Russ Best

Russ Best
Waikato Institute of Technology | Wintec · Centre for Sports Science and Human Performance

BSc (Hons); MSc; Ph.D.
Research lead; Environmental and Nutritional Ergogenic Strategies; Equestrian and Endurance Sports

About

56
Publications
12,541
Reads
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296
Citations
Citations since 2017
51 Research Items
295 Citations
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2017201820192020202120222023020406080
2017201820192020202120222023020406080
2017201820192020202120222023020406080
Introduction
Principal Academic Staff Member Nutrition & Biochemistry; PhD - Environmental Physiology; Lead of Polo Science and Environmental Ergogenics research teams
Additional affiliations
January 2019 - December 2020
Waikato Institute of Technology
Position
  • Senior Academic Staff Member
February 2017 - December 2018
Waikato Institute of Technology
Position
  • Academic Staff Member
Description
  • Sports Nutrition, Biochemistry, and Nutrition and Metabolism tutor. Supervisor in areas of sports nutrition or environmental physiology and associated subjects. Project lead on Applied Practice Group, and Ergogenic Strategies centre research arm.
October 2016 - January 2017
Durham University
Position
  • Module Tutor
Description
  • Facilitating seminars for first and second year medical students on a variety of topics that pertain to the sociological and softer skills of practicing medicine.
Education
October 2014 - December 2019
Teesside University
Field of study
  • Environmental Physiology/ Sports Nutrition
October 2012 - September 2013
Teesside University
Field of study
  • Sports Science
October 2009 - May 2012
Teesside University
Field of study
  • Sports Science - Applied Sport and Exercise Science

Publications

Publications (56)
Article
Full-text available
Mint and to a lesser extent menthol have been used since antiquity for medicinal purposes. Key components of mint and menthol use such as composition and intake, safety and traditional uses are discussed prior to a review of clinical and human performance outcomes in the areas of digestive and respiratory health; antibacterial and anti-fungal prope...
Preprint
Full-text available
Mint and to a lesser extent menthol have been used since antiquity for medicinal purposes. Key components of mint and menthol use such as composition and intake, safety and traditional uses are discussed prior to a review of clinical and human performance outcomes in the areas of digestive and respiratory health; antibacterial and anti-fungal prope...
Article
The external work, as measured by global positioning systems, undertaken by Polo ponies during tournament play has been well-described across Polo of varying levels in both Open nd Women’s olo. owever the v ri bility within these d t h ve not been thoroughly examined. Understanding the variability within these data between players (within- tourname...
Article
Full-text available
Participation in youth sports is ever-increasing, along with training and competition demands placed upon youth athletes. Young athletes may experience high training loads due to playing several sports, as well as participating in school physical education. Therefore, monitoring youth athlete load is an emerging area of research that may help limit...
Article
Full-text available
The measurement of bilateral asymmetry is common practice in many sporting environments and is often measured via left/right comparisons, or differences between dominant and/or preferred limbs. Despite each approach having their merits, these measures are fundamentally different and must be used with caution. This study aimed to identify limb asymm...
Article
Full-text available
Blackcurrants are an excellent source of antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agents, and recent studies have found them to facilitate performance and recovery in aerobic activities. However, limited research exists in intermittent or anaerobic settings despite known oxidative and inflammatory stresses. Therefore, we examined the effects of New Zealan...
Article
Full-text available
Previous menthol studies have demonstrated ergogenic effects in endurance-based activity. However, there is a need for research in sports whose physiological requirements exceed maximal aerobic capacity. This study assessed the effects of 0.1% menthol mouth-rinsing upon a modified three-minute maximal test in the heat (33.0 ± 3.0 °C; RH 46.0 ± 5.0%...
Article
Full-text available
The interaction between the horse–athlete dyad is fundamental to successful performance in equestrian sport.Quantification of the dyad is of interest to a range of sports science disciplines and may be achieved objectively or subjectively. Polo presents an ideal model to assess the horse–rider dyad due to the high volume of interactions and a high...
Poster
Full-text available
Previous menthol studies have been demonstrated alongside endurance-based physical activity. However, in current literature there is a need for research with athletes participating in sports that require short bouts of exercise that exceed aerobic capacity. The aim of this study was to trial 0.1% menthol concentrate with participants completing a m...
Article
Full-text available
The current study compared mouth swills containing carbohydrate (CHO), menthol (MEN) or a combination (BOTH) on 40 km cycling time trial (TT) performance in the heat (32 • C, 40% humidity, 1000 W radiant load) and investigates associated physiological (rectal temperature (Trec), heart rate (HR)) and subjective measures (thermal comfort (TC), therma...
Article
Full-text available
Background: We describe the requirements and physiological changes when running 10 consecutive marathons in 10 days at the same consistent pace by a female ultra-endurance athlete. Methods: Sharon Gayter (SG) 54 yrs, 162.5 cm, 49.3 kg maximal oxygen uptake (VO2 max) 53 mL/kg-1/min-1. SG completed 42.195 km on a treadmill every day for 10 days. W...
Article
Full-text available
Due to its volatility, the qualitative experience of menthol may be modulated by its preparation and combination with other compounds. One such method of preparation is dilution, with two dilution methods existing within the sport and exercise science literature, where menthol is used to impart feelings of oral cooling and improve thermal comfort a...
Article
Full-text available
This study explores the potential ergogenic effects of WaveLight technology on pacing and performance in long-distance track events.
Article
Full-text available
Taste is one of our most powerful and useful senses, it has the potential to inform us of foods’ nutrient availability and readiness to eat, as well as evoke halcyon childhood memories and elicit seemingly unrelated physiological responses. Taste and experiences related to taste are made up of several sub-senses including smell, sight and receptor...
Article
Full-text available
Taste is a homeostatic function that conveys valuable information, such as energy density, readiness to eat, or toxicity of foodstuffs. Taste is not limited to the oral cavity but affects multiple physiological systems. In this review, we outline the ergogenic potential of substances that impart bitter, sweet, hot and cold tastes administered prior...
Article
Full-text available
Carbohydrate and menthol mouth-swilling have been used to enhance exercise performance in the heat. However, these strategies differ in mechanism and subjective experience. Participants (n = 12) sat for 60 min in hot conditions (35 °C; 15 ± 2%) following a 15 min control period, during which the participants undertook three 15 min testing blocks. A...
Article
When compared to other equestrian sports, Polo players engage in a high number of player-pony interactions. To ensure optimal performance of the player-pony dyad, an understanding of the workloads performed by each pony, and the physiological cost placed upon the rider are required. This investigation examined the relationship and interaction betwe...
Preprint
Full-text available
Carbohydrate and menthol mouth-swilling have been used to enhance exercise performance in the heat. However, these strategies differ in mechanism and subjective experience. Participants (n=12) sat for 60 min in hot conditions (35°C; 15±2%), following a 15 min control period, participants undertook three 15 min testing blocks. A randomised swill (Ca...
Article
Full-text available
IntroductionMenthol topical application and mouth rinsing are ergogenic in hot environments, improving performance and perception, with differing effects on body temperature regulation. Consequently, athletes and federations are beginning to explore the possible benefits to elite sport performance for the Tokyo 2021 Olympics, which will take place...
Article
Full-text available
Purpose: Hot-water immersion (HWI) after training in temperate conditions has been shown to induce thermophysiological adaptations and improve endurance performance in the heat; however, the potential additive effects of HWI and training in hot outdoor conditions remain unknown. Therefore, this study aimed to determine the effect of repeated poste...
Article
Full-text available
Ultra-running comprises running events longer than a marathon (>42.2 km). The prolonged duration of ultra-running leads to decrements in most or all physiological parameters and considerable energy expenditure (EE) and energy deficits. SG, 47 years, 162.5 cm, 49 kg, VO 2max 4 mL/kg/min −1 /2.37 L/min −1 , ran continuously for 7 days on a treadmill...
Thesis
Full-text available
Heat challenges multiple physiological systems, and its effects are heavily felt by endurance athletes due to the duration and intensity that must be sustained in competition and training sessions. Runners may demonstrate impaired thermoregulatory responses or opportunities due to lower rates of convective cooling and fewer opportunities to provide...
Article
Full-text available
This study aimed to assess the effects of repeated menthol mouth swilling upon strength and power performance. Nineteen (10 male) participants completed familiarisation and experimental trials of repeated menthol mouth swilling (0.1% concentration) or control (no swill) in a randomised crossover design. Participants performed an isometric mid-thigh...
Article
Full-text available
This dataset provides information pertaining to the spatiotemporal stresses experienced by Polo ponies in play and the cardiovascular responses to these demands by Polo players, during 16-goal Polo. Data were collected by player-worn GPS units and paired heart rate monitors, across a New Zealand Polo season. The dataset comprises observations from...
Article
Full-text available
Polo is an equestrian team sport, consisting of Open and Women’s only handicapping systems. Equine activities may differ in distribution and their affect upon match outcome in Women’s Polo compared to Open Polo, potentially impacting equine preparation and manage- ment. We aimed to quantify spatiotemporal differences between Open and Women’s Polo w...
Preprint
Full-text available
Polo is an equestrian team sport, consisting of Open and Women’s only handicapping systems. As cumulative player handicap increases in Open Polo, distance covered, average speeds and high intensity work performed per chukka also increase. These activities may differ in terms of distribution of, and their affect upon, match outcome in Women’s Polo,...
Article
Full-text available
Polo is an equestrian team sport consisting of four players per team, with level of play determined by cumulative player handicap (−2 to +10 goals), with a higher handicap denoting a better player. There is minimal literature investigating Polo players' physical attributes, hence the understanding of the physical characteristics that may contribute...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
When menthol is applied to the oral cavity it presents with a familiar refreshing sensation and cooling mint flavour. This may be deemed hedonic in some individuals, but may cause irritation in others. This variation in response is likely dependent upon trigeminal sensitivity toward cold stimuli, suggesting a need for a menthol solution that can be...
Article
Full-text available
Global positioning systems (GPS) have recently been shown to reliably quantify the spatiotemporal characteristics of Polo, with the physiological demands of Polo play at low- and high-goal levels also investigated. This study aims to describe the spatiotemporal demands of Polo across 0–24 goal levels. A player-worn GPS unit was used to quantify dis...
Article
Full-text available
This dataset presents information pertaining to the spatiotemporal characteristics of Polo play from a 0 to 24-goal level. Data were collected by player worn GPS units, across a New Zealand Polo season. The dataset comprises observations from 466 chukkas of Polo, across mixed and women’s only Polo and is curated by cumulative player handicap. Data...
Data
This dataset presents information pertaining to the spatiotemporal characteristics of Polo play from a 0 to 24-goal level. Data were collected by player worn GPS units, across a New Zealand Polo season. The dataset comprises observations from 466 chukkas of Polo, across mixed and women’s only Polo and is curated by cumulative player handicap. Data...
Preprint
Full-text available
Global positioning systems (GPS) have recently been shown to reliably quantify the spatiotemporal characteristics of Polo, with the physiological demands of Polo play at low and high goal levels also investigated. This study aimed to describe the spatiotemporal demands of Polo across 0 – 24 goal levels. A player worn GPS unit was used to quantify d...
Preprint
Full-text available
Polo is an equestrian team sport consisting of four players per team, with level of play determined by cumulative player handicap (-2 to + 10 goals), with a higher handicap denoting a better player. There is minimal literature investigating Polo players’ physical attributes, hence the understanding of the physical characteristics that may contribut...
Article
Full-text available
The aim of this study was to identify the influence of maturation on sprinting and jump performances, whilst quantifying injury markers in 95 youth males (age 13.2 - 15.7y). Comparative statistics were performed between maturation groups, identifying significant differences (p
Article
The implementation of global positioning systems (GPS) has become widely supported in a variety of sports, due to the insight it provides into athlete workloads, training parameters and playing styles. Despite widely reported use of GPS in equine settings, few studies have quantified the reliability of spatiotemporal characteristics in a dynamic en...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
This session will provide an update on the perceptual, physiological and performance effects of menthol mouth swilling during exercise performance, and the associated mechanisms underpinning these changes. Cooling stimuli applied to the oral cavity impart feelings of freshness that are familiar to users of oral hygiene and other menthol containing...
Presentation
Full-text available
Carbohydrate and menthol mouth-swilling have been used to enhance exercise performance in the heat. However, these strategies differ in mechanism and subjective experience. Participants (n=12) sat for 60 min in an environmental chamber (35°C; 15±2%), following a 15 minute control period, participants undertook three 15 minute testing blocks. A diff...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Polo is an equestrian team sport, played by two teams of four athletes. There is a paucity of literature concerning Polo, focussing predominantly on injury rates, with minimal performance literature. This poster details key characteristics of Polo that are comparable to other areas of applied research, this therefore lends Polo to being further inv...
Article
Full-text available
Ultra-endurance running provides numerous physiological, psychological, and nutritional challenges to the athlete and supporting practitioners. We describe the changes in physiological status, psychological condition, and nutritional intake over the course of two 100-mile running races, with differing outcomes: non-completion and completion. Athlet...
Article
Full-text available
Polo is played globally, and is contested by two teams of four players on horseback. Despite popularity, there is little academic literature assessing Polo players, and what constitutes successful Polo performance. One reason for this may be Polo’s unique player rating system, the handicap, which quantifies individuals and teams’ level of play. We...
Presentation
Full-text available
Introduction Academic literature on Polo players is limited. Polo is a global sport played professionally by males and females, but the dearth of literature remains. We aimed to quantify the characteristics of the winning team of a High Goal Polo tournament, through group and knockout stages (seven games; five wins, two losses). Methods Foota...
Preprint
Polo is played globally, and is contested by two teams of four players on horseback. Despite popularity, there is little academic literature assessing Polo players, and what constitutes successful Polo performance. One reason for this may be Polo's unique player rating system, the handicap, which quantifies individuals and teams' level of play. We...
Article
Full-text available
Menthol mouth-swilling has been shown to improve performance across differing exercise modalities, yet no work has been conducted to ascertain the preferred concentration of menthol within a swill. Colour has also been shown to influence psychophysiological outcomes, and may influence the efficacy of ergogenic aids. We conducted two experiments: on...
Article
Full-text available
This systematic review and meta-analysis aimed to assess studies which have investigated cooling methodologies, their timing and effects, on endurance exercise performance in trained athletes (Category 3; VO2max ≥ 55 mL·kg·min−1) in hot environmental conditions (≥28 °C). Meta-analyses were performed to quantify the effects of timings and methods of...
Poster
Full-text available
Development of an experimental menthol mouth swill to be used in research or practice. We found no significant differences between swills at this stage, although acknowledge the high number of swills, and their subtle concentration differences may have clouded results. We intend to dig deeper into this data to assess which variables contribute to p...
Poster
Full-text available
Athletes’ food choices play an important part in fuelling and recovering from sport, and support health. Athletes’ environments, social influences, personal beliefs, preferences and skills all contribute to food choices. These issues are not isolated to a particular sport or gender and are driven by sport specific demands. Given this complexity, an...
Presentation
Full-text available
Thermal Comfort, Thermal Sensation and Thirst in response to menthol mouth swilling in trained runners
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Menthol is used to evoke pleasant feelings of coolness and freshness. Sports science has focused upon the topical or oral application of menthol to athletes, either directly on the skin or menthol soaked garments, and as a mouth rinse or in beverages. Interest has largely been in endurance activity, with increased time to exhaustion and time trial...
Article
Full-text available
The application of menthol has recently been researched as a performance-enhancing aid for various aspects of athletic performance including endurance, speed, strength and joint range of motion. A range of application methods has been used including a mouth rinse, ingestion of a beverage containing menthol or external application to the skin or clo...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Objectives: When working with youth athletes planned manipulation of training load is of great importance. However, these athletes often partake in activities not planned by coaches, which may result in an excessive training load. This study investigated the contribution of ‘planned’ and ‘unplanned’ training to overall training load in a group of e...
Article
Full-text available
BASES Supervise Experience (SE) is the recognised pathway for sport and exercise science practitioners in the UK. Entering the process requires a strong commitment from both the supervisee and the supervisor. Taking the leap can seem scary and this article aims to provide a real life account of undertaking SE from both sides of the fence and hopefu...

Questions

Questions (2)
Question
I'm have seen some helpful posts about generating heat maps produced through GPS coordinates in R, as per https://www.sportscidata.com/2019/03/26/how-to-create-gps-heatmaps-in-ggplot/
I am relatively happy with this process, and have sufficient data to hopefully produce some meaningful descriptions of 'play'.
My question though is what would be an appropriate statistical approach to take with heat map data? For instance, if comparing recreational to elite athletes in a team sport? Has anyone any references, or strategies?
This post on eye tracking software is a useful start, but I fear may be a little too simplistic: https://imotions.com/blog/analyze-heat-maps
Question
Hi all,
I've recently acquired a WGBT meter, and we're looking to use it in the majority of our research projects, alongside teaching too. We currently work with human and equine athletes.
Have people got a recommended protocol, or a range of factors to consider, and preferably a reference to support this/these?
Thanks in advance,
Russ

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Projects

Projects (3)
Project
Dear Colleagues, The physiological responses to endurance exercise, optimal training techniques, sports nutrition, and equipment are continually being examined. Recently, there have been major advancements that have truly enhanced endurance performance. For example, the 2-hour barrier for the marathon was finally broken in October 2019 by Eluid Kipchoge, who covered the 42.195 km in 1 hour 59 minutes 40 seconds. In October of 2020, we witnessed two new world records for the 5000m and 10,000m (previously set in 2004 and 2005, respectively). The 5000m record was improved by 2 seconds from 12:37:35 to 12:35:36, and the 10,000m record was improved by an incredible 6.5 seconds, from 26:17:53 to 26:11:00 by Joshua Cheptegei. Training techniques, new nutrition products/strategies, and especially new designs and technologies in running shoes have all clearly contributed to these advancements. However, are these achievements due to careful planning and execution of training and nutrition, or are they more influenced by new technologies? Polarized training has been suggested as the most beneficial training distribution to enhance endurance performance, but experienced athletes and coaches appear to already have been practicing in this manner. New shoe designs however have been shown to improve running economy, and advances in aerodynamics have decreased the power output required in cycling events. Conversely, although clearly popular, it has been repeatedly shown that high fat or ketogenic diets do not benefit endurance performance, and can in fact hamper performance by increasing the oxygen cost of exercise compared to a high carbohydrate diet. Optimal carbohydrate ingestion rates are now recommended to be 60 - 90g/hr, and several new carbohydrate solutions have been designed to try and accommodate these high rates, with even higher rates of consumption reported in competition. This Special Issue will focus on scientific research related to the physiological responses during endurance exercise, and we invite papers examining: Training methods of endurance athletes Effect of equipment on physiological responses during exercise Nutritional strategies to enhance endurance training adaptations and performance Physiological responses and chronic adaptations due to endurance training Technologies used to assess physiological responses to endurance training Dr. Nicolas Berger Dr. Russ Best Guest Editors https://www.mdpi.com/journal/ijerph/special_issues/endurance_exercise
Project
This project aims to characterise and quantify Polo performance. Specifically, analysing high goal Polo play before building to descriptions of players' biomechanical and physiological attributes.
Project
Menthol mouth-swilling has shown promise as an ergogenic aid in the heat. We aim to expand upon this small body of work by investigating mechanistic, performance and subjective outcomes.