through on each progression once you have mastered the initial ones.

1) Bridging – Level 1

Fear avoidance behaviour: Avoiding activity for fear of exacerbating their pain or from fear of underlying serious pathology can also result in a deconditioning syndrome. Deconditioning and inability to participate in activity is often accompanied by depression. The flags concepts are helpful to translate a large body of epidemiological evidence into simple clinical assessment methods; however, further development and testing is needed. Screening for flags is appropriate for pain persisting beyond the normal 2-4 weeks and can be effectively accomplished using paper-based tools such as the Örebro Musculoskeletal Pain Screening Questionnaire (ÖMPSQ) and the STarTBack tool. Identifying high-risk patients allows for pro-active interventions to prevent chronicity, including focusing on functional recovery, resumption of normal activities (vocational, avocational and recreational) rather than only pain reduction6.

Click to view

2) Dead Bug – Level 1

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3) Quadriped Exercise – Level 1

Summary Back pain affects nearly all of us at some point in our lives and remains the leading cause of musculoskeletal-related disability. There is emerging, albeit limited evidence that primary prevention strategies for LBP may mimic other chronic diseases such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease. Things like maintaining a healthy weight, stopping smoking and daily physical exer-

Click to view

Dr. McMorland is a chiropractor, currently in private practice in the city of Calgary. He is owner and director of National Spine Care, a multidisciplinary health care centre specializing in spine-related health conditions. He graduated cum laude from the Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College in Toronto, Canada in 1990 and has been in private practice in Calgary ever since. In addition to private practice he has serves as: • Adjunct Professor – Faculty of Graduate education and Research at the Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College • Team Chiropractor, National Sports Centre at the University of Calgary for the Men’s Gymnastics Program. • Chiropractic associate: University of Calgary Spine Program: Faculty of Medicine, Division of Neurosurgery Outside of private practice, Dr. McMorland has also served on the board of governors for the Canadian Memorial Chiropractic College in Toronto, Ontario, Canada.


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Competitive Intelligence

Quercetin: A commentary on the sports science research Nancy Rebel, Sport Information Resource Centre (SIRC)


uercetin is a polyphenolic substance that is one of the most abundantly available natural flavonoids, a group of plant-based substances with powerful antioxidant properties. It is found in fruits and vegetables such as apple skins, onions, berries, herbs, tea and red wine. It has been studied in the health context due to its antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antitumor and antiviral properties.

KEY POINTS Quercetin is a plant-based flavanoid commonly found in many fruits and vegetables. In the sports science context, quercetin has shown potential benefits in improving endurance capacity, boosting immune function and stimulating mitochondrial biogensis. Research in mice and rats has shown significant potential in quercetin supplementation, however, human studies are still inconclusive and require more investigation.

Nancy Rebel is the Director of Library Services at SIRC. Nancy is responsible for content management of SIRC’s collection and its catalog database design. Nancy has been responsible for: the content submissions for the world-renowned SportDiscus database; aiding in the coordination of in-house and international terminology submissions and organizational structure of SIRCs internationally recognized SIRCThesaurus as Editor.

Immune System Function It is well known that the intense training undertaken by high performance athletes plays a role in decreasing immune function and increasing risk for respiratory infections. Early studies on quercetin provide promising evidence that it may have antiviral or anti-infective properties. Its chemical properties may improve the abilities of various immune system components in the fight against infection. Endurance Capacity and Performance Studies into quercetin’s effect on endurance and aerobic capacity have largely been performed on mice and rats. Positive indicators resulting from this research have lead scientists to pursue the hypothesis that this same effect may be replicated in humans. While the research on trained and untrained subjects is in its infancy, results have continued to be varied. Increase in muscle mitochondria is the most significant marker in this research, and while this has been evident in studies on mice, studies on athletes are still looking at differences between short-term and long-term supplement usage, amount of exercise training in subjects and the dosage requirements (amount as well as alone or in combination) for human benefits. Antioxidants and Fatigue Another area studied is related to endurance and performance capacity and focuses on the antioxidant properties of flavonoids such as quercetin. Quercetin itself has shown to be highly effective in reducing oxidative stress that contributes to muscle fatigue especially during intense or long-term training protocols. Its anti-inflammatory properties may also appear to have a positive effect in reducing muscle damage to athletes post-training. Research appears to show more promising results on postexercise indicators of physiological stress when quercetin is combined with other polyphenols and food components. Again, more research has been called for to further examine the consistency of these results. Mitochondrial Biogenesis Mitochondrial biogenesis, the creation of new mitochondria in the cell, has been the latest effect of quercetin supplementation. Early experimental studies on mice implementing a quercetin supplementation strategy over multiple days shows an increase in mitochondrial function. Evidence is also beginning to show that flavonoids such as quercetin can increase mitochondrial biogenesis through intracellular signaling pathways. While similar studies in untrained and athlete subjects have yet to prove consistently that there is a significant increase in endurance exercise capacity, positive results show a need for further research. The application of flavonoids such as quercetin are proving to have great potential in a vast array of ways. Health professionals look to the anti-viral, anti-inflammatory and mitochondrial biogenetic properties in treatment for chronic disease. Sport scientists look to these same properties in an effort to increase performance and reduce the effects of physiological stress of high level athletic performance. Since there has yet to be conclusive results in transferring research from animal to human subjects, researchers continue to advocate for more research to accurately assess the potential of quercetin supplementation in all of its applications. SIRC has compiled recent research into the sport science applications of quercetin supplementation. To learn more about quercetin and high performance sport, click here.


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Stay Informed with SIRC New Books @ SIRC

SIRC, in collaboration with Human Kinetics, features four books of interest to high performance sport. Knudson, D.V. Qualitative Diagnosis of Human Movement: Improving Performance in Sport and Exercise (3rd Edition). Champaign, Ill; Human Kinetics Publishing; 2013.

Noakes, T. Waterlogged: The Serious Problem of Overhydration in Endurance Sports. Champaign, Ill; Human Kinetics Publishing; 2012.

Pyke, F. (ed.) Coaching Excellence. Champaign, Ill; Human Kinetics Publishing; 2013.

Weinberg, R.S. and Gould, D. Foundations of Sport and Exercise Psychology. Champaign, Ill; Human Kinetics Publishing; 2011.

Click and enter to win one of our featured titles!

Dear SIRC... As a coach, I want to find some information for elite athletes with shoulder injuries with a focus on rehabilitation and return to play. Shoulder injuries are very common in athletic activities that involve excessive, repetitive, overhead motion, such as swimming, tennis, pitching, and weightlifting. The shoulder is one of the most complicated joints in the body and has a large degree of movement – full 360°- so it ten relatively unstable joint, making it very susceptible to injury. Many problems with the shoulder stem from injuries to the soft tissues surrounding the joint: muscles, tendons, and ligaments. If these soft tissues are weakened or injured, it can create shoulder instability which can be painful and/or problematic for the elite athlete. Adequate strength and endurance of the rotator cuff are essential for correct shoulder mechanics so strengthening exercises are a good place to start. SIRC has compiled resources on this topic including studies and links that provide information on shoulder rehabilitation strategies and exercises. References from the SIRC Collection:

Horsley I, Ashworth B. Athletic Shoulder Rehabilitation. Sportex Medicine. April 2012;(52):19-26.

The Canadian Sport Policy 2012 is now available. Click here to get your copy: • Electronic copy • Print copy

Jaggi A, Lambert S. Rehabilitation for shoulder instability. British Journal Of Sports Medicine. April 2010;44(5):333-340. White E. Rehab of the Shoulder. ACSM Fit Society Page. Fall

2012 2012;:3.

Articles Available Online:

Shoulder Instability: Return to Play Shoulder Impingement Syndrome


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How do I find.... I’m interested in articles on the validity of pre-participation cardiovascular screening for elite athletes, including guidelines and procedures. The majority of studies done on this topic have been performed within the last 3-5 years and have had varied results. Many organizations have published guidelines requiring athletes to participate in prescreening procedures. At the most basic level these steps include: completing a screening questionnaire that includes targeted personal and family medical history or, depending on the responses to the questionnaire, a participant may require medical consultation, evaluation or clearance. Testing commonly includes electrocardiograms, ECG or EKGs, evaluation of blood pressure, etc., which can identify heart problems such as heart disease or heart murmurs. References from the SIRC Collection:

Online Resources:

Anderson L, Exeter D, Bowyer L. Sudden cardiac death: mandatory exclusion of athletes at risk is a step too far. British Journal Of Sports Medicine. April 2012;46(5):331-334.

American Heart and Stroke Foundation - Pre-participation cardiovascular screening of young competitive athletes policy guidance

Keelara Tanguturi V, Noseworthy P, Newton-Cheh C, Baggish A. The Electrocardiogaphic Early Repolarization Pattern in Athletes. Sports Medicine. May 2012;42(5):359-366.

Cardiovascular screening of Canadian athletes for prevention of sudden death – Review, rationale & recommendations

Mujović V, Čubrilo D. Pre-Participation Sports Screening. Physical Culture / Fizicka Kultura. November 2012;66(2):138-146. Pelliccia A, Borjesson M, Villiger B, Paolo F, Schmied C. Incidence and etiology of sudden cardiac death in young athletes. Schweizerische Zeitschrift

Cost effectiveness of pre-participation screening for prevention of sudden cardiac death in young athletes Inter-association task force recommendations on emergency preparedness and management of sudden cardiac arrest in high school and college athletic programs: a consensus statement

Please click here for the full list of SIRC resources on this topic including studies and links that provide information on pre-screening procedures as well as some policy guidelines.


HP SIRCuit Summer 2013


Recommended Readings In our collaborative effort to bring you the latest research in high performance sport, Own The Podiums has selected specific areas of interest to coaches and trainers and SIRC has culled through our resources to provide access to recent research published within these areas.



LTAD / Talent ID

Differences in Muscle Strength of the Dominant And Non-Dominant Leg of High Performance Female Athletes SadauskaitėZarembienė R, Žumbakytė-Šermukšnienė R, Mickevičius M. Education. Physical Training. Sport. February 2013;(88):66-71.

International Olympic Committee consensus statement on thermoregulatory and altitude challenges for high-level athletes. Bergeron M, Bahr R, Engebretsen L, et al. British Journal Of Sports Medicine. September 2012;46(11):770-779.

Immediate Effect of Kinesio Taping on Muscle Response in Young Elite Soccer Players. De Hoyo M, Álvarez-Mesa A, Sañudo B, Carrasco L, Domínguez S. Journal Of Sport Rehabilitation. February 2013;22(1):53-58.

Theoretical Integration and the Psychology of Sport Injury Prevention. King-Chung Chan D, Hagger M. Sports Medicine. September 2012;42(9):725-732.

Factors That Affect Selection of Elite Women’s Sculling Crews. Lawton T, Cronin J, Mcguigan M. International Journal Of Sports Physiology & Performance. January 2013;8(1):38-43.

Using Movement Assessment to Improve Performance and Reduce Injury Risk. Nessler T, Mokha M. International Journal Of Athletic Therapy & Training. March 2013;18(2):8-12.

Talent Detection Programs in Sport: The Questionable Use of Psychological Measures. Anshel M, Lidor R. Journal Of Sport Behavior. September 2012;35(3):239-266.

PSYCHOLOGY Goal Setting Styles: Examining the Role of Personality Factors on the Goal Practices of Prospective Olympic Athletes. Burton D, Gillham A, Weinberg R, Yukelson D, Weigand D. Journal Of Sport Behavior. March 2013;36(1):23-44. “In the Boat” but “Selling Myself Short”: Stories, Narratives, and Identity Development in Elite Sport. Carless D, Douglas K. Sport Psychologist. March 2013;27(1):27-39. Mindful Recovery: A Case Study of a BurnedOut Elite Shooter. Jouper J, Gustafsson H. Sport Psychologist. March 2013;27(1):92-102. Psychological Predictors of Injury Occurrence: A Prospective Investigation of Professional Swedish Soccer Players. Ivarsson A, Johnson U, Podlog L. Journal Of Sport Rehabilitation. February 2013;22(1):19-26.

COACHING Developing female coaches: strategies from women themselves. Norman L. Asia-Pacific Journal Of Health, Sport & Physical Education. December 2012;3(3):227-238. The Role of Deliberate Practice in Becoming an Expert Coach: Part 1 -- Defining Coaching Expertise. Gilbert W, Trudel P. Olympic Coach. Fall2012 2012;23(3):19-27.

The Effects of a Pre- and Post-Exercise Whey Protein Supplement on Protein Metabolism and Muscular Strength Among Elite Wrestlers. Sharawy A. Ovidius University Annals, Series Physical Education & Sport/Science, Movement & Health. March 2013;13(1):5-10.


Talent Identification and Specialization in Sport: An Overview of Some Unanswered Questions. Gonçalves C, Rama L, Figueiredo A. International Journal Of Sports Physiology & Performance. December 2012;7(4):390-393.

Did you know...

Understanding how High Performance Women Athletes Experience the Coach-Athlete Relationship Norman L, Jamie F. International Journal Of Coaching Science. January 2013;7(1):3-24.

Athletes can lose 0.4 to 2.0 L of sweat (1 to 4 lb loss) in just one hour, especially if exercising intensely or in heat or humidity. Read Article

Recommended Reading

Reviewed by Winne Meeuwisse, Consensus statement on concussion in sport: the 4th International Conference on Concussion in Sport held in Zurich, November 2012.

NUTRITION Effects of a Flavonoid-Rich Juice on Inflammation, Oxidative Stress, and Immunity in Elite Swimmers: A Metabolomics-Based Approach. Knab A, Nieman D, Sha W, et al. International Journal Of Sport Nutrition & Exercise Metabolism. April 2013;23(2):150160.

Creating a Champion: Identifying Components that Assist Skill Development in Young Speed Skaters. Hillis T, Holman S. International Journal Of Sports Science & Coaching. March 2013;8(1):33-42.

McCrory P, Meeuwisse WH, Aubry M, et al. (2013) British Journal of Sports Medicine;47 (5), 250–258.

“The most widely used reference for sport related concussion has become the Zurich Consensus Statement (2009). In March, a new Consensus Statement was published from the 4th International Consensus Conference on Concussion. This document covers aspects of diagnosis, acute management and other new approaches to the treatment of persistent problems. There is a new 3rd edition of the Sport Concussion Assessment Tool (SCAT3), a Child SCAT3 (for ages 5-12) and a Pocket Concussion Recognition Tool. This landmark document should be “required reading” for anyone dealing with athletes at risk of concussion.”

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The IST Journal Club The goal of the IST Journal Club is to share ‘must reads’ on cutting edge performance based applications, training/competition variables, and proactive medical interventions, selected by performance service experts representing various professional disciplines associated with Integrated Support Teams.

What makes champions? A review of the relative contribution of genes and training to sporting success.

Tucker, R., & Collins, M. (2012). British journal of sports medicine, 46(8), 555–61.

Commentary by Leo Thornley In this review Tucker and Collins examine the contributions made by deliberate practice and genetic factors to sporting success. The nature versus nurture argument is not a new one but as the authors point out it is an argument that has become more prominent of late. The authors look at the complex issue of genetic contributions and the elusive search for genetic variants associated with performance. While deliberate practice is of course absolutely essential, the concept of an essential minimum amount of required specialized training in a single domain (10’000 hours) is no longer considered to be true. This paper highlights how truly understanding elements like initial performance capacity as well as the rate of adaptation to training of the athletes in your sport are essential. Proper attention needs to be given to both the identification of true talent in every sense of the word and the management of it. This paper reinforces that performance is amazingly complex and multifactorial, it behoves us to take a holistic approach and ensure we look at the interaction and integration of performance factors. ∆

Utilization of Modified NFL Combine Testing to Identify Functional Deficits in Athletes Following ACL Reconstruction.

Myer, G. D., Schmitt, L. C., Brent, J. L., Ford, K. R., Foss, K., Scherer, B. J., & ... Hewett, T. E. (2011). Journal Of Orthopaedic & Sports Physical Therapy, 41(6), 377-387.

Commentary by Bruce Craven In this study by Myer GD et al, the authors investigated 18 athletes that had returned to sport without modification following ACL surgery and 20 age, gender and sport matched control subjects. All athletes completed a series of performance based field tests. Myer GD et al, found statistical differences between the groups of athletes in 3 hopping tests. The athletes had an 8-9% deficit on the ACL repair side, when doing the single leg hop, the crossover hop or the triple single leg hop for distance. Similar findings have been found in side to side asymmetries are evident during drop landing and drop vertical jump in patients following ACL reconstruction for up to two years have been reported in the literature by Decker MJ (2002) and Paterno MV (2005) respectively. The return to sport following ACL surgical repair, must be a closely monitored process by all members of the athletes “IST”. Team members must collaborate to ensure that the athlete is not only making a speedy return to sport but more importantly a return to sport that is performance based with the athletes injury risk minimized. ∆


Additive Effects of Beta-Alanine and Sodium Bicarbonate on Upper-Body Intermittent Performance

Tobias G, Benatti FB, de Salles Painelli V, Roschel H, Gualano B, Sale C, Harris RC, Lancha AH Jr, Artioli GG. (2013) Amino Acids, Amino Acids. [Epub ahead of print]

Commentary by Heather Hynes Research in the area of beta-alanine supplementation has grown dramatically since 2006 and it will continue to grow as the ergogenic effects are demonstrated with highly trained participants. This study aims to explore the potential benefits of supplementation with beta-alanine and also the combined benefits with sodium bicarbonate intake. Thirty seven well trained judo and jiu-jitsu male athletes participated in this randomized, placebo-controlled, double blind study. The participants were divided into 4 groups; placebo + placebo, beta-alanine + placebo, placebo + sodium bicarbonate and beta-alanine + sodium bicarbonate. The exercise protocol was 4 x 30 second upper body Wingate tests separated by 3 minutes of recovery. The findings of this study clearly indicate an additive effect; noting greater performance results and decreased rates of perceived exertion during high intensity intermittent exercise with the beta-alanine and sodium bicarbonate supplement group. ∆

Did you know... Being dehydrated by as little as 2% of body mass can slow an endurance athlete down and impair their ability to regulate body temperature. Read Article

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