Special Issue "The Role of Nutrition in Exercise and Sports"

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

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

Special Issue Editors

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

Dear Colleagues,

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

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

Dr. Roberta Ceci
Dr. Guglielmo Duranti
Guest Editors

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
  • Ergogenic Aids
  • Dietary Supplements
  • Muscle Damage
  • Nutrition
  • Oxidative Stress
  • Aging
  • Fatigue
  • Disease Prevention

Published Papers (9 papers)

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Research

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Article
Effects of Inositol-Enhanced Bonded Arginine Silicate Ingestion on Cognitive and Executive Function in Gamers
Nutrients 2021, 13(11), 3758; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/nu13113758 - 24 Oct 2021
Viewed by 1211
Abstract
Inositol stabilized arginine silicate (ASI) ingestion has been reported to increase nitric oxide levels while inositol (I) has been reported to enhance neurotransmission. The current study examined whether acute ASI + I (Inositol-enhanced bonded arginine silicate) ingestion affects cognitive function in e-sport gamers. [...] Read more.
Inositol stabilized arginine silicate (ASI) ingestion has been reported to increase nitric oxide levels while inositol (I) has been reported to enhance neurotransmission. The current study examined whether acute ASI + I (Inositol-enhanced bonded arginine silicate) ingestion affects cognitive function in e-sport gamers. In a double blind, randomized, placebo controlled, and crossover trial, 26 healthy male (n = 18) and female (n = 8) experienced gamers (23 ± 5 years, 171 ± 11 cm, 71.1 ± 14 kg, 20.7 ± 3.5 kg/m2) were randomly assigned to consume 1600 mg of ASI + I (nooLVL®, Nutrition 21) or 1600 mg of a maltodextrin placebo (PLA). Prior to testing, participants recorded their diet, refrained from consuming atypical amounts of stimulants and foods high in arginine and nitrates, and fasted for 8 h. During testing sessions, participants completed stimulant sensitivity questionnaires and performed cognitive function tests (i.e., Berg-Wisconsin Card Sorting task test, Go/No-Go test, Sternberg Task Test, Psychomotor Vigilance Task Test, Cambridge Brain Sciences Reasoning and Concentration test) and a light reaction test. Participants then ingested treatments in a randomized manner. Fifteen minutes following ingestion, participants repeated tests (Pre-Game). Participants then played their favorite video game for 1-h and repeated the battery of tests (Post-Game). Participants observed a 7–14-day washout period and then replicated the study with the alternative treatment. Data were analyzed by General Linear Model (GLM) univariate analyses with repeated measures using weight as a covariate, paired t-tests (not adjusted to weight), and mean changes from baseline with 95% Confidence Intervals (CI). Pairwise comparison revealed that there was a significant improvement in Sternberg Mean Present Reaction Time (ASI + I vs. PLA; p < 0.05). In Post-Game assessments, 4-letter Absent Reaction Time (p < 0.05), 6-letter Present Reaction Time (p < 0.01), 6-letter Absent Reaction Time (p < 0.01), Mean Present Reaction Time (p < 0.02), and Mean Absent Reaction Time (p < 0.03) were improved with ASI + I vs. PLA. There was a non-significant trend in Pre-Game Sternberg 4-letter Present Reaction time in ASI + I vs. PLA (p < 0.07). ASI + I ingestion better maintained changes in Go/No-Go Mean Accuracy and Reaction Time, Psychomotor Vigilance Task Reaction Time, and Cambridge Post-Game Visio-spatial Processing and Planning. Results provide evidence that ASI + I ingestion prior to playing video games may enhance some measures of short-term and working memory, reaction time, reasoning, and concentration in experienced gamers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Role of Nutrition in Exercise and Sports)
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Article
Training and Racing Behaviors of Omnivorous, Vegetarian, and Vegan Endurance Runners—Results from the NURMI Study (Step 1)
Nutrients 2021, 13(10), 3521; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/nu13103521 - 07 Oct 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 888
Abstract
As a key modulator of training adaptations and racing performance, nutrition plays a critical role in endurance runners’ success, and the training/racing behaviors of runners are potentially affected by their diet types. The present study aimed to investigate whether distance runners with a [...] Read more.
As a key modulator of training adaptations and racing performance, nutrition plays a critical role in endurance runners’ success, and the training/racing behaviors of runners are potentially affected by their diet types. The present study aimed to investigate whether distance runners with a vegan diet (i.e., devoid of foods or ingredients from animal sources), vegetarian diet (i.e., devoid of meat and flesh foods), and omnivorous diet (i.e., a mixed diet with no restriction on food sources) have different training and racing patterns in general and based on race distance subgroups. A total of 3835 recreational runners completed an online survey. Runners were assigned to dietary (omnivorous, vegetarian, and vegan) and race distance (<21 km, half-marathon, and marathon/ultra-marathon) groups. In addition to sociodemographic information, a complete profile of data sets focusing on running and racing behaviors/patterns was evaluated using a questionnaire-based epidemiological approach. There were 1272 omnivores (47% females), 598 vegetarians (64% females), and 994 vegans (65% females). Compared to vegans and vegetarians, omnivorous runners prepared for a longer time period for running events, had a higher number of half-marathons and marathons completed with a better finish time, and had more reliance on training under supervision (p < 0.05). The present findings indicate an important association of diet types with patterns of training and racing amongst endurance runners that may be related to different motives of omnivorous, vegetarian, and vegan runners for participating in events. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Role of Nutrition in Exercise and Sports)
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Article
The Effects of High-Protein Diet and Resistance Training on Glucose Control and Inflammatory Profile of Visceral Adipose Tissue in Rats
Nutrients 2021, 13(6), 1969; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/nu13061969 - 08 Jun 2021
Viewed by 1511
Abstract
High-protein diets (HPDs) are widely accepted as a way to stimulate muscle protein synthesis when combined with resistance training (RT). However, the effects of HPDs on adipose tissue plasticity and local inflammation are yet to be determined. This study investigated the impact of [...] Read more.
High-protein diets (HPDs) are widely accepted as a way to stimulate muscle protein synthesis when combined with resistance training (RT). However, the effects of HPDs on adipose tissue plasticity and local inflammation are yet to be determined. This study investigated the impact of HPDs on glucose control, adipocyte size, and epididymal adipose inflammatory biomarkers in resistance-trained rats. Eighteen Wistar rats were randomly assigned to four groups: normal-protein (NPD; 17% protein total dietary intake) and HPD (26.1% protein) without RT and NPD and HPD with RT. Trained groups received RT for 12 weeks with weights secured to their tails. Glucose and insulin tolerance tests, adipocyte size, and an array of cytokines were determined. While HPD without RT induced glucose intolerance, enlarged adipocytes, and increased TNF-α, MCP-1, and IL1-β levels in epididymal adipose tissue (p < 0.05), RT diminished these deleterious effects, with the HPD + RT group displaying improved blood glucose control without inflammatory cytokine increases in epididymal adipose tissue (p < 0.05). Furthermore, RT increased glutathione expression independent of diet (p < 0.05). RT may offer protection against adipocyte hypertrophy, pro-inflammatory states, and glucose intolerance during HPDs. The results highlight the potential protective effects of RT to mitigate the maladaptive effects of HPDs. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Role of Nutrition in Exercise and Sports)
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Article
A Low-Carbohydrate Ketogenic Diet and Treadmill Training Enhanced Fatty Acid Oxidation Capacity but Did Not Enhance Maximal Exercise Capacity in Mice
Nutrients 2021, 13(2), 611; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/nu13020611 - 13 Feb 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1181
Abstract
The low-carbohydrate ketogenic diet (LCKD) is a dietary approach characterized by the intake of high amounts of fat, a balanced amount of protein, and low carbohydrates, which is insufficient for metabolic demands. Previous studies have shown that an LCKD alone may contribute to [...] Read more.
The low-carbohydrate ketogenic diet (LCKD) is a dietary approach characterized by the intake of high amounts of fat, a balanced amount of protein, and low carbohydrates, which is insufficient for metabolic demands. Previous studies have shown that an LCKD alone may contribute to fatty acid oxidation capacity, along with endurance. In the present study, we combined a 10-week LCKD with an 8-week forced treadmill running program to determine whether training in conjunction with LCKD enhanced fatty acid oxidation capacity, as well as whether the maximal exercise capacity would be affected by an LCKD or training in a mice model. We found that the lipid pool and fatty acid oxidation capacity were both enhanced following the 10-week LCKD. Further, key fatty acid oxidation related genes were upregulated. In contrast, the 8-week training regimen had no effect on fatty acid and ketone body oxidation. Key genes involved in carbohydrate utilization were downregulated in the LCKD groups. However, the improved fatty acid oxidation capacity did not translate into an enhanced maximal exercise capacity. In summary, while favoring the fatty acid oxidation system, an LCKD, alone or combined with training, had no beneficial effects in our intensive exercise-evaluation model. Therefore, an LCKD may be promising to improve endurance in low- to moderate-intensity exercise, and may not be an optimal choice for those partaking in high-intensity exercise. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Role of Nutrition in Exercise and Sports)
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Article
Feeding Your Himalayan Expedition: Nutritional Signatures and Body Composition Adaptations of Trekkers and Porters
Nutrients 2021, 13(2), 460; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/nu13020460 - 30 Jan 2021
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Abstract
High-altitude exposure leads to many physiological challenges, such as weight loss and dehydration. However, little attention has been posed to the role of nutrition and ethnic differences. Aiming to fulfill this gap, five Italian trekkers and seven Nepalese porters, all males, recorded their [...] Read more.
High-altitude exposure leads to many physiological challenges, such as weight loss and dehydration. However, little attention has been posed to the role of nutrition and ethnic differences. Aiming to fulfill this gap, five Italian trekkers and seven Nepalese porters, all males, recorded their diet in diaries during a Himalayan expedition (19 days), and the average daily intake of micro and macro-nutrients were calculated. Bioimpedance analysis was performed five times during the trek; muscle ultrasound was performed before and after the expedition, only for the Italians. The Nepalese group consumed a lot of rice and only Italians consumed cheese. Water intake was slightly over 3000 g/d for both groups. Nepalese diet had a higher density of dietary fibre and lower density of riboflavin, vitamins A, K, and B12. Intake of calcium was lower than recommended levels. Body mass index, waist circumference, fat-free mass, and total body water decreased in both groups, whereas resistance (Rz) increased. Italians reactance (Xc) increased at day 9, whereas that of Nepalese occurred at days 5, 9, and 16. The cross-sectional area of the Vastus lateralis was reduced after the expedition. Specific nutritional and food-related risk factors guidance is needed for diverse expedition groups. Loss of muscle mass and balance of fluids both deserve a particular focus as concerns altitude expeditions. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Role of Nutrition in Exercise and Sports)
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Article
Effects of Oral Resveratrol Supplementation on Glycogen Replenishment and Mitochondria Biogenesis in Exercised Human Skeletal Muscle
Nutrients 2020, 12(12), 3721; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/nu12123721 - 02 Dec 2020
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1337
Abstract
The present study aimed to investigate the effect of oral resveratrol supplementation on the key molecular gene expressions involved in mitochondria biogenesis and glycogen resynthesis in human skeletal muscle. Nine young male athletes participated in the single-blind and crossover designed study. All subjects [...] Read more.
The present study aimed to investigate the effect of oral resveratrol supplementation on the key molecular gene expressions involved in mitochondria biogenesis and glycogen resynthesis in human skeletal muscle. Nine young male athletes participated in the single-blind and crossover designed study. All subjects completed a 4-day resveratrol and placebo supplement in a randomized order while performing a single bout of cycling exercise. Immediately after the exercise challenge, the subjects consumed a carbohydrate (CHO) meal (2 g CHO/Kg body mass) with either resveratrol or placebo capsules. Biopsied muscle samples, blood samples and expired gas samples were obtained at 0 h and 3 h after exercise. The muscle samples were measured for gene transcription factor expression by real-time PCR for glucose uptake and mitochondria biogenesis. Plasma glucose, insulin, glycerol, non-esterified fatty acid concentrations and respiratory exchange ratio were analyzed during post-exercise recovery periods. The results showed that the muscle glycogen concentrations were higher at 3 h than at 0 h; however, there were no difference between resveratrol trial and placebo trial. There were no significantly different concentrations in plasma parameters between the two trials. Similarly, no measured gene expressions were significant between the two trials. The evidence concluded that the 4-day oral resveratrol supplementation did not improve post-exercise muscle glycogen resynthesis and related glucose uptake and mitochondrial biosynthesis gene expression in men. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Role of Nutrition in Exercise and Sports)
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Review

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Review
The Effect of Beetroot Ingestion on High-Intensity Interval Training: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis
Nutrients 2021, 13(11), 3674; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/nu13113674 - 20 Oct 2021
Viewed by 776
Abstract
Dietary nitrate supplementation has shown promising ergogenic effects on endurance exercise. However, at present there is no systematic analysis evaluating the effects of acute or chronic nitrate supplementation on performance measures during high-intensity interval training (HIIT) and sprint interval training (SIT). The main [...] Read more.
Dietary nitrate supplementation has shown promising ergogenic effects on endurance exercise. However, at present there is no systematic analysis evaluating the effects of acute or chronic nitrate supplementation on performance measures during high-intensity interval training (HIIT) and sprint interval training (SIT). The main aim of this systematic review and meta-analysis was to evaluate the evidence for supplementation of dietary beetroot—a common source of nitrate—to improve peak and mean power output during HIIT and SIT. A systematic literature search was carried out following PRISMA guidelines and the PICOS framework within the following databases: PubMed, ProQuest, ScienceDirect, and SPORTDiscus. Search terms used were: ((nitrate OR nitrite OR beetroot) AND (HIIT or high intensity or sprint interval or SIT) AND (performance)). A total of 17 studies were included and reviewed independently. Seven studies applied an acute supplementation strategy and ten studies applied chronic supplementation. The standardised mean difference for mean power output showed an overall trivial, non-significant effect in favour of placebo (Hedges’ g = −0.05, 95% CI −0.32 to 0.21, Z = 0.39, p = 0.69). The standardised mean difference for peak power output showed a trivial, non-significant effect in favour of the beetroot juice intervention (Hedges’ g = 0.08, 95% CI −0.14 to 0.30, Z = 0.72, p = 0.47). The present meta-analysis showed trivial statistical heterogeneity in power output, but the variation in the exercise protocols, nitrate dosage, type of beetroot products, supplementation strategy, and duration among studies restricted a firm conclusion of the effect of beetroot supplementation on HIIT performance. Our findings suggest that beetroot supplementation offers no significant improvement to peak or mean power output during HIIT or SIT. Future research could further examine the ergogenic potential by optimising the beetroot supplementation strategy in terms of dosage, timing, and type of beetroot product. The potential combined effect of other ingredients in the beetroot products should not be undermined. Finally, a chronic supplementation protocol with a higher beetroot dosage (>12.9 mmol/day for 6 days) is recommended for future HIIT and SIT study. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Role of Nutrition in Exercise and Sports)
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Review
Can Physical Activity Influence Human Gut Microbiota Composition Independently of Diet? A Systematic Review
Nutrients 2021, 13(6), 1890; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/nu13061890 - 31 May 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1707
Abstract
Evidence suggests that physical activity (PA) influences the human gut microbiota composition, but its role is unclear because of dietary interference. The aim of this review is to clarify this issue from this new perspective in healthy individuals. Articles analyzing intestinal microbiota from [...] Read more.
Evidence suggests that physical activity (PA) influences the human gut microbiota composition, but its role is unclear because of dietary interference. The aim of this review is to clarify this issue from this new perspective in healthy individuals. Articles analyzing intestinal microbiota from fecal samples by 16S rRNA amplicon sequencing were selected by searching the electronic databases PubMed, Scopus, and Web of Science until December 2020. For each study, methodological quality was assessed, and results about microbiota biodiversity indices, phylum and genus composition, and information on PA and diet were considered. From 997 potentially relevant articles, 10 met the inclusion criteria and were analyzed. Five studies involved athletes, three were performed on active people classified on the basis of habitual PA level, and two among sedentary subjects undergoing exercise interventions. The majority of the studies reported higher variability and prevalence of the phylum Firmicutes (genera Ruminococcaceae or Fecalibacteria) in active compared to inactive individuals, especially in athletes. The assessment of diet as a possible confounder of PA/exercise effects was completed only in four studies. They reported a similar abundance of Lachnospiraceae, Paraprevotellaceae, Ruminococcaceae, and Veillonellaceae, which are involved in metabolic, protective, structural, and histological functions. Further studies are needed to confirm these findings. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Role of Nutrition in Exercise and Sports)
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Other

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Brief Report
The Effect of Different Postprandial Exercise Types on Glucose Response to Breakfast in Individuals with Type 2 Diabetes
Nutrients 2021, 13(5), 1440; https://0-doi-org.brum.beds.ac.uk/10.3390/nu13051440 - 24 Apr 2021
Viewed by 1172
Abstract
Postprandial exercise represents an important tool for improving the glycemic response to a meal. This study evaluates the effects of the combination and sequence of different exercise types on the postprandial glycemic response in patients with type 2 diabetes. In this repeated-measures crossover [...] Read more.
Postprandial exercise represents an important tool for improving the glycemic response to a meal. This study evaluates the effects of the combination and sequence of different exercise types on the postprandial glycemic response in patients with type 2 diabetes. In this repeated-measures crossover study, eight patients with type 2 diabetes performed five experimental conditions in a randomized order: (i) uninterrupted sitting (CON); (ii) 30 min of moderate intensity aerobic exercise (walking) (A); (iii) 30 min of combined aerobic and resistance exercise (AR); (iv) 30 min of combined resistance and aerobic exercise (RA); and (v) 15 min of resistance exercise (R). All the exercise sessions started 30 min after the beginning of a standardized breakfast. All the exercise conditions showed a significant attenuation of the post-meal glycemic excursion (P < 0.003) and the glucose incremental area under the curve at 0–120 min (P < 0.028) and 0–180 min (P < 0.048) compared with CON. A greater reduction in the glycemic peak was observed in A and AR compared to RA (P < 0.02). All the exercise types improved the post-meal glycemic response in patients with type 2 diabetes, with greater benefits when walking was performed alone or before resistance exercise. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue The Role of Nutrition in Exercise and Sports)
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