Special Issue "Sports Nutrition"

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

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (31 March 2021).

Special Issue Editor

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Nutrients was launched in 2009 and has published over 10,000 papers since. With an impact factor of 4.546, Nutrients ranks as a Q1 journal and has become an excellent open source platform to ensure rapid and widespread exposure of your research findings and perspectives.

As the Section Editor of the newly established Sports Nutrition section, I personally invite you to submit a review paper in your specific area of expertise. I am looking for quality review papers on any topic within sports nutrition (https://0-www-mdpi-com.brum.beds.ac.uk/journal/nutrients/sections/Sport_Nutrition). You can send me an email message ([email protected]) if you have any questions about this process and the topic you wish to review. I assure you that the review process for your paper will be fair and expeditious.  

Dr. David C. Nieman
Guest Editor

Manuscript Submission Information

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

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

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2400 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • sports
  • exercise
  • performance
  • recovery
  • nutrition
  • dietary patterns
  • carbohydrates
  • lipids
  • proteins
  • micronutrients
  • vegetarianism
  • pre-exercise meals
  • health
  • metabolism
  • hydration
  • energy balance
  • body composition
  • weight management
  • ergogenic aids
  • dietary supplements
  • immune function
  • muscle damage
  • genetics
  • metabolomics
  • proteomics
  • polyphenols

Published Papers (12 papers)

Order results
Result details
Select all
Export citation of selected articles as:

Editorial

Jump to: Review, Other

Editorial
Current and Novel Reviews in Sports Nutrition
Nutrients 2021, 13(8), 2549; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/nu13082549 - 26 Jul 2021
Viewed by 613
Abstract
Sports nutrition is a rapidly expanding area of scientific investigation and is being driven by high interest from both the academic community and the exercising public [...] Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sports Nutrition)

Review

Jump to: Editorial, Other

Review
The Validity of Ultrasound Technology in Providing an Indirect Estimate of Muscle Glycogen Concentrations Is Equivocal
Nutrients 2021, 13(7), 2371; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/nu13072371 - 11 Jul 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1417
Abstract
Researchers and practitioners in sports nutrition would greatly benefit from a rapid, portable, and non-invasive technique to measure muscle glycogen, both in the laboratory and field. This explains the interest in MuscleSound®, the first commercial system to use high-frequency ultrasound technology [...] Read more.
Researchers and practitioners in sports nutrition would greatly benefit from a rapid, portable, and non-invasive technique to measure muscle glycogen, both in the laboratory and field. This explains the interest in MuscleSound®, the first commercial system to use high-frequency ultrasound technology and image analysis from patented cloud-based software to estimate muscle glycogen content from the echogenicity of the ultrasound image. This technique is based largely on muscle water content, which is presumed to act as a proxy for glycogen. Despite the promise of early validation studies, newer studies from independent groups reported discrepant results, with MuscleSound® scores failing to correlate with the glycogen content of biopsy-derived mixed muscle samples or to show the expected changes in muscle glycogen associated with various diet and exercise strategies. The explanation of issues related to the site of assessment do not account for these discrepancies, and there are substantial problems with the premise that the ratio of glycogen to water in the muscle is constant. Although further studies investigating this technique are warranted, current evidence that MuscleSound® technology can provide valid and actionable information around muscle glycogen stores is at best equivocal. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sports Nutrition)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Review
Plant Proteins and Exercise: What Role Can Plant Proteins Have in Promoting Adaptations to Exercise?
Nutrients 2021, 13(6), 1962; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/nu13061962 - 07 Jun 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2601
Abstract
Adequate dietary protein is important for many aspects of health with current evidence suggesting that exercising individuals need greater amounts of protein. When assessing protein quality, animal sources of protein routinely rank amongst the highest in quality, largely due to the higher levels [...] Read more.
Adequate dietary protein is important for many aspects of health with current evidence suggesting that exercising individuals need greater amounts of protein. When assessing protein quality, animal sources of protein routinely rank amongst the highest in quality, largely due to the higher levels of essential amino acids they possess in addition to exhibiting more favorable levels of digestibility and absorption patterns of the amino acids. In recent years, the inclusion of plant protein sources in the diet has grown and evidence continues to accumulate on the comparison of various plant protein sources and animal protein sources in their ability to stimulate muscle protein synthesis (MPS), heighten exercise training adaptations, and facilitate recovery from exercise. Without question, the most robust changes in MPS come from efficacious doses of a whey protein isolate, but several studies have highlighted the successful ability of different plant sources to significantly elevate resting rates of MPS. In terms of facilitating prolonged adaptations to exercise training, multiple studies have indicated that a dose of plant protein that offers enough essential amino acids, especially leucine, consumed over 8–12 weeks can stimulate similar adaptations as seen with animal protein sources. More research is needed to see if longer supplementation periods maintain equivalence between the protein sources. Several practices exist whereby the anabolic potential of a plant protein source can be improved and generally, more research is needed to best understand which practice (if any) offers notable advantages. In conclusion, as one considers the favorable health implications of increasing plant intake as well as environmental sustainability, the interest in consuming more plant proteins will continue to be present. The evidence base for plant proteins in exercising individuals has seen impressive growth with many of these findings now indicating that consumption of a plant protein source in an efficacious dose (typically larger than an animal protein) can instigate similar and favorable changes in amino acid update, MPS rates, and exercise training adaptations such as strength and body composition as well as recovery. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sports Nutrition)
Review
Nutritional Interventions to Improve Sleep in Team-Sport Athletes: A Narrative Review
Nutrients 2021, 13(5), 1586; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/nu13051586 - 10 May 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2336
Abstract
Athletes often experience sleep disturbances and poor sleep as a consequence of extended travel, the timing of training and competition (i.e., early morning or evening), and muscle soreness. Nutrition plays a vital role in sports performance and recovery, and a variety of foods, [...] Read more.
Athletes often experience sleep disturbances and poor sleep as a consequence of extended travel, the timing of training and competition (i.e., early morning or evening), and muscle soreness. Nutrition plays a vital role in sports performance and recovery, and a variety of foods, beverages, and supplements purportedly have the capacity to improve sleep quality and quantity. Here, we review and discuss relevant studies regarding nutrition, foods, supplements, and beverages that may improve sleep quality and quantity. Our narrative review was supported by a semi-systematic approach to article searching, and specific inclusion and exclusion criteria, such that articles reviewed were relevant to athletes and sporting environments. Six databases—PubMed, Scopus, CINAHL, EMBASE, SPORTDiscus, and Google Scholar—were searched for initial studies of interest from inception to November 2020. Given the paucity of sleep nutrition research in the athlete population, we expanded our inclusion criteria to include studies that reported the outcomes of nutritional interventions to improve sleep in otherwise healthy adults. Carbohydrate ingestion to improve sleep parameters is inconclusive, although high glycemic index foods appear to have small benefits. Tart cherry juice can promote sleep quantity, herbal supplements can enhance sleep quality, while kiwifruit and protein interventions have been shown to improve both sleep quality and quantity. Nutritional interventions are an effective way to improve sleep quality and quantity, although further research is needed to determine the appropriate dose, source, and timing in relation to training, travel, and competition requirements. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sports Nutrition)
Review
Nutrition for Older Athletes: Focus on Sex-Differences
Nutrients 2021, 13(5), 1409; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/nu13051409 - 22 Apr 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2808
Abstract
Regular physical exercise and a healthy diet are major determinants of a healthy lifespan. Although aging is associated with declining endurance performance and muscle function, these components can favorably be modified by regular physical activity and especially by exercise training at all ages [...] Read more.
Regular physical exercise and a healthy diet are major determinants of a healthy lifespan. Although aging is associated with declining endurance performance and muscle function, these components can favorably be modified by regular physical activity and especially by exercise training at all ages in both sexes. In addition, age-related changes in body composition and metabolism, which affect even highly trained masters athletes, can in part be compensated for by higher exercise metabolic efficiency in active individuals. Accordingly, masters athletes are often considered as a role model for healthy aging and their physical capacities are an impressive example of what is possible in aging individuals. In the present review, we first discuss physiological changes, performance and trainability of older athletes with a focus on sex differences. Second, we describe the most important hormonal alterations occurring during aging pertaining regulation of appetite, glucose homeostasis and energy expenditure and the modulatory role of exercise training. The third part highlights nutritional aspects that may support health and physical performance for older athletes. Key nutrition-related concerns include the need for adequate energy and protein intake for preventing low bone and muscle mass and a higher demand for specific nutrients (e.g., vitamin D and probiotics) that may reduce the infection burden in masters athletes. Fourth, we present important research findings on the association between exercise, nutrition and the microbiota, which represents a rapidly developing field in sports nutrition. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sports Nutrition)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Review
Come Back Skinfolds, All Is Forgiven: A Narrative Review of the Efficacy of Common Body Composition Methods in Applied Sports Practice
Nutrients 2021, 13(4), 1075; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/nu13041075 - 25 Mar 2021
Cited by 8 | Viewed by 9339
Abstract
Whilst the assessment of body composition is routine practice in sport, there remains considerable debate on the best tools available, with the chosen technique often based upon convenience rather than understanding the method and its limitations. The aim of this manuscript was threefold: [...] Read more.
Whilst the assessment of body composition is routine practice in sport, there remains considerable debate on the best tools available, with the chosen technique often based upon convenience rather than understanding the method and its limitations. The aim of this manuscript was threefold: (1) provide an overview of the common methodologies used within sport to measure body composition, specifically hydro-densitometry, air displacement plethysmography, bioelectrical impedance analysis and spectroscopy, ultra-sound, three-dimensional scanning, dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry (DXA) and skinfold thickness; (2) compare the efficacy of what are widely believed to be the most accurate (DXA) and practical (skinfold thickness) assessment tools and (3) provide a framework to help select the most appropriate assessment in applied sports practice including insights from the authors’ experiences working in elite sport. Traditionally, skinfold thickness has been the most popular method of body composition but the use of DXA has increased in recent years, with a wide held belief that it is the criterion standard. When bone mineral content needs to be assessed, and/or when it is necessary to take limb-specific estimations of fat and fat-free mass, then DXA appears to be the preferred method, although it is crucial to be aware of the logistical constraints required to produce reliable data, including controlling food intake, prior exercise and hydration status. However, given the need for simplicity and after considering the evidence across all assessment methods, skinfolds appear to be the least affected by day-to-day variability, leading to the conclusion ‘come back skinfolds, all is forgiven’. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sports Nutrition)
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

Review
Creatine Supplementation, Physical Exercise and Oxidative Stress Markers: A Review of the Mechanisms and Effectiveness
Nutrients 2021, 13(3), 869; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/nu13030869 - 06 Mar 2021
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 2057
Abstract
Oxidative stress is the result of an imbalance between the generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and their elimination by antioxidant mechanisms. ROS degrade biogenic substances such as deoxyribonucleic acid, lipids, and proteins, which in turn may lead to oxidative tissue damage. One [...] Read more.
Oxidative stress is the result of an imbalance between the generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and their elimination by antioxidant mechanisms. ROS degrade biogenic substances such as deoxyribonucleic acid, lipids, and proteins, which in turn may lead to oxidative tissue damage. One of the physiological conditions currently associated with enhanced oxidative stress is exercise. Although a period of intense training may cause oxidative damage to muscle fibers, regular exercise helps increase the cells’ ability to reduce the ROS over-accumulation. Regular moderate-intensity exercise has been shown to increase antioxidant defense. Endogenous antioxidants cannot completely prevent oxidative damage under the physiological and pathological conditions (intense exercise and exercise at altitude). These conditions may disturb the endogenous antioxidant balance and increase oxidative stress. In this case, the use of antioxidant supplements such as creatine can have positive effects on the antioxidant system. Creatine is made up of two essential amino acids, arginine and methionine, and one non-essential amino acid, glycine. The exact action mechanism of creatine as an antioxidant is not known. However, it has been shown to increase the activity of antioxidant enzymes and the capability to eliminate ROS and reactive nitrogen species (RNS). It seems that the antioxidant effects of creatine may be due to various mechanisms such as its indirect (i.e., increased or normalized cell energy status) and direct (i.e., maintaining mitochondrial integrity) mechanisms. Creatine supplement consumption may have a synergistic effect with training, but the intensity and duration of training can play an important role in the antioxidant activity. In this study, the researchers attempted to review the literature on the effects of creatine supplementation and physical exercise on oxidative stress. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sports Nutrition)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Review
Efficacy of Popular Diets Applied by Endurance Athletes on Sports Performance: Beneficial or Detrimental? A Narrative Review
Nutrients 2021, 13(2), 491; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/nu13020491 - 02 Feb 2021
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 4189
Abstract
Endurance athletes need a regular and well-detailed nutrition program in order to fill their energy stores before training/racing, to provide nutritional support that will allow them to endure the harsh conditions during training/race, and to provide effective recovery after training/racing. Since exercise-related gastrointestinal [...] Read more.
Endurance athletes need a regular and well-detailed nutrition program in order to fill their energy stores before training/racing, to provide nutritional support that will allow them to endure the harsh conditions during training/race, and to provide effective recovery after training/racing. Since exercise-related gastrointestinal symptoms can significantly affect performance, they also need to develop strategies to address these issues. All these factors force endurance athletes to constantly seek a better nutritional strategy. Therefore, several new dietary approaches have gained interest among endurance athletes in recent decades. This review provides a current perspective to five popular diet approaches: (a) vegetarian diets, (b) high-fat diets, (c) intermittent fasting diets, (d) gluten-free diet, and (e) low fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides and polyols (FODMAP) diets. We reviewed scientific studies published from 1983 to January 2021 investigating the impact of these popular diets on the endurance performance and health aspects of endurance athletes. We also discuss all the beneficial and harmful aspects of these diets, and offer key suggestions for endurance athletes to consider when following these diets. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sports Nutrition)
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

Review
Iron Metabolism: Interactions with Energy and Carbohydrate Availability
Nutrients 2020, 12(12), 3692; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/nu12123692 - 30 Nov 2020
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 4221
Abstract
The provision or restriction of select nutrients in an athlete’s diet can elicit a variety of changes in fuel utilization, training adaptation, and performance outcomes. Furthermore, nutrient availability can also influence athlete health, with one key system of interest being iron metabolism. The [...] Read more.
The provision or restriction of select nutrients in an athlete’s diet can elicit a variety of changes in fuel utilization, training adaptation, and performance outcomes. Furthermore, nutrient availability can also influence athlete health, with one key system of interest being iron metabolism. The aim of this review was to synthesize the current evidence examining the impact of dietary manipulations on the iron regulatory response to exercise. Specifically, we assessed the impact of both acute and chronic carbohydrate (CHO) restriction on iron metabolism, with relevance to contemporary sports nutrition approaches, including models of periodized CHO availability and ketogenic low CHO high fat diets. Additionally, we reviewed the current evidence linking poor iron status and altered hepcidin activity with low energy availability in athletes. A cohesive understanding of these interactions guides nutritional recommendations for athletes struggling to maintain healthy iron stores, and highlights future directions and knowledge gaps specific to elite athletes. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sports Nutrition)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Review
What Should I Eat before Exercise? Pre-Exercise Nutrition and the Response to Endurance Exercise: Current Prospective and Future Directions
Nutrients 2020, 12(11), 3473; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/nu12113473 - 12 Nov 2020
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 10838
Abstract
The primary variables influencing the adaptive response to a bout of endurance training are exercise duration and exercise intensity. However, altering the availability of nutrients before and during exercise can also impact the training response by modulating the exercise stimulus and/or the physiological [...] Read more.
The primary variables influencing the adaptive response to a bout of endurance training are exercise duration and exercise intensity. However, altering the availability of nutrients before and during exercise can also impact the training response by modulating the exercise stimulus and/or the physiological and molecular responses to the exercise-induced perturbations. The purpose of this review is to highlight the current knowledge of the influence of pre-exercise nutrition ingestion on the metabolic, physiological, and performance responses to endurance training and suggest directions for future research. Acutely, carbohydrate ingestion reduces fat oxidation, but there is little evidence showing enhanced fat burning capacity following long-term fasted-state training. Performance is improved following pre-exercise carbohydrate ingestion for longer but not shorter duration exercise, while training-induced performance improvements following nutrition strategies that modulate carbohydrate availability vary based on the type of nutrition protocol used. Contrasting findings related to the influence of acute carbohydrate ingestion on mitochondrial signaling may be related to the amount of carbohydrate consumed and the intensity of exercise. This review can help to guide athletes, coaches, and nutritionists in personalizing pre-exercise nutrition strategies, and for designing research studies to further elucidate the role of nutrition in endurance training adaptations. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sports Nutrition)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Review
Betaine Supplementation May Improve Heat Tolerance: Potential Mechanisms in Humans
Nutrients 2020, 12(10), 2939; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/nu12102939 - 25 Sep 2020
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1293
Abstract
Betaine has been demonstrated to increase tolerance to hypertonic and thermal stressors. At the cellular level, intracellular betaine functions similar to molecular chaperones, thereby reducing the need for inducible heat shock protein expression. In addition to stabilizing protein conformations, betaine has been demonstrated [...] Read more.
Betaine has been demonstrated to increase tolerance to hypertonic and thermal stressors. At the cellular level, intracellular betaine functions similar to molecular chaperones, thereby reducing the need for inducible heat shock protein expression. In addition to stabilizing protein conformations, betaine has been demonstrated to reduce oxidative damage. For the enterocyte, during periods of reduced perfusion as well as greater oxidative, thermal, and hypertonic stress (i.e., prolonged exercise in hot-humid conditions), betaine results in greater villi length and evidence for greater membrane integrity. Collectively, this reduces exercise-induced gut permeability, protecting against bacterial translocation and endotoxemia. At the systemic level, chronic betaine intake has been shown to reduce core temperature, all-cause mortality, markers of inflammation, and change blood chemistry in several animal models when exposed to heat stress. Despite convincing research in cell culture and animal models, only one published study exists exploring betaine’s thermoregulatory function in humans. If the same premise holds true for humans, chronic betaine consumption may increase heat tolerance and provide another avenue of supplementation for those who find that heat stress is a major factor in their work, or training for exercise and sport. Yet, this remains speculative until data demonstrate such effects in humans. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sports Nutrition)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Other

Jump to: Editorial, Review

Systematic Review
Does Protein Supplementation Support Adaptations to Arduous Concurrent Exercise Training? A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis with Military Based Applications
Nutrients 2021, 13(5), 1416; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/nu13051416 - 23 Apr 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1325
Abstract
We evaluated the impact of protein supplementation on adaptations to arduous concurrent training in healthy adults with potential applications to individuals undergoing military training. Peer-reviewed papers published in English meeting the population, intervention, comparison and outcome criteria were included. Database searches were completed [...] Read more.
We evaluated the impact of protein supplementation on adaptations to arduous concurrent training in healthy adults with potential applications to individuals undergoing military training. Peer-reviewed papers published in English meeting the population, intervention, comparison and outcome criteria were included. Database searches were completed in PubMed, Web of science and SPORTDiscus. Study quality was evaluated using the COnsensus based standards for the selection of health status measurement instruments checklist. Of 11 studies included, nine focused on performance, six on body composition and four on muscle recovery. Cohen’s d effect sizes showed that protein supplementation improved performance outcomes in response to concurrent training (ES = 0.89, 95% CI = 0.08–1.70). When analysed separately, improvements in muscle strength (SMD = +4.92 kg, 95% CI = −2.70–12.54 kg) were found, but not in aerobic endurance. Gains in fat-free mass (SMD = +0.75 kg, 95% CI = 0.44–1.06 kg) and reductions in fat-mass (SMD = −0.99, 95% CI = −1.43–0.23 kg) were greater with protein supplementation. Most studies did not report protein turnover, nitrogen balance and/or total daily protein intake. Therefore, further research is warranted. However, our findings infer that protein supplementation may support lean-mass accretion and strength gains during arduous concurrent training in physical active populations, including military recruits. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sports Nutrition)
Show Figures

Figure 1

Back to TopTop