Enhancing Short-Term Recovery After High-Intensity Anaerobic Exercise

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Abstract

Al-Nawaiseh, AM, Pritchett, RC, and Bishop, PA. Enhancing short-term recovery after high-intensity anaerobic exercise. J Strength Cond Res 30(2): 320–325, 2016—This study examined the effects of antioxidant vitamins, ibuprofen, cold water submersion, and whey protein administered simultaneously on short-term recovery. Competitive athletes (n = 22) performed the protocol in 2 occasions (treatment and control) separated by 15 days in counterbalanced crossover design. Each occasion consisted of morning and afternoon sessions (AM and PM). In each session, participants performed 2 bouts of high-intensity anaerobic cycling separated by 30 minutes of rest. Each bout consisted of 3 Wingate tests (3 × 30-second Wingate tests) with 3 minutes of active recovery in between. Power output, rated perceived exertion (RPE), and pain scores were averaged and compared between the 2 sessions (AM vs. PM) and between the treatment vs. control (4 bouts). Creatine kinase (CK) levels were also measured 24 hours after the AM bout. Power output, CK, muscle soreness, and RPE were measured as recovery indices. Creatine kinase increased (p < 0.001) in both treatment and control 24 hours after the AM session. Performance results in the PM session for treatment/control were 832.5 ± 198.7/813.3 ± 187.6 W for peak power (PP), and 497.85 ± 120.7/486.1 ± 115 W for mean power (MP). Treatment was effective in maintaining MP (p = 0.034) in the PM sessions, but there was no significant effect of treatment on PP (p = 0.193), CK (p = 0.08), pain (p = 0.12), or RPE (p = 0.45). Treatment was helpful in protecting performance, but this was apparently not due to reduced muscle soreness or damage.

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