1. Returning to Play after Prolonged Training Restrictions in Professional Collision Sports
Keith A Stokes, Ben Jones, Mark Bennett, Graeme L Close, Nicholas Gill, James H Hull, Andreas M Kasper, Simon P T Kemp, Stephen D Mellalieu, Nicholas Peirce, Bob Stewart, Benjamin T Wall, Stephen W West, Matthew Cross Int J Sports Med. 2020 Oct;41(13):895-911. doi: 10.1055/a-1180-3692. Epub 2020 May 29.
The COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 has resulted in widespread training disruption in many sports. Some athletes have access to facilities and equipment, while others have limited or no access, severely limiting their training practices. A primary concern is that the maintenance of key physical qualities (e. g. strength, power, high-speed running ability, acceleration, deceleration and change of direction), game-specific contact skills (e. g. tackling) and decision-making ability, are challenged, impacting performance and injury risk on resumption of training and competition. In extended periods of reduced training, without targeted intervention, changes in body composition and function can be profound. However, there are strategies that can dramatically mitigate potential losses, including resistance training to failure with lighter loads, plyometric training, exposure to high-speed running to ensure appropriate hamstring conditioning, and nutritional intervention. Athletes may require psychological support given the challenges associated with isolation and a change in regular training routine. While training restrictions may result in a decrease in some physical and psychological qualities, athletes can return in a positive state following an enforced period of rest and recovery. On return to training, the focus should be on progression of all aspects of training, taking into account the status of individual athletes.
2. UEFA expert group statement on nutrition in elite football. Current evidence to inform practical recommendations and guide future research
James Collins, Ronald John Maughan, Michael Gleeson, et al. Br J Sports Med. 2021 Apr;55(8):416. doi: 10.1136/bjsports-2019-101961. Epub 2020 Oct 23.
Football is a global game which is constantly evolving, showing substantial increases in physical and technical demands. Nutrition plays a valuable integrated role in optimising performance of elite players during training and match-play, and maintaining their overall health throughout the season. An evidence-based approach to nutrition emphasising, a 'food first' philosophy (ie, food over supplements), is fundamental to ensure effective player support. This requires relevant scientific evidence to be applied according to the constraints of what is practical and feasible in the football setting. The science underpinning sports nutrition is evolving fast, and practitioners must be alert to new developments. In response to these developments, the Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) has gathered experts in applied sports nutrition research as well as practitioners working with elite football clubs and national associations/federations to issue an expert statement on a range of topics relevant to elite football nutrition: (1) match day nutrition, (2) training day nutrition, (3) body composition, (4) stressful environments and travel, (5) cultural diversity and dietary considerations, (6) dietary supplements, (7) rehabilitation, (8) referees and (9) junior high-level players. The expert group provide a narrative synthesis of the scientific background relating to these topics based on their knowledge and experience of the scientific research literature, as well as practical experience of applying knowledge within an elite sports setting. Our intention is to provide readers with content to help drive their own practical recommendations. In addition, to provide guidance to applied researchers where to focus future efforts.
3. Effects of Intensive BP Control in CKD
Alfred K Cheung, Mahboob Rahman, David M Reboussin, et al. J Am Soc Nephrol. 2017 Sep;28(9):2812-2823. doi: 10.1681/ASN.2017020148. Epub 2017 Jun 22.
The appropriate target for BP in patients with CKD and hypertension remains uncertain. We report prespecified subgroup analyses of outcomes in participants with baseline CKD in the Systolic Blood Pressure Intervention Trial. We randomly assigned participants to a systolic BP target of <120 mm Hg (intensive group; n=1330) or <140 mm Hg (standard group; n=1316). After a median follow-up of 3.3 years, the primary composite cardiovascular outcome occurred in 112 intensive group and 131 standard group CKD participants (hazard ratio [HR], 0.81; 95% confidence interval [95% CI], 0.63 to 1.05). The intensive group also had a lower rate of all-cause death (HR, 0.72; 95% CI, 0.53 to 0.99). Treatment effects did not differ between participants with and without CKD (P values for interactions ≥0.30). The prespecified main kidney outcome, defined as the composite of ≥50% decrease in eGFR from baseline or ESRD, occurred in 15 intensive group and 16 standard group participants (HR, 0.90; 95% CI, 0.44 to 1.83). After the initial 6 months, the intensive group had a slightly higher rate of change in eGFR (-0.47 versus -0.32 ml/min per 1.73 m2 per year; P<0.03). The overall rate of serious adverse events did not differ between treatment groups, although some specific adverse events occurred more often in the intensive group. Thus, among patients with CKD and hypertension without diabetes, targeting an SBP<120 mm Hg compared with <140 mm Hg reduced rates of major cardiovascular events and all-cause death without evidence of effect modifications by CKD or deleterious effect on the main kidney outcome.