General Fitness

Larger cycling events that take place over the course of several days sometimes include one or more climbing stages. What’s it take to get over the top? A study published in the International Journal of Sports Physiology and Performance analyzes the physiological demands of competing in a 9.2 KM race up a 7.1% slope.
 
Fourteen elite road cyclists completed the race. The first, second, sixth and final kilometers were the most physically challenging, and the race was performed at an average 90% of maximum heart rate and 90% of maximal oxygen capacity using 70% of maximum power output.
 
Nutrition

Sitting down to a high-protein meal can help support muscle mass maintenance and exercise recovery. But cracking open a sugar-sweetened beverage at that meal can have a dramatic impact on energy balance and fat storage. A study published in the journal BMC Nutrition shows what can happen.
 
On separate occasions, 27 healthy weight men and women in their early 20s ate a 500 calorie breakfast and lunch with 15% of the calories coming from protein and 17 grams of fat. Next time, breakfast and lunch had 30% of the calories from protein. With a reduction in carbohydrates, these meals also totaled 500 calories with 17 grams of fat.
 
A sugar sweetened beverage caused an average 7.2 gram decrease in fat oxidation with the 15% protein meals. The decrease in fat oxidation was 12.6% with the 30% protein meals. Researchers suspect this drop in metabolic efficiency might prime the body to store more fat.
 
 
Training

You might have heard that stretching can have a negative impact on physical performance. Does this happen with all types of stretching, and how long does the effect last? A study published in The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness offers insight into these questions.
 
Over the course of 3 days, researchers had 12 male taekwondo athletes sprint 20 meters before and after 3 types of stretching exercises: static, ballistic and proprioceptive neuromuscular facilitation (PNF). Sprint times increased after all types of stretching, and the effect lasted for 15 to 20 minutes with static and PNF techniques. Sprint times recovered after only 5 minutes with ballistic stretching.