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Scand J Med Sci Sports. 2017 Feb;27(2):223-229. doi: 10.1111/sms.12648. Epub 2016 Feb 10.

Cyclic movement frequency is associated with muscle typology in athletes.

Author information

1
Department of Movement and Sports Sciences, Ghent University, Ghent, Belgium.
2
Department of Radiology, Ghent Institute for Functional and Metabolic Imaging, Ghent University, Ghent, Belgium.
3
Department of Biology, Laboratory for Functional Morphology, University of Antwerp, Antwerp, Belgium.

Abstract

There is a continuing research interest in the muscle fiber type composition (MFTC) of athletes. Recently, muscle carnosine quantification by proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy (1 H-MRS) was developed as a new non-invasive method to estimate MFTC. This cross-sectional study aims to better understand estimated MFTC in relation to (a) different disciplines within one sport; (b) cyclic sport exercise characteristics; (c) within-athlete variability; and (d) athlete level. A total of 111 elite athletes (74 runners, 7 triathletes, 11 swimmers, 14 cyclists and 5 kayakers) and 188 controls were recruited to measure muscle carnosine in gastrocnemius and deltoid muscle by 1 H-MRS. Within sport disciplines, athletes were divided into subgroups (sprint-, intermediate-, and endurance-type). The controls were used as reference population to allow expression of the athletes' data as Z-scores. Within different sports, endurance-type athletes systematically showed the lowest Z-score compared to sprint-type athletes, with intermediate-type athletes always situated in between. Across the different sports disciplines, carnosine content showed the strongest significant correlation with cyclic movement frequency (R = 0.86, P = 0.001). Both within and between different cyclic sports, estimated MFTC was divergent between sprint- and endurance-type athletes. Cyclic movement frequency, rather than exercise duration came out as the most determining factor for the optimal estimated MFTC in elite athletes.

KEYWORDS:

Cyclic sports; carnosine; contractile properties

PMID:
26864556
DOI:
10.1111/sms.12648
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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