Nutritional Strategies to Support Adaptation to High-Intensity Interval Training in Team Sports
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Team sports are characterized by intermittent high-intensity activity patterns. Typically, play consists of short periods of very intense or all-out efforts interspersed with longer periods of low-intensity activity. Fatigue is a complex, multi-factorial process, but intense intermittent exercise performance can potentially be limited by reduced availability of substrates stored in skeletal muscle and/or metabolic by-products associated with fuel breakdown. High-intensity interval training (HIT) has been shown to induce adaptations in skeletal muscle that enhance the capacity for both oxidative and non-oxidative metabolism. Nutrient availability is a potent modulator of many acute physiological responses to exercise, including various molecular signaling pathways that are believed to regulate cellular adaptation to training. Several nutritional strategies have also been reported to acutely alter metabolism and enhance intermittent high-intensity exercise performance. However, relatively little is known regarding the effect of chronic interventions, and whether supplementation over a period of weeks or months augments HIT-induced physiological remodeling and promotes greater performance adaptations. Theoretically, a nutritional intervention could augment HIT adaptation by improving energy metabolism during exercise, which could facilitate greater total work and an enhanced chronic training stimulus, or promoting some aspect of the adaptive response during recovery, which could lead to enhanced physiological adaptations over time.
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