ArticlePDF AvailableLiterature Review

Evidence-based post exercise recovery in combat sports: A narrative review

  • Unidad Regional de Medicina Deportiva and Instituto de Investigación Sanitaria del Principado de Asturias (ISPA), Oviedo, Spain.


Background: Some methods such as ergo nutritional aids, cooling or massage among others could improve recovery in combat sports (CS). The effects, doses, duration, and timing of these methods remains unknown. Nowadays, there is no clear consensus regarding the recovery strategies and it is necessary to understand the type of fatigue induced in CS and its underlying mechanisms. The main aim of this article is to review the update literature related to recovery strategies in CS. Methods: A literature search was conducted following preferred reporting items for review statement on the topic of: "combat sports", "recovery", "nutrition", "fatigue", "ergogenic aids", "weight cutting" and "hydration". Results: The initial search of the literature detected 369 articles about CS. Later, 307 were excluded after being determined unrelated to recovery or after failure to fulfill the inclusion criteria. Of the 80 included articles, 19 satisfied the final inclusion criteria. Conclusions: To optimize CS performance, adequate recovery is required during training and competition processes. Traditional ergo nutritional supplementation of carbohydrates and proteins combined. Besides, the consumption of evidence supported supplementation (green tea, beetroot gels, creatine or alkaline water) improve recovery processes. Further methods of recovery including: physical (cold water immersion, massage or Photobiomodulation) and physiological (types of active recovery, sleep and rest) therapies have also been shown useful. This narrative review elucidates the important role of recovery techniques in CS.
The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical
Mese 2021
Vol. 61 - No. ??
Evidence-based post exercise recovery
in combat sports: a narrative review
1Department of Physiatry and Nursing, Faculty of Health and Sport Science, University of Zaragoza, Huesca, Spain; 2Department of
Biochemistry and Physiology, School of Physical Therapy, University of Valladolid, Soria, Spain; 3Regional Unit of Sports Medicine,
Aviles and Health Research Institute of the Principality of Asturias (ISPA), Oviedo, Spain; 4Department of Physical Education and Sport,
Faculty of Education and Sport, University of Basque Country (UPV/EHU), Vitoria, Spain
*Corresponding author: Isaac López-Laval, Department of Physiatry and Nursing, Faculty of Health and Sport Science (FCSD), University of Zaragoza,
Huesca, Spain. E-mail:
BACKGROUND: Some methods such as ergo nutritional aids, cooling or massage among others could improve recovery in combat sports (CS).
The effects, doses, duration, and timing of these methods remains unknown. Nowadays, there is no clear consensus regarding the recovery strate-
gies and it is necessary to understand the type of fatigue induced in CS and its underlying mechanisms. The main aim of this article is to review
the update literature related to recovery strategies in CS.
METHODS: A literature search was conducted following preferred reporting items for review statement on the topic of: “combat sports,” “re-
covery,” “nutrition,” “fatigue,” “ergogenic aids,” “weight cutting” and “hydration.”
RESULTS: The initial search of the literature detected 369 articles about CS. Later, 307 were excluded after being determined unrelated to re-
covery or after failure to fulll the inclusion criteria. Of the 80 included articles, 19 satised the nal inclusion criteria.
CONCLUSIONS: To optimize CS performance, adequate recovery is required during training and competition processes. Traditional ergo nu-
tritional supplementation of carbohydrates and proteins combined. Besides, the consumption of evidence supported supplementation (green tea,
beetroot gels, creatine or alkaline water) improve recovery processes. Further methods of recovery including physical (cold water immersion,
massage or photobiomodulation) and physiological (types of active recovery, sleep and rest) therapies have also been shown useful. This narra-
tive review elucidates the important role of recovery techniques in CS.
(Cite this article as: López-Laval I, Mielgo-Ayuso J, Terrados N, Calleja-González J. Evidence-based post exercise recovery in combat sports: a nar-
rative review. J Sports Med Phys Fitness 2021;61:000-000. DOI: 10.23736/S0022-4707.20.11341-0)
Key words: Recovery of function; Dietary supplements; Martial arts; Athletes.
Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness 2021 mese;(0):000–000
DOI: 10.23736/S0022-4707.20.11341-0
Online version at
Combat sports (CS) are old traditional sports activities
that have been solidly established worldwide.1 Among
them, boxing, mixed martial arts (MMA) wrestling, judo,
taekwondo, kickboxing (Kbox) karate and Jiu-jitsu (JJ)
are considered the most popular CS encompassing a wide
variety of disciplines.2 With the same goal, disabling the
opponent or scoring more points always within the same
weight category,3 all disciplines are characterized by a
great number of very high intensity movements and short
breaks that are insufcient for a complete recovery during
the different rounds that compose a ght.4 Without car-
rying out an analysis of the ratio action/recovery, all CS
disciplines need the development of the anaerobic endur-
ance capacity as the primary metabolic source (explosive
strength endurance).5 In addition, previous research has
highlighted the importance of the enough aerobic capac-
ity to relate the training and competition requirements.6
Therefore, the varied and demanding needs of CS will lead
to different degrees of muscle damage and fatigue within
the context of competition.7 This is the main reason why
CS present multifactorial fatigue regardless of the disci-
PROFF ID.indd 1 10/09/10 14:28
to offer guidelines for coaches, team staff and strength and
conditioning coaches to improve athlete’s performance.
Materials and methods
Information sources
A computer-based scientic literature search was complet-
ed from inception to April 30, 2020, using the following
information sources: Medline (PubMed), Web of Science
(WOS), the Cochrane Collaboration Database, Cochrane
Library, Evidence Database (PEDro), Evidence Based
Medicine (EBM) Search review, National Guidelines, EM-
BASE, Scopus and Google Scholar system. The keywords
used in the search were: “combat sports,” “recovery,” “nu-
trition” “fatigue,” “ergogenic aids,” “weight cutting” and
“hydration.” The specic search strategy was performed
following the Boolean equation: (“antioxidants”[all
elds] OR “antioxidants”[all elds]) AND (“caffeine”[all
elds] OR “caffeine”[all elds]) AND (“creatine mono-
hydrate supplementation”[all elds] OR “creatine
supplementation”[all elds]) AND (“hydration”[all
elds] OR “beta hydroxy beta methylbutyrate
supplementation”[all elds] OR (beta-Hydroxy[all elds]
AND methylbutyrate[all elds] AND supplementation[all
elds])) AND (“muscle recovery”[all elds] OR (“com-
bat sports”[MeSH terms] OR “combat sports”[all elds])
OR (“ghters”[MeSH terms] OR “ghters”[all elds]) OR
“sport performance”[all elds] OR “weight cutting”[all
elds]). Through this equation, relevant articles of this eld
were obtained applying the snowball strategy. Furthermore,
this narrative review was conducted in accordance with the
preferred reporting items for review statement guidelines.39
Study inclusion criteria
All titles and abstracts from the search were cross-ref-
erenced to identify duplicates and any potential missing
studies. The titles and abstracts were screened for a sub-
sequent full-text review. The search for published stud-
ies was independently performed by two authors and
disagreements about all outcomes were resolved through
discussion. The criteria for allocations in the articles were
satised. Manuscript’s full text was obtained to ascertain
if the publication satised the inclusion criteria. In addi-
tion, the reference sections of the selected articles were
searched to identify other relevant articles. Finally, for the
current review, only studies focusing on the effect of ergo-
nutritional (nutritional supplements, hydration and weigh
loss), physiological (post training recovery, rest and sleep),
Recovery in sports science is a hot topic. During the last
10 years the number of scientic studies regarding recov-
ery has increased signicantly.9 In sports, the importance
of optimizing the recovery-stress state is critical. Effective
recovery from intense training loads often faced by elite
athletes can often determine sporting success or failure.10
In order to the recovery process to be more efcient, two
important issues should be considered to achieve optimal
performance during the competition day; the competition
schedule11 and the strategy employed for rapid weight loss
the day before the ght.12 In this context, boxing, Kbox,
MMA or JJ athletes compete in single bout events (twice
per year) with complete recovery time between ghts.
However, Judo, Karate or Taekwondo, athletes compete in
a multiple bout tournament with an insufcient post ght
recovery.13 Accordingly, the specic metabolic require-
ments within the discipline or the competition schedule are
important aspects to be taken in account.7 The control of the
glycolytic system to assure adequate acid-based balance
and the phosphocreatine resynthesis during the ght14 are
fundamental in this strategy.15 Also, it should be highlight-
ed that ghters commonly aim to compete in lower weight
divisions than their day-to-day weight, something that is
achieved via chronic and acute manipulations of body
mass. Although these manipulations may impair health and
absolute performance, their strategic use can improve com-
petitive success and recovery.16 Because of this, nighttime
eating, particularly before bed, has received considerable
attention. Limiting and/or avoiding food before nighttime
sleep has been proposed both as a weight loss strategy and
approach to improve health and body composition.17 Fur-
thermore, an adequate weight cutting strategy (hydration
and nutrition) promotes recovery and has shown no physi-
cal performance decits in CS competitions.18
In this sense, several methods have been proposed as
recovery strategies used by CS practitioners. Antioxi-
dants,19-21 creatine (Cr),22, 23 alkaline water (Aw),24-26 com-
bined recovery techniques,27-29 sleep and rest,30-32 water
immersion,33-35 massage36 and weight cutting strategies37, 38
can be highlighted among the most used tools. However,
although some of these methods could improve the recov-
ery in CS, there is some controversy regarding the effects,
doses, duration, and timing. To the bets of the authors´
knowledge, there is no clear consensus related to the re-
covery methods that could be more effective to maintain or
increase performance, reduce injury range and improve the
metabolic recovery processes in CS. Therefore, the main
aim of this narrative review was to discern the potential
effects of different recovery methods used in CS in order
PROFF ID.indd 1 10/09/10 14:28
physical (water therapy, stretching and massage), and psy-
chological methods for recovery in CS were included.
Study exclusion criteria
Other sports were not considered, and duplicated articles
were deleted. Moreover, abstracts, non-peer reviewed pa-
pers and book chapters were excluded. Furthermore, to ef-
fectively quantify the quality of scientic evidence, each
recovery strategy was referenced attending to a level of
recommendation (no, low, medium, or high) and timing of
application (after, during or post training or competition).
These ratings appear after each sub-category.
The initial search of the literature detected 369 articles
about CS; nevertheless, 307 were excluded after being
determined unrelated to recovery in CS or failure to ful-
ll the inclusion criteria, or both (Figure 1). Of the 80 in-
cluded articles, 19 satised the inclusion criteria. In rela-
tionship with the results and recovery methods, Table I19-26 Figure 1.—Flow chart of study selection.
Table I.—Nutri-ergogenicrecoverymethodsincombatsportswithbenets.
number, authors
and year Modality and sample size Dose and timing Outcomes Results
Lin et al.,19
Taekwondo; taekwondo athletes.
13 males;20.5±1.2 years, 9
females; 19.9±1.5 years
28 mg/kg green tea (Cf 6 mg/kg
and catechins 22 mg/kg). After
Oxidative stress and antibacterial
Antioxidant activity ↑
Antibacterial capacity ↑
de Oliveira et
al.,20 2018
Jiu-jitsu: Jiu-jitsu athletes. 12
males 29±9 years
100 g beetroot-based nutritional
gel. 120 min before exercise, 8
Time until fatigue, muscle O2
saturation, blood volume and
plasma nitrate and lactate post
Muscle O2 saturation
during recovery ↑
Force decline in response
to exercise ↓
de Oliveira et
al.,21 2020
No specied; combat sport
athletes. 14 males 29.9±8.5
100 g beetroot-based nutritional
gel. 120 min after exercise
Maximal voluntary contraction,
exercise time until fatigue,
muscle O2 saturation and blood
Strength recovery in
combat sport athletes ↑
Oöpik et al.,22
Wrestler; Wrestler athletes. 5
males 20.6±0.9 years
320 g of glucose plus 30 g of Cr
monohydrate, oral administration.
7 hrs. post-training
Submaximal and maximal
intensity work and body mass
loss after recovery
Regain of physical
performance in
maximal intensity
efforts ↑
Van Cutsem et
al.,23 2020
No specied; combat sport
athletes. 14 males 24±3 years
20 g of Cr supplementation. After
practice, 7 days
Dynamic handgrip and mental
Physical performance ↑
Prolonged cognitive
performance ↑
Chycki et al.,24
No specied; combat sport
athletes. 16 males 22.3±0.5
840 mg/dm3 of Sb. After exercise,
3 weeks
Metabolic acidosis and enhances
anaerobic performance
Hydration ↑
Acid base balanced ↑
Performance ↑
Timpmann et
al.,25 2012
Wrestler; Wrestler athletes. 5
males 22.5±3.9 years
600 mg/kg-1 of Sb. 16 hrs.
Rehydration (urine gravity and
plasma volume) and rapid body
mass loss
Blood buffering capacity
Stimulated body mass
regains ↑
Gough et al.,26
Box; Boxing athletes.7 males
27.1±5.1 years
300 mg/kg-1 of Sb 10 min. after
Acid base balance and punch
Acid base balance ↑
Recovery ↑
Cf: caffeine; Cr: creatine; Sb: sodium bicarbonate; hrs: hours: min: minutes.
Records identied through
database searching
PubMed (N.=90)
Web of Science (N.=83)
Scopus (N.=93)
SportDicous (N.=103)
Studies included
in qualitative synthesis
Nutri nutritional methods (N.=8)
Physiological methods (N.=6)
Physical methods (N.=5)
Records screened
Records after duplicates removed
Records excluded
IdenticationIncluded Eligibility Screening
Additional records identied
through other sources
PROFF ID.indd 1 10/09/10 14:28
and performance staff commonly apply numerous recov-
ery methods. Recovery methods are commonly applied
pre-, during or postght; thus, within this review they have
been classied as such.11
Ergo nutritional supplementation
With the intention of optimizing performance, ergo nu-
tritional supplementation (ENS) is a common practice
shows the ergo nutritional supplementation effects, Table
II27-32 shows the physiological methods and nally, Table
III26, 33, 40 the physical methods.
In order to increase performance, to minimize the risk of
injury and to enhance the recovery process, CS ghters
Table II.—PhysiologicalrecoverymethodsinCombatSportswithbenets.
Reference number,
authors and year Modality and sample size Dose and timing Outcomes Results
Franchini et al.,27
Judo; Judo athletes. 17
males 21.6 ±3.9 years
AR vs. PR. 15 min at 70% of the anaerobic threshold
velocity after judo simulated combat
LA and performance Lactate removal ↑
Performance =
Ouergui et al.,28
Kickboxing; Kbox
athletes. 18 males
18.5±1.8 years
AR vs. PR. 10 min. at 50% of maximal aerobic speed
after kickboxing simulated combat
LA and performance Acid base balance ↑
Performance =
Ghorbani et al.,29
Wrestler: Wrestlers
athletes. 8 males 23.2±1
Different recovery intensities; individual ventilatory
threshold, lactate threshold, fatmax and passive
recovery, after wrestling combat
LA Fatmax intensity for
lactate removal ↑
Soussi et al.,30
Judo; Judo athletes. 12
males 18.6 ±2.4 years
Partial sleep deprivation effect Judo performance
Performa competition
post sleep deprivation
Ben Cheikh et
al.,31 2017
Karate; Karate athletes.
12 males 16.9 ±0.8
One-night sleep deprivation effect Selective attention and
isometric force
Selective attention ↓
Maximal isometric
strength ↓
Daaloul et al.,32
Karate; Karate athletes.
13 males 23±2 years
Nap effect. The nap lasted 30 min at 1:00 PM Alertness, cognitive and
physical outcomes
Cognitive outcomes ↑
Fatigue ↓
Kbox: Kickboxing; AR: active recovery; PR: passive recovery; LA: blood lactate; min: minutes.
Table III.—Physicalrecoverymethodsincombatsportswithbenets.
number, authors
and year Modality Dose and timing Outcomes Results
Tabben et al.,33
Mix Martial Art;
MMA athletes. 12
males 26.5±5.0
Cold water immersion: 10ºC for 15
min in a seated position. After 3x5
min MMA rounds separated by 1
min of passive rest
Short sprint performance,
blood samples and perceptual
measures (well-being, fatigue,
recovery and muscle soreness)
Sprint performance ↑
Perceived measures after 24 hrs. ↓
Blood samples values =
Lindsay et al.,34
Mix Martial Art:
MMA athletes. 15
males 28.3±5.7
Cold water immersion: 10ºC for 15
min in a seated position. After 3x5
min MMA rounds separated by 1
min of passive rest
Markers of muscle damage,
inammation stress and
perceptual measures
Inammation stress ↓
Perceived measures ↓
Fonseca et al.,35
Jiu-Jitsu; JJ. athletes.
8 males 24.0±3.6
Cold water immersion: 6º-5ºC for 19
min. After Jiu jitsu training: 40 min
calisthenics, technical training and
combat simulation
Serum level, perceived muscle
soreness, recovery and muscle
Serum levels ↓
DOMS perception ↓
Muscle power recovery ↑
Zebrowska et
al.,36 2019
Mix Martial Art:
MMA athletes. 8
males 27.5±6.5
Massage; Physical methods of
lymphatic drainage. Post muscle
Maximal strength, muscle tissue
tension, pain threshold, LA
concentration and creatine
kinase activity
Postexercise LA concentration ↓
Postexercise muscle tension ↓
Muscle regeneration ↑
Maximal strength after massage ↑
de Araujo et
al.,40 2017
Jiu-Jitsu; JJ. athletes.
10 males 16.2±3.8
Photobiomodulation therapy.
Between 2 sets of simulated
combats. 15 min resting between
Maximal isometric handgrip
strength, LA concentration
Maximal isometric handgrip ↑
Strength recovery between ght ↑
MMA: Mix Martial Art; JJ: Jiu-Jitsu; DOMS: onset muscle soreness; LA: blood lactate.
PROFF ID.indd 1 10/09/10 14:28
ated by some authors regarding the negative effects of ex-
cessive antioxidant dosages,54 there is low evidence about
the effect of antioxidant supplementation.55 We consider
that more research in this area is necessary.
The timing observed was before training and competi-
tion and the level of recommendation was low.
The enhancing effect of caffeine (Cf) has been well docu-
mented in the scientic literature56 and is considered as
the ENS with more pronounced performance-enhancing
effects on velocity.57 The Cf is a modulator of the central
nervous system,58 increases alertness, improves vigilance,
attention and reaction time.59 At the neuromuscular level,
Cf increases the recruitment of motor units and therefore
muscle energy during the sporting actions,60 Increments
in agility and decision-making have also been observed
after Cf ingestion. All these consequences derived from
the use of Cf supplementation have a direct relationship
with the performance-enhancing effect.2 To the author´s
knowledge, all the scientic literature that relates Cf and
CS aims to assess the incidence on performance,2, 61-64 but
the effects on recovery remain unknown. In a recent non-
specic review about CS, Loureiro et al.,65 reported con-
icting data regarding the effects of caffeine on muscle
glycogen recovery. In 2019 Grgic et al.66 also observed,
in a non-specic CS review, that ingestion prior to resis-
tance training may reduce the occurrence of delayed onset
muscle soreness (DOMS).67
The timing observed was before training and competi-
tion and the level of recommendation was low.
Creatine (Cr) is a nitrogenous organic compound found in
muscle as a part of phosphocreatine (PCr) and serves as
a source to restore adenosine triphosphate (ATP).68 As an
ENS it is one of the most commonly used69 supplements
to increase resting phosphocreatine levels in muscles and
free Cr, with the goal of postponing fatigue.70 The evi-
dence regarding Cr supplementation for recovery in CS
is scarce and to our knowledge only two published studies
have addressed the recovery process in CS. Oöpik et al.22
observed that Cr supplementation during recovery periods
after fast mass reductions does not accelerate the restora-
tion of body mass but helps in the maintenance of physical
performance in maximal intensity efforts in well trained
wrestlers. Further, another study reported that 7 days of Cr
supplementation (20 g per day) improved strength endur-
ance and prolonged cognitive performance. However, did
among many athletes and many sport disciplines.41 The
contribution of energy metabolism and type of effort are
the keys for choosing the right recovery method.42-44 De-
spite the variety of disciplines that compose CS and the
different studies that have analyzed the effect of ENS on
performance enhancement, to our knowledge, there are no
reviews related to the current status of the different ENS
as a recovery tool.
The antioxidant effect has been well documented on the
athletic performance world.45 In a greater or lesser de-
gree, the free radical system is activated as a consequence
of hemoglobin and myoglobin oxidation.46 In CS disci-
plines, energy expenditure is different when the diverse
disciplines are compared to each other, from the aerobic
metabolism which predominates in karate,47 through an-
aerobic power in wrestling,48 to the high level of both in
MMA49 or Boxing.50 Similarly, oxidative stress differs
among disciplines.46 For example, Gomes-Santos et al.,51
in a recent study, considered that metabolic and mechani-
cal stress imposed by combat actions generated inam-
mation and oxidative stress after combat. This oxidative
stress occurs when the athletes do not possess adequate
capacity to protect against free radicals.52 For this reason,
some ghters consume supplements with antioxidants to
reduce the presence of free radicals.
Given that oxidative stress increases in CS disciplines,46
three studies have attempted to verify whether supplemen-
tation of antioxidants could reduce the oxidative stress
after practice. In this sense, Lin et al.19 investigated the
short-term effect of green tea consumption in taekwondo
athletes following intensive training and showed that this
infusion signicantly enhances oxidative activity. With an-
other natural antioxidant (beetroot gel), Oliveira et al.21
observed that gel supplementation could be an appropriate
nutritional strategy to improve muscle O2 saturation post
exercise and prevent force decline in response to exercise
in a group of JJ athletes.20 Finally, it should be highlighted
that a recent study by the same authors concluded that a
single dose of beetroot gel supplementation could be con-
sidered as a good nutritional strategy to improve strength
recovery in CS athletes.
In conclusion, dietary antioxidants (green tea and beet-
root gel) may counteract oxidative stress by reducing the
production of free radicals and reactive oxygen species
and could improve strength recovery after training.53 De-
spite the scarce scientic bibliography related to antioxi-
dant supplementation and CS and the controversy gener-
PROFF ID.indd 1 10/09/10 14:28
Nonetheless, it is advisable for athletes to replace water
with energy containing beverages as a better option to in-
crease CHO intake.
In the only descriptive nutritional and performance pro-
le study with Cs athletes (JJ), values of 54±7% of CHO
were considered low intake, 19±4% of protein was con-
sidered high intake and 27±6% of lipids were considered
an adequate intake. In conclusion, the authors determined
that this macronutrient distribution was poor and negative-
ly affected performance in the ghts.82
In summary, due to the lack of studies in Cs, it recom-
mends the following basic guidelines from nutritional
strategies to promote post exercise recovery. It determined
that CHO should be ingested with hydrolyzed whey pro-
teins at a 3-4/1 ratio, with 1g/kg of CHO for optimal recov-
ery post exercise.75 A minimum of 8-10 g CHO/kg73 and
between 1.4 g/kg to 2.0 g/kg PR per day is necessary for
a proper long-term recovery.77 In this kind of disciplines
where the ghters must qualify for competition by weigh-
ing at a designated weight category before competition,
more research that would describe more accurately energy
CHO and PR contribution is necessary.
The timings observed were before, during and after
training and competition and the level of recommendation
was high.
Carnosine is a multifactorial dipeptide composed by
β-Alanine (β-A) and L-histidine with many roles. Among
them, the measurement of the enzymes synthesis83 should
be highlighted. β-A supplementation rises the intramuscu-
lar carnosine concentrations, generating a calcium regula-
tor and intramuscular buffer effect.84 These processes are
fundamental to attenuate the metabolic acidosis85, 86 that
occurs in CS and that is responsible of the fatigue through-
out the competition and training processes. A recent sys-
tematic review and meta-analysis conrmed the efcacy
of β-A supplementation to improve high-intensity exercise
performance, particularly those that last between 1 and 4
min and a borderline efcacy in exercise lasting over 240
s and less than 60 s duration87 was demonstrated. One year
later, in another non-specic CS review, Brisola et al.88
determined the possibility that discrepancies in outcomes
may be related to the specicities of each sport discipline.
In CS, only two studies have been found in relation
to β-A.89, 90 In 2012 Donovan et al. tried to test the hy-
pothesis that β-A supplementation improves punch power
and frequency in a group of sixteen boxers. The results
concluded with improvements in punching performance
not cancel the impairments in mental fatigue.23 Although
Cr is a widely used ergogenic aid these results warrant fur-
ther investigation, even though, from a physiological point
of view, the potential role of Cr as a recovery supplement
in CS is clear.
The timing observed was before training and competi-
tion and the level of recommendation was high.
Carbohydrates and proteins
To optimally prepare for training and competition, the
athlete needs to obtain appropriate energy sources.71 It is
well known that carbohydrates (CHO) are the main en-
ergy contribution to ensure that muscle glycogen stores
are adequately replenished.72 In addition to CHO, proteins
(PR) are also required to maintain high levels of training
and to perform ideally during competition.71 An optimal
dietary PR intake provides a foundational aspect for pro-
moting recovery.73, 74 The role of PR on recovery includes
the positive effect on muscle protein synthesis, lean tissue
gains, increases in strength75 and reductions in the signs
and symptoms of exercise induced muscle damage.76
The CS athletes are advised to emphasize adequate CHO
intake before a competitive bout.71 Consequently, 8-10 g
CHO/kg body mass per day are normally suggested for Cs
athletes.73 Following the recommendations of the “Inter-
national Society of Sports Nutrition” in relation with the
daily PR intake for CS, a range between 1.4 g/kg to 2.0 g/
kg per day is required.77 A recent study has suggested that
protein intakes exceeding 2.0 g/kg per day may provide
an even greater enhancement of strength performance.78
Beelen et al.75 determined as a general recovery guideline
the consumption of CHO with small amounts of protein
and leucine within 30 min of the exercise bout (0.3 g/kg of
CHO, 0.2 g/kg of protein and 0.01 g/kg of leucine) in order
to resynthesize muscle glycogen stores.
An interesting study in wrestling athletes described the
effect of 1.2 g/kg CHO, 1 g/kg HCO + 0.1 g/kg arginine
(ARG) + 0.1 g/kg amino acids (BCAA) and water (pla-
cebo trial). In this study, there were no differences among
the CHO, CHO+ARG+BCAA and trials, and the peak
and average power was similar in all the 3 ghts.79 These
results indicate that the supplementation of CHO with or
without BCAA and ARG during the ght period had no
effect on performance in wrestlers. In addition, BCAA
and ARG did not provide additional insulinemic effects.80
Besides, Pettersson et al.81 suggested CHO mouth rinses
(0.4 g/kg = approximately 25 mL of dextrose solution) in
a boxing ght simulation 10 seconds before each round.
This method did not show an increase in performance.
PROFF ID.indd 1 10/09/10 14:28
has been used as a potential recovery mechanism in other
sport disciplines; rowers,102 sprinters,103 cyclists,24 basket-
ball players104, 105 or soccer players106 among others. In
particular, in CS, Gough et al.26 reported increases in acid-
base balance during postexercise recovery in a group of
professional boxers. The athletes had improvement in the
subsequent bouts of exercise after they had ingested 300
mg/kg-1 body mass of sodium bicarbonate (Sb). Further,
another similar study in a group of 16 well trained CS ath-
letes reported that ingesting Aw for three weeks improves
acid base balance and anaerobic exercise performance
assessed by two double 30 s Wingate tests.24 Moreover,
Timpmann et al.25 researched the effects of 600 g/kg-1 Sb
after 16h recovery periods. The results indicated increases
in blood buffering capacity and plasma volume and stimu-
lation of body mass recovery during 16 h recovery periods
after fast body mass losses in trained wrestlers.
Nonetheless, it should be noted that the only study that
compared active recovery methodology and Aw regard-
ing the removal of blood lactate concentration after a judo
match simulation and specic judo tness test suggested
that levels of blood lactate acid were signicantly lower
when athletes used active recovery versus Aw.107 In sum-
mary, if glycolytic metabolism decreases at the end of the
rounds in CS, it seems to be necessary to apply strategies
to inhibit key enzymes of the glycolytic pathway impli-
cated in muscular fatigue.108
The timings observed were the ones after, during and
before training and competition and the level of recom-
mendation was low.
Physiological recovery methods
Weight cutting recovery strategies
Weight cutting is a key role in CS given that athletes com-
pete in predetermined weight categories.15 Fast weight
losses and a good recovery strategy for a rapid weight
gains could lead to perform enhancement through size
and strength advantages over the lighter opponent.109 In
this sense, Reale et al.110 determined in a group of Judo
athletes a relationship among good recovery, weight gain
and victory. However, contrary results were found in stud-
ies with boxers and wrestlers.37 Scientic literature sug-
gests that weight-in, combat time and experience in the
weight cutting cycle are the key factors to plan a good
recovery strategy with no negative effects in terms of per-
formance.27 Regarding physical performance, it appears
clear that severe weight cuts (~5% body mass in under 24
h) will impair repeated efforts.38 Among methods used to
and suggested potential positive results for other combat
related sports.90 Also, in this strategy to improve perfor-
mance, Andrade-Kratz et al.89 analyzed twenty-three high-
ly trained judo athletes who received either β-A (6.4 g per
day) or placebo (dextrose, same dosage) for 4 weeks and
determined an enhancement in performance. Despite the
evidence to support the enhancement in performance with
the use of β-A as an ENS,89, 90 there is no specic evidence
to support that β-A has a recovery effect in these types of
efforts. Future research is needed to identify this possible
The timing observed was before training and competi-
tion and the level of recommendation was low.
β-hydroxy-β-methylbutyric acid (HMB) is a metabolite of
leucine and 2-ketoisocaproic acid which has been used ex-
tensively as an ENS for athletes.91 Generally, its suggested
uses in the literature are related to increases in muscle
strength, muscle hypertrophy, reduction in fat mass and
enhancement of recovery.92-95 Despite these effects, a re-
cent meta-analysis found no effect of HMB supplemen-
tation on strength and body composition in trained and
competitive athletes.96 In contrast, Hung et al.97 analyzed
the effects of HMB during energy restriction periods in
judo athletes and found an increase in muscle mass and
reductions in body fat. Short-term supplementation of
HMB during energy restriction periods may help to reduce
body fat but has no effect on lean body mass or exercise
performance. Also, another study with forty-two CS ath-
letes that supplemented HMB for 12 weeks found advanta-
geous changes in body composition and increases in aero-
bic and anaerobic capacity. Despite the scarce literature
in the world of Cs and contrary to the conclusion of some
studies,96 HMB can enhance performance and help reduce
body fat in high-level CS athletes.
The timing observed was before training and competi-
tion and the level of recommendation was high.
Alkaline water
Alkaline water (Aw) is a widely used ENS that has been
reported to minimize intracellular H+ accumulation in-
creasing glycolytic metabolism and enhancing perfor-
mance during short-term high-intensity actions that are
typical of CS.98 Besides, it is an effective alternative in
preventing the effects of postexercise induced metabolic
acidosis.99 Whilst the effects of pre-exercise Aw have been
well-researched,98, 100, 101 the effects of postexercise recov-
ery have received minimal attention. This kind of strategy
PROFF ID.indd 1 10/09/10 14:28
carefully supervised by specialized professionals to reduce
health risks and improve performance.13 If the time for re-
covery is limited, athletes should prioritize CHO and uid
ingestion to enhance subsequent athletic performance.123
Currently, there is insufcient evidence to determine the
use of a unique and correct hydration and nutritional re-
covery protocol.15
Active recovery
It is a common practice to compare methods that are usu-
ally used and have scientic support. Regardless of the
method of choice, the recovery response will be related
to the CS athlete physical capacity.124 Active recovery
(AR) or passive recovery (RP) are common practices in
the sports community.9 In this sense, Ouergui et al.28 mon-
itored fatigue 3, 5 and 10 min after a kickboxing ght.
The Eighteen Kbox athletes were randomly assigned to
complete AR (10 min at 50% of maximal aerobic speed)
or PR. Better recovery was observed in the AR group no
improvement in performance was described. Also, in a
group of 17 male judo athletes of different competitive
levels, the effects of AR and PR after a judo ght were
analyzed regarding the lactate removal. Similarly, AR was
a better option compared with PR. An important aspect
in this study was that the ability to maintain performance
was related to the athletes’ level.125 Ghorbani et al.29 de-
termined that fatmax intensity is the most effective method
for removal of lactate in CS athletes. In relationship with
the recovery during intra-combat situation, only one study
tried to determine which is the best body position during
combat breaks (sitting or standing). This study did not pro-
vide evidence for different physiological impacts of body
positions during breaks in simulated boxing ghts but con-
cluded by afrming that the body position might affect the
perception of effort.126
Based on the evidence in this type of sports, when im-
plementing recovery interventions during or post competi-
tions it is important to consider AR as a relevant method.
However, in relationship with recovery during competi-
tion, more research is needed.
The timings observed was after the training and compe-
tition and the level of recommendation was high.
Sleep and rest
Sleep is considered as a part of the recovery process
from training and has a large impact on the athletic per-
formance.127, 128 In particular, in the world of CS, a study
with karate athletes has previously concluded that one
night sleep deprivation negatively affected post combat
produce fast weight loss,111 water restriction and dietary
restriction are the main ones.112 A bad periodization of the
recovery strategy could be detrimental, but not only re-
garding performance, also about health.113
In particular, the time available for recovery follow-
ing weigh-in before competition will determine what de-
gree of acute body mass loss could be implemented and
reversed.114 To our knowledge, there are no guidelines
regarding how much liquid it must drink to avoid dehy-
dration in CS. However, it is accepted by sport profession-
als that a substantial uid decit during physical activity
may produce some loss in performance.115, 116 In the CS
eld, dehydration has been showed to uctuate in rela-
tion to performance.117-119 Different investigations have
demonstrated that 3% body mass loss during rapid weight
cutting procedures translated into signicant declines in
neuromuscular performance for both brief and sustained
contractions in competitive boxers.119 In a recent review,
it was determined that athletes are able to exploit the rules
to compete up to three weight categories higher than at
the ofcial weigh-in.15 This condition of dehydration was
observed in 69% of medal winners in a National Cham-
pionship,118 data that indicate that most boxers competed
with performance restrictions. Hypohydration is highly
prevalent in CS at weigh-in and is not fully reversed in the
weigh-in to competition. In this sense, Peterson et al.120
researched the effects of water intake and timing of of-
cial weigh-in and their relationship with hydration status
in a group of 63 CS athletes. The results indicated that the
prevalence of hypohydration was 89% in the morning of
the competition day and serious hypohydration was also
prevalent (urine specic gravity >1.030). It was also in-
dicated that a higher water intake in the evening before
competition was not associated with a more favorable hy-
In relation with the nutritional restrictions, the main
issue is the increased risk of overreaching/overtraining
leading up to competition if this method is not properly
planned.121 Despite the scarce literature about nutritional
restriction protocols in Cs,122 Brito et al.,112 reported in
a study with 580 Cs athletes that the rapid weight losses
were accompanied by CHO restrictions 24 h before weigh-
in. Regarding the best strategy to organize a good recovery
nutritional plan after weight cutting, Reale et al.114 deter-
mined a CHO intake of 5-10 g/kg/day to replenish the lost
glycogen and improve the recovery of body mass.
In summary, it is important to note that many athletes
consider the weight cutting process as an essential part of
the preparation for a competition.38 This period should be
PROFF ID.indd 1 10/09/10 14:28
trointestinal temperature were measured. The CS athletes
who are subjected to impact induced stress may benet
from immediate CWI as a simple recovery intervention
that reduces delayed DOMS as well as macrophage and
hypothalamic pituitary axis activation whilst does not
impair functional performance. Similar ndings were
reported in a JJ athlete using CWI (6.0±0.5 °C) for 19
minutes. According to this study, the use of CWI could
be benecial because it reduces circulating lactate dehy-
drogenase levels, results in less perceived muscle sore-
ness and helps muscle power recovery at 24 hours postre-
To the author´s knowledge there is a lack of CS litera-
ture about no effect or negative effect of CWI on CS. But
it must be indicated that in a recent and non-specic sys-
tematic review of this sports there was no evidence that
CWI produced any objective recovery during a 96-hour
recovery period. This idea should be considered when 4
days pauses between ghts are included.134 In conclusion,
CWI can be implemented after training or competition
for CS athletes but more research in these modalities is
The timings observed was after the training and compe-
tition and the level of recommendation was high.
Post exercise massage is one of the most frequently ap-
plied interventions to enhance performance. However, the
last meta-analysis concluded that the effects of massage
on recovery are rather small and partly unclear.135 To the
best of our knowledge, only one article36 analyzed the ef-
fects of massage or different types of massage on CS ath-
letes. It demonstrated that the muscle fatigue test showed
reduced maximal strength (Fmax) in all participants, but in
the groups receiving manual lymphatic drainage (MDL),
lymphatic drainage by deep oscillation, and body ow
therapy, signicantly higher Fmax was observed at recovery
when compared with postexercise values. The application
of MDL reduced the postexercise blood lactate concentra-
tions and postexercise muscle tension. More research is
needed regarding this topic.
The timings observed was after the training and compe-
tition and the level of recommendation was medium.
Static stretching (SS) is one of the most debated topics in
the sport science literature.136 Nonetheless, most of the
conclusions regarding the use of SS have considered sig-
nicant reductions in muscular performance137 and no con-
recovery.31 Selective attention and maximal isometric
strength, two key skills in CS, were especially affected.
Souissi et al.30 also concluded that sleep deprivation has a
negative performance effect, especially when competition
is scheduled in the afternoon. Related to sleep efciency
there were no signicant associations with the physical
performance of a group of taekwondo athletes throughout
a training macrocycle, but an individual analysis showed
that some participants had worse performance with worse
sleep efciency.129 Following the conclusion of Daaloul et
al.32 in relation to karate athletes, a 30 min nap is an effec-
tive strategy to overcome the cognitive and physical dete-
riorations caused either by sleep loss or by fatigue induced
by exhaustive training.
In summary, CS athletes should have adequate post
competition sleep patterns and adjust training demands to
accommodate the altered physical and cognitive state after
sleep deprivation.130
The timings observed was after the training and compe-
tition and the level of recommendation was high.
Physical recovery methods
Cold-water immersion
Cold-water immersion (CWI) is one of the most popular
tools aimed at enhancing recovery following training and
competition.131 It has been suggested that physiological al-
terations associated with post exercise CWI may serve to
improve subsequent training load and quality and diminish
the effects of soft tissue injury via attenuation of edema,
inammation, pain, and hematoma formation.10
Nowadays, optimal levels of immersion, duration of
practices, temperature, position and methodology of ex-
position (continuous or intermittent)132 have strong sci-
entic evidence to support the optimization of protocols
for performance benets.133 The articles that have ana-
lyzed the effects of CWI in the eld of CS show posi-
tive effects on recovery.33-35 A recent study in 2018 by
Tabben et al.,33 reported that CWI improves 10-m sprint
performance as well as perceived wellness 24-h after a
simulated MMA competition (3×5-min MMA rounds
separated by 1-min of passive rest). Moreover, Lindsay
et al.34 analyzed 15 Semiprofessional MMA competitors
randomly assigned to cold-water immersion (15 min at
10 °C) or passive recovery protocol (ambient air) com-
pleted immediately after a training session. Markers of
muscle damage, inammation, oxidative stress, hypotha-
lamic-pituitary axis, saliva cortisol, ratings of perceived
soreness and fatigue, counter movement jump, and gas-
PROFF ID.indd 1 10/09/10 14:28
posite to these conclusions, da Rosa et al.,150 suggested
no effect of PBT applied before exercise to reduce lower
limb and muscle damage fatigue in sixteen judo athletes
after a stretch-shortening cycle protocol. These results are
contradictory and opposed to other studies in which an
enhancement in recovery after different kinds of practices
was observed.149 The scientic literature in the CS is very
limited and more research is needed.
The timings observed was after the training and compe-
tition and the level of recommendation was low.
Psychological recovery methods
Psychological techniques
It is not surprising that in recent years the importance of
psychological skills training (PST) has increased consid-
erably and has been used to maximize the recovery pro-
cess and enhance performance.151 These psychosocial
skills include imagery, relaxation techniques, goal setting,
self-talk and motivation.152 It has been demonstrated that
psychological aspects are related to the recovery process
in CS athletes.151 The relevance of such psychological as-
pects of CS athletes in certain phases of the competitive
period must be established on future research. Weight cut-
ting and subsequent recovery before the start of the main
competitive period has been shown to produce substantial
changes to the mood state, although these changes seem
to be independent to the body mass oscillations.153 An-
drato et al.,154 indicated that the athletes presented a high
average level of anxiety before the competition and this
could inuence performance. The scientic literature in
the mental area of CS is scarce and inconclusive. Based
on this afrmation, CS athletes should have the ability to
identify when and how they need to apply PST to maxi-
mize performance. More research is needed regarding this
The timings observed were the ones after, during and
before training and competition and the level of recom-
mendation was low.
From a practical point of view, it must be considered
that research around recovery is a relatively new area for
sport scientists. Many of the current recommendations
are only general guidelines and disagreement may exist
regarding their application. Despite this, the current manu-
script attempts to provide useful information for real ap-
plications in the CS eld. Future research should explore
important key points such as the potential effects of the
combination of different recovery methods and their ef-
fects in the CS eld.
clusion has been found regarding the relationship between
stretching and recovery.138 In a recent review, Barbosa et
al., reported that caution is needed when prescribing SS to
improve performance or to prevent injuries due to nega-
tive effect on the eccentric torque of exor joints.139 De-
spite this possible negative effect on muscle effectiveness,
there is evidence that the SS is good recovery strategy post
competition by reducing viscoelastic proprieties of muscle
and decrease stiffness.140 While SS is commonly used un-
der the guise of improving post competition recovery, evi-
dence of its use in Cs is very scarce.141-143
The timings observed was after the training and compe-
tition and the level of recommendation was low.
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy
Hyperbaric oxygen therapy (HOT) is a mode of therapy
that involves working at pressures three to four times
higher than the atmospheric pressure while inhaling pure
oxygen (100%) through a face mask inside a hyperbaric
chamber.144 The HOT promotes rapid recovery of soft tis-
sue, nevertheless, scarce evidence has been published on
its benets.145 To date, numerous professional team sports
(hockey, football, basketball and soccer), usually use the
HOT therapy for numerous sports related injuries.145, 146 To
our knowledge, in Cs eld only one previous study evalu-
ated the effects of HOT for post training recovery in JJ
athletes by measuring hormone concentrations (cortisol/
testosterone), damage markers (creatine kinase) and lac-
tate. The main conclusions determined that HOT did not
inuence the recovery hormonal status, damage markers
or lactate in JJ athletes after sessions of 1 hour and 30 min-
utes.147 There is no evidence to support the usage of HOT
as a recovery therapy in Cs athletes.
The timings observed was after the training and compe-
tition and the level of recommendation was low.
Photobiomodulation therapy
Photobiomodulation therapy (PBT) has emerged as an
effective non-invasive strategy applied before different
types of exercise in which it is combined with low-level
laser therapy and light-emitting diode therapy.148 Nowa-
days, growing evidence supports the use of PBT for per-
formance enhancement and reduction in muscular fatigue
signals.149 One study analyzed the effects on maximal
isometric handgrip strength and blood lactate concentra-
tions after two sets of simulated ghts.40 The ndings sug-
gested that PBT is associated with better strength recovery
between ghts compared to other recovery methods. Op-
PROFF ID.indd 1 10/09/10 14:28
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To optimize CS performance, adequate recovery is re-
quired after ghts. Nevertheless, literature pertaining to
these types of disciplines is limited. Traditional ENS of
consuming CHO and PR combined with the consumption
of supplementation with scientic evidence (i.e., green tea,
beetroot gel, creatine or alkaline water) increases recovery
processes. Other methods of recovery including physical
(water immersion, massage or photobiomodulation) and
physiological (types of recovery, sleep and rest) therapies
have also been shown to be benecial for recovering. In
summary, to the best of our knowledge, the scientic lit-
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Conictsofinterest.—The authors certify that there is no conict of interest with any nancial organization regarding the material discussed in the manuscript.
Authors’ contributions.—All authors conceived the research idea and the framework of this study. All authors have read and approved the nal manuscript.
History.—Article rst published online: October 22, 2020. - Manuscript accepted: October 13, 2020. - Manuscript revised: September 8, 2020. - Manuscript
received: June 7, 2020.
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... Also, the use of massage as a therapeutic and relaxing method is widespread in sports races for preparation before the race, between two races, and return to the original state after the race [9]. One of the main benefits of sports massage is its positive effect on sports performance, which leads to reducing the time of returning to the original state after physical activity, reducing muscle tension, restoring energy reserves through increasing blood flow, and as a result, improving performance in the next race [8][9][10]. Therefore, the recovery method can affect the success of athletes by reducing cell or muscle damage indicators [8][9][10]. ...
... One of the main benefits of sports massage is its positive effect on sports performance, which leads to reducing the time of returning to the original state after physical activity, reducing muscle tension, restoring energy reserves through increasing blood flow, and as a result, improving performance in the next race [8][9][10]. Therefore, the recovery method can affect the success of athletes by reducing cell or muscle damage indicators [8][9][10]. Because intense and long-term training can disrupt an athlete's performance by increasing oxidative stress and its effects on hematology indicators and antioxidant defense [19,20], using different methods of recovery after an acute training session can be useful. ...
Background and Objectives Exercise can increase oxidative and metabolic stress. The aim of this research was to investigate the effect of different recovery methods after an acute training session on aspartate aminotransferase activity, oxidative stress, and some hematological indices of female runners. Subjects and Methods In the present quasi-experimental study, 30 semi-professional female runners were selected as the research sample and randomly divided into three groups (n=10): active running recovery, passive recovery, and sports massage. After two weeks, the same training protocol was performed for athletes and also after a week of rest, fasting blood sampling was performed. Blood sampling was performed in three stages: 1- fasting, 2- after 1500 meters competition, and 3- immediately after different stages of recovery. The one-way analysis of variance was used for statistical analysis. Results The results showed that in the massage group, the change in hematocrit, white blood cells, and hemoglobin was more than in the active and inactive recovery group (P<0.05), while in the active recovery group, the level of malondialdehyde decreased more than the massage and inactive recovery groups (P<0.05). There was no significant difference between the three recovery methods on changes in iron, red blood cells, aspartate aminotransferase, and total antioxidant capacity (P<0.05). Conclusion According to the results, it can be said that active recovery can prevent damage caused by oxidative stress by increasing blood flow.
... Результати досліджень Mielgo-Ayuso et. al. [19] (2020) доповнюють думку вищезазначених авторів: засоби відновлення, що спрямовані на розслаблення, ослаблюють напругу організму, включають роботу автономного контура регуляції й понижують експлуатацію центрального контура регуляції спортсмена у спокої. Це в свою чергу розширює діапазон його функціонування при навантаженні і подальшому успішному відновленні. ...
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The article is devoted to the analysis of scientific and methodological literature on the problem of the structure of the training process of highly-qualified athletes with visual impairments. Over the past decades, Paralympic sports have shown a tendency to transfer the theoretical and methodological foundations of the training of Olympic athletes to disabled sports, which leads to the neglect of psychological, functional and morphological characteristics of Paralympic athletes. in the scientific and methodological literature, there are no studies aimed at studying the peculiarities of the structure of the training process of Paralympic athletes with visual impairments who have different sports qualifications. Information about highly qualified visually impaired athletes is fragmentary and isolated. Summarization literary sources shows that most of them are devoted to separate aspects of training and functional classification of paralympians. As a result of the study, the physiological features of athletes with visual impairments were revealed: low level of development of strength endurance, coordination and speed qualities, high energy expenditure during the performance of a motor task and rapid fatigue; inconsistency of circadian rhythms with changes in the activity of their body, which should be taken into account in the process of training people with visual impairments. It has been established that most coaches in the training process of sprinters with visual impairments are guided by the basic provisions of training athletes without visual impairments. The analysis of modern literature has shown the specificity of the organization of the training process of sprinters at various stages of training.
... Standard meal based on food choices, and recommendation proposed for the periods before, during and after championship, aligned with nutritional guidelines for the performance of combat sports athletes.Source: Authors.These data were used to elaborate a demonstrative "standard-meal" for the athlete, as well as a proposal of change or recommendation based on the scientific literature and focused on the area of fights, martial arts and combat sports whenever possible(Burke et al, 2021;López-Laval et al, 2021;López-González et al, 2018; ACSM, 2016;Barnes, 2014) , maintaining the reported food choices and energy intake ( ...
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The present study aimed to document the eating pattern and food choices of competitive high-performance karate athletes, during an in-person post-pandemic championship, for discussing adequacy and proposing alternatives to potentiate their performance and recovery in future competitions, respecting the nutritional values. The 47 athletes (57.4% male), of whom 47% had podium award, participated in the study by filling out an electronic anamnesis form and an online 24-hour recall of food intake and choices. The athletes were, on average, 37.0 (9.8) years old and, on the competition day, had a dietary pattern characterized by a normocaloric, low-carbohydrate, normoproteic, high-fiber diet including alcohol intake. Based on the analysis, changes were suggested for energy and macro- and micronutrient intake before, during and after the competition period, maintaining the nutritional values based on scientific evidence for assertive nutritional prescription focused on performance and recovery potentiation after a high-performance competition. This was the first study to perform and document the concomitant evaluation of the eating pattern and food choices during an official karate championship after 2-year suspension of in-person national contests. It was possible to reconcile guidelines to potentiate the performance and recovery in competitions, maintaining and adapting the nutritional values of karate athletes according to the nutritional science
... Standard meal based on food choices, and recommendation proposed for the periods before, during and after championship, aligned with nutritional guidelines for the performance of combat sports athletes.Source: Authors.These data were used to elaborate a demonstrative "standard-meal" for the athlete, as well as a proposal of change or recommendation based on the scientific literature and focused on the area of fights, martial arts and combat sports whenever possible(Burke et al, 2021;López-Laval et al, 2021;López-González et al, 2018; ACSM, 2016;Barnes, 2014) , maintaining the reported food choices and energy intake ( ...
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O objetivo deste trabalho foi documentar o padrão de consumo e escolhas alimentares de atletas de alto rendimento competitivos de Karatê, durante campeonato presencial pós-pandemia, para discutir a adequação e propor alternativas para potencializar o rendimento, e a recuperação, em futuras competições, respeitando o padrão alimentar. Participaram 47 atletas (57,4% do sexo masculino), sendo 47% com premiação em pódio, por meio de preenchimento on line, de formulário eletrônico de anamnese e recordatório de 24 horas, do consumo e escolhas alimentares. Os atletas possuíam em média 37,0 (9,8) anos de idade e tiveram no dia da competição um padrão alimentar caracterizado por dieta normocalórica, hipoglicídica, normoprotéica, hiperlipídica, com alto teor de fibra e com ingestão de álcool. A partir desta análise, foram sugeridas alterações no consumo energético, assim como de macro e micronutrientes antes, durante e após o período competitivo, com manutenção dos valores alimentares, baseado em evidências científicas para prescrição nutricional assertiva, direcionada à potencialização do rendimento e recuperação pós competição de alto rendimento. Este estudo foi o primeiro a realizar e documentar a avaliação do padrão de consumo, concomitante às escolhas alimentares, durante um campeonato oficial de Karatê, após 2 anos de suspensão de torneios presenciais nacionais. Constatou-se a possibilidade de conciliar diretrizes para potencializar o rendimento, e recuperação, em competições, com a manutenção e adaptação dos valores alimentares dos atletas de Karatê com embasamento na ciência nutricional.
... In order to maintain a highly competitive level in these disciplines, the development of diverse performance factors such as aerobic and anaerobic capacities, and an optimal level of power and strength are required (2). Although it is true that performance improvement through physical condition, and technical and tactical training are key in CS, some aspects such as the biomechanical aspects, pharmacological methods, nutritional ingredients, psychological techniques, and different recovery tools must be considered in the complex road to success (3). ...
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In order to improve the recovery process in combat sports disciplines, ergo-nutritional strategies could be an effective option in training and competition. Some of these ergo-nutritional aids could improve performance but literature references are scarce, with controversial results regarding actual recovery effects. This systematic review aimed to examine which ergo-nutritional methods are most effective for assisting in the recovery process in combat sports, and to determine the appropriate training stimuli. This systematic review was carried out following the Preferred Reporting Items for Systematic Review (PRISMA) guidelines. A computerized search was performed in PubMed, Web of Science, the Cochrane Collaboration Database, Evidence Database, Evidence Based Medicine Search review, National Guidelines, EM-BASE, Scopus and Google Scholar system (from 1995 to April 30, 2021). The PICOS model was used to define inclusion and exclusion criteria. Out of 123 studies initially found, 18 met the eligibility criteria and were included in the review. Data from 367 athletes from different disciplines were examined. The evidence was grouped in 4 areas: oxidative stress, muscle and energy recovery, muscle repair, and metabolic acidosis. Evidence showed that vitamins, minerals, and some natural ergo-nutritional products are effective as antioxidants. Carbohydrates and protein determine the recovery effect. Sodium bicarbonate has a role as primary acidosis metabolic delayer. Accordingly, ergo-nutritional aids can help in the recovery process. Considering the effects outlined in the literature, more studies are needed to provide firm evidence.
... The organic and psychological recovery of the athlete is a task that requires high precision and individualization [21], and depends directly on the complex, interconnected and specific dimensions of each sport [9,[79][80][81]. Among these tasks, nutrition plays a determining role in accelerating and optimizing recovery [82,83]. ...
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Basketball is a team sport, with many fans and practitioners worldwide from all ages and levels. In all cases, players accumulate high levels of fatigue, and there is also limited time to recover between games or practices. In particular, nutrition plays a key role in optimizing performance and recovery. However, it is typical to observe erroneous nutritional behaviors among basketball players. It has been theorized that these behaviors are influenced by habits acquired based on the indi-vidual's knowledge. Therefore, the main aim of this study was to conduct a descriptive research of the sports nutrition knowledge and practices in a sample of Spanish basketball players, from athletes under 18 years old (n = 69) to nonprofessional (n = 14) and professional adult players (n = 21). The sample was comprised of 49 men and 55 women. This was a transversal, cross-sectional, observational and descriptive study. All participants (n = 104) completed an anonymous online survey in order to analyze their sports nutrition knowledge and practices. In view of the obtained results, we can conclude that the knowledge of sport-specific nutrition in players under 18 years old, as well as non-professional and professional adult basketball players, is insufficient through all the categories and levels. The lack of professional support and time management difficulties were identified as some of the main barriers.
... This is evidenced by the significant increase [1,2] in scientific publications during the last 10 years as teams look to find a competitive edge during competitions. Different protocols describe specific recovery methodologies that can be employed in order to achieve more efficient recovery processes, these include (1) recovery strategies [2,3] -foam roll [4,5], massage [6], compression garments [7,8], stretching [9], nutrition [10], active recovery [11], sleep [12], water immersion [13], (2) combinations of recovery strategies [14,15], (3) sport-specific recovery characteristics-soccer [16,17], basketball [18,19], volleyball [20], rugby [21], and combat sports [22], and (4) emerging recovery strategies [23]. Additionally, factors, such as recovery time-periods-post-match [16,17] and during congested schedules [24], have also been investigated, with emerging literature examining recovery specific to female athletes [25] and youth athletes [26,27]. ...
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Abstract: In the field of sports science, the recovery umbrella is a trending topic, and even more so in the world of elite sports. This is evidenced by the significant increase in scientific publications during the last 10 years as teams look to find a competitive edge. Recovery is recognized to be an integral component to assist athlete preparation in the restoration of physical and psychological function, and subsequently, performance in elite team sports athletes. However, the importance of recovery in team staff members (sports coaches and performance staff) in elite sports appears to be a forgotten element. Given the unrelenting intense nature of daily tasks and responsibilities of team staff members, the elite sports environment can predispose coaches to increased susceptibility to psycho-socio physiological fatigue burden, and negatively affect health, wellbeing, and performance Therefore, the aim of this opinion was to (1) develop an educational recovery resource for team staff members, (2) identify organizational task-specific fatigue indicators and barriers to recovery and self-care in team staff members, and (3) present recovery implementation strategies to assist team staff members in meeting their organizational functions. It is essential that we do not forget the coaching and performance staff in the recovery process.
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Water polo (WP) is a high-intensity intermittent aquatic sport, with a predominance of swimming skills and non swimming activities and in- complete recovery periods. Consequently, recovery after exercise is a fundamental part of sports performance. The main purpose of this systematic review was to evaluate the effects of different recovery strategies in WP performance. The studies were found by searching in the databases of PubMed, Web of Science, and Scopus. Methodological quality and risk of bias were assessed in accordance with the Cochrane Collaboration Guidelines samples. A summary of results including five studies was followed. The results show that supplementation with cherry juice before training does not imply improvements in recovery; the full-body photobiomodulation therapy reduces muscle damage; reducing training load during the season increased the natural logarithm of the root mean square of successive differences and perceived state of recovery, and the heart rate variability stabilize and could progressively increase at the end of a tournament; and when an increase in internal training load is less than 60%–70% autonomic cardiac disturbances during preseason training do not occur. Recovery in WP is a very limited field of study that needs future research in active recovery, hydro- therapy, massage, rest and sleep to help coaches formulate recommendations.
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Purpose: To assess relationships between objective sleep characteristics, external training loads, and subjective ratings of well-being in elite Australian football (AF) players. Methods: A total of 38 elite male AF players recorded objective sleep characteristics over a 15-day period using an activity monitor. External load was assessed during main field sessions, and ratings of well-being were provided each morning. Canonical correlation analysis was used to create canonical dimensions for each variable set (sleep, well-being, and external load). Relationships between dimensions representing sleep, external load, and well-being were quantified using Pearson r. Results: Canonical correlations were moderate between pretraining sleep and external training load (r = .32-.49), pretraining sleep and well-being (r = .32), and well-being and posttraining sleep (r = .36). Moderate to strong correlations were observed between dimensions representing external training load and posttraining sleep (r = .31-.67), and well-being and external training load (r = .32-.67). Player load and Player load 2D (PL2D) showed the greatest association to pretraining and posttraining objective sleep characteristics and well-being. Fragmented sleep was associated with players completing the following training with a higher PL2D. Conclusions: Maximum speed, player load, and PL2D were the common associations between objective sleep characteristics and well-being in AF players. Improving pretraining sleep quality and quantity may have a positive impact on AF players' well-being and movement strategy during field sessions. Following training sessions that have high maximum speed and PL2D, the increased requirement for sleep should be considered by ensuring that subsequent sessions do not start earlier than required.
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Although the effect of beetroot supplementation on exercise performance has been widely demonstrated to improve the performance of cyclists, runners, and swimmers, its effect on combat sports remains inconclusive. The present study assessed the effect of beetroot-based gel (BG) supplementation on maximal voluntary contraction (MVC), exercise time until fatigue (ETF), muscle O2 saturation (SmO2), and blood volume (tHb) in response to handgrip isotonic exercise (HIE) in recreational combat sport athletes. In a randomized, crossover, double-blind study, 14 combat sports athletes performed three sets of HIE (at 40% MVC) until fatigue after BG or nitrate-depleted gel (PLA) supplementation, in which forearm SmO2 and tHb were continuously monitored using near-infrared spectroscopy. MVC was evaluated at baseline and 20 min after HIE. MVC values were analysed as the change from baseline values (ΔMVC). There was a significant increase accompanied by a large effect size in ΔMVC (p = 0.036, d = 0.94) after HIE in the BG condition compared to PLA. However, there were no changes in SmO2 parameters (p> 0.05), tHb (p> 0.05) or ETF (p = 0.161) throughout the three sets of HIE. Additionally, a trivial to small effect size was observed in near-infrared spectroscopy (NIRS) parameters and ETF (d = ≤ 0.2 to 0.5). Therefore, a single dose of beetroot gel supplementation may be considered as a good nutritional strategy to improve strength recovery in combat sports athletes.
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Background: Endurance events have experienced a significant increase in growth in the new millennium and are popular activities for participation globally. Sports nutrition recommendations for endurance exercise however remains a complex issue with often opposing views and advice by various health care professionals. Methods: A PubMed/Medline search on the topics of endurance, athletes, nutrition, and performance was undertaken and a review performed summarizing the current evidence concerning macronutrients, hydration, and supplements as it pertains to endurance athletes. Results: Carbohydrate and hydration recommendations have not drastically changed in years, while protein and fat intake have been traditionally underemphasized in endurance athletes. Several supplements are commercially available to athletes, of which, few may be of benefit for endurance activities, including nitrates, antioxidants, caffeine, and probiotics, and are reviewed here. The topic of "train low," training in a low carbohydrate state is also discussed, and the post-exercise nutritional "recovery window" remains an important point to emphasize to endurance competitors. Conclusions: This review summarizes the key recommendations for macronutrients, hydration, and supplements for endurance athletes, and helps clinicians treating endurance athletes clear up misconceptions in sports nutrition research when counseling the endurance athlete.
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The effects of static-stretching (StS) on subsequent strength and power activities has been one of the most debated topics in sport science over the past decades. The aim of this review is i) to summarize previous and current findings on the acute effects of StS on muscle strength and power performances ii) to update readers’ knowledge related to previous caveats and iii) to discuss the underlying physiological mechanisms of short-duration StS when performed as single-mode treatment or when integrated into a full warm-up routine. Over the last two decades, StS has been considered harmful to subsequent strength and power performances. Accordingly, it has been recommended not to apply StS before strength and power-related activities. Recent evidence suggests that when performed as a single-mode treatment or when integrated within a full warm-up routine including aerobic activity, dynamic-stretching, and sport-specific-activities, short-duration StS (≤60s per-muscle group) trivially impairs subsequent strength and power activities (∆1-2%). Yet, longer-durations StS (>60s per-muscle group) appear to induce substantial and practically relevant declines in strength and power performances (∆4.0-7.5%). Moreover, recent evidence suggests that when included in a full warm-up routine, short-duration StS may even contribute to lower the risk of sustaining musculotendinous injuries especially with high-intensity activities (e.g., sprint running and change of direction speed). It seems that during short-duration StS, neuromuscular activation and musculotendinous stiffness appear not to be affected compared with long-duration StS. Amongst other factors, this could be due to an elevated muscle temperature induced by a dynamic warm-up program. More specifically, elevated muscle temperature leads to increased muscle fiber conduction-velocity and improved binding of contractile proteins (actin, myosin). Therefore, our previous understanding of harmful StS effects on subsequent strength and power activities have to be updated. In fact, short-duration StS should be included as an important warm-up component before the uptake of recreational sports activities due to its potential positive effect on flexibility and musculotendinous injury prevention. However, in high-performance athletes, short-duration StS has to be applied with caution due to its negligible but still prevalent negative effects on subsequent strength and power performances, which could have an impact on performance during competition.
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Background: The ergogenic properties of acute caffeine (CAF) and sodium bicarbonate (NaHCO3) ingestion on athletic performance have been previously investigated. However, each sport has unique physiological and technical characteristics which warrants optimizing supplementations strategies for maximizing performance. This study examined the effects of CAF and NaHCO3 ingestion on physiological responses and rate of perceived exertion during a Karate-specific aerobic test (KSAT) in competitive karatekas. Methods: In a double-blind, crossover, randomized placebo-controlled trial, eight Karatekas underwent five experimental conditions including control (CON), placebo (PLA), CAF, NaHCO3, and CAF + NaHCO3 before completing KSAT. Capsules containing 6 mg/kg BW CAF were consumed 50 min prior to a KSAT whilst 0.3 g/kg BW NaHCO3 was consumed for 3 days leading to and 120, 90, and 60 min prior to a KSAT. Time to exhaustion (TTE), rate of perceived exertion (RPE), and blood lactate (BL) were measured before, immediately after and 3 min following KSAT. Results: TTE was significantly greater following CAF, NaHCO3, and CAF + NaHCO3 consumption compared to PLA and CON. However, the differences between CAF, NaHCO3, and CAF+NaHCO3 were not statistically significant (p > 0.05). BL increased significantly from baseline to immediately after and 3 min following KSAT in all conditions (p < 0.01), while RPE at the end of KSAT was not significantly different between conditions (p = 0.11). Conclusions: Karate practitioners may benefit from the ergogenic effects of CAF and NaHCO3 when consumed separately or together. Keywords: Karate, Ergogenic aid, Caffeine, Sodium bicarbonate, Blood lactate, Time to exhaustion, Karate-specific aerobic test, Rate of perceived exertion
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Background Several studies investigated the effects of caffeine supplementation on movement velocity in resistance exercise. However, these studies presented inconsistent findings. Objective This paper aimed to: (a) review the studies that explored the effects of caffeine supplementation on movement velocity in resistance exercise; and (b) pool their results using a meta-analysis. Methods A search for studies was performed through seven databases. Random-effects meta-analyses of standardized mean differences (SMD) were performed to analyze the data. Sub-group meta-analyses explored the effects of caffeine on different velocity variables (i.e., mean and peak velocity), different loads (i.e., low, moderate, and high loads), and upper- and lower-body exercises. Results Twelve studies met the inclusion criteria. In the main meta-analysis, in which we pooled all available studies, the SMD favored the caffeine condition (SMD = 0.62; 95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.39–0.84; p < 0.001). Sub-group analyses indicated that caffeine significantly enhances mean (SMD = 0.80; 95% CI: 0.48–1.12; p < 0.001) and peak velocity (SMD = 0.41; 95% CI: 0.08–0.75; p = 0.014), movement velocity with low loads (SMD = 0.78; 95% CI: 0.41–1.14; p < 0.001), moderate loads (SMD = 0.58; 95% CI: 0.25–0.91; p = 0.001), and high loads (SMD = 0.70; 95% CI: 0.33–1.07; p < 0.001), as well as in lower-body (SMD = 0.82; 95% CI: 0.42–1.23; p < 0.001) and upper-body exercises (SMD = 0.59; 95% CI: 0.37–0.82; p < 0.001). Conclusion Acute caffeine supplementation is highly ergogenic for movement velocity in resistance exercise. Sub-group analyses indicated that caffeine ingestion is ergogenic: (a) for both mean and peak velocity; (b) for movement velocity when exercising with low, moderate and high loads, and (c) for movement velocity in both lower- and upper-body exercises. Previous meta-analyses that explored the effects of caffeine on various aspects of resistance exercise performance (i.e., muscular strength and endurance) reported trivial to moderate ergogenic effects (effect size range: 0.16–0.38). In the present meta-analysis, the pooled effect size ranged from 0.41 to 0.82. From a resistance exercise performance standpoint, this suggests that caffeine has the most pronounced performance-enhancing effects on movement velocity.
Purpose: To quantify the sleep/wake behaviors of adolescent, female basketball players and to examine the impact of daily training load on sleep/wake behaviors during a 14-day training camp. Methods: Elite, adolescent, female basketball players (N = 11) had their sleep/wake behaviors monitored using self-report sleep diaries and wrist-worn activity monitors during a 14-day training camp. Each day, players completed 1 to 5 training sessions (session duration: 114 [54] min). Training load was determined using the session rating of perceived exertion model in arbitrary units. Daily training loads were summated across sessions on each day and split into tertiles corresponding to low, moderate, and high training load categories, with rest days included as a separate category. Separate linear mixed models and effect size analyses were conducted to assess differences in sleep/wake behaviors among daily training load categories. Results: Sleep onset and offset times were delayed (P < .05) on rest days compared with training days. Time in bed and total sleep time were longer (P < .05) on rest days compared with training days. Players did not obtain the recommended 8 to 10 hours of sleep per night on training days. A moderate increase in sleep efficiency was evident during days with high training loads compared with low. Conclusions: Elite, adolescent, female basketball players did not consistently meet the sleep duration recommendations of 8 to 10 hours per night during a 14-day training camp. Rest days delayed sleep onset and offset times, resulting in longer sleep durations compared with training days. Sleep/wake behaviors were not impacted by variations in the training load administered to players.
Purpose: To examine whether the use of a carbohydrate mouth rinse (CMR) can improve multiple choice reaction time in amateur boxers during sparring. Methods: A total of 8 male amateur boxers (age 22 [3] y, stature 1.78 [0.07] m, mass 73.6 [14.2] kg) with at least 18 months of experience in the sport volunteered to participate in the study. All participants attended a familiarization session, followed by an experimental (CMR; 6% dextrose) and placebo trials in a randomized order. Participants undertook 3 × 2 minutes of sparring against an ability- and size-matched (stature and mass) opponent. Multiple choice reaction time and perceived exertion were measured before round 1 and then after each round. The respective mouth rinse was administered in a 25-mL solution for 10 seconds before each round. Magnitude-based inferences were used to compare the results of each round (mean difference; ±90% confidence limits). Results: The CMR was unlikely to have a beneficial effect on multiple choice reaction time compared with placebo (mean ± 90% confidence limits: 5 ± 9.5, 4 ± 3.4, -1 ± 8.5 lights for rounds 1 to 3, respectively) and had a possibly harmful effect on perceived exertion in round 1 (10 ± 20). There was an unlikely harmful effect on perceived exertion in rounds 2 (1 ± 12) and 3 (9 ± 23). Conclusion: There is no evidence to support the use of CMR during sparring in amateur boxers.
The present study investigated the effect of a 3% rapid weight loss (RWL) procedure on neuromuscular performance in elite, Olympic-style boxers. Nine boxers were randomly assigned to two experimental procedures (RWL and control, in a randomized counterbalance order) to perform 5-s maximum isometric voluntary contractions (MVC) of the dominant leg knee extensors prior to (MVC1), and following (MVC2), a sustained, isometric contraction at 70% MVC until exhaustion. The voluntary activation (VA) was determined using percutaneous muscle stimulation and interpolated twitch technique. High (at 80 Hz) and low (at 20 Hz) frequency tetanic impulses were also delivered before and after the sustained 70% MVC to assess peripheral fatigue. Hydration status, hemodynamic parameters, and lactate concentration were assessed throughout the study. Body-mass was reduced by ~3% (during RWL) compared to control (p=.001). As a result of the RWL protocol, MVC1 force output was 12% lower and VA deficits of 7% were observed after the fatigue protocol compared to control (p=.001). Following RWL, time to exhaustion for the sustained 70% MVC was 69±20 s compared to 86±34 s for control (p=.020). Peak lactate production was 53% lower in RWL compared to control (p=.001). In conclusion, the 3% RWL procedure translated into significant decline in neuromuscular performance for both brief and sustained contractions in competitive boxers.
Gomes-Santos, JAF, Lambertucci, RH, Vardaris, CV, Passos, MEP, Silva-Junior, EP, Hatanaka, E, Gorjão, R, McAnulty, SR, Souza-Junior, TP, and Barros, MP. Early signs of inflammation with mild oxidative stress in Mixed Martial Arts athletes after simulated combat. J Strength Cond Res XX(X): 000-000, 2019-Combat sports involve a combination of strenuous physical activity, usually at the anaerobic threshold, followed by intermittent low-intensity recovery periods for energy re-establishment. Oxidative stress and inflammation are inevitable exercise-related processes that could drastically affect athletic performance and practitioners' health, unless efficiently controlled during and after physical activities. This study aims to measure oxidative stress and inflammation biomarkers in the plasma of 12 top ranked professional Mixed Martial Arts (MMAs) athletes before and after simulated combats under official rules (pre-post study). Our results show that the athletes exhibited mild oxidative imbalances in plasma, evidenced by significant (p < 0.01) higher contents of both reduced (+7.3%) and oxidized glutathione (+28%), uric acid (+21%), and "free" iron (+21%) after combat, whereas variation tendencies (0.05 < p < 0.01) were observed in the antioxidant capacity in plasma (-40%), and SOD (-27%) or GPX (+20%) antioxidant activities in erythrocytes. However, a clear pro-inflammatory state was detected by increases in circulating cytokines IL-6 (+6,020%), IL-1β (+4,357%), and tumor necrosis factor alpha (+63%), and by an abrupt drop of the anti-inflammatory cytokine IL-10 (-98%). A significant correlation was observed between pre-post variations of IL-6 and GSH/GSSG ratio in plasma (p < 0.0001), which reinforces the integration between oxidative stress and inflammation during MMA combats. Considering metabolic and mechanical stresses (imposed by combat techniques, e.g., punches and joint locks), this study indicates pre-existing inflammation, although minor oxidative stress, in MMA professionals after combat.