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Medicina dello Sport 2020 June;73(2):220-30

DOI: 10.23736/S0025-7826.20.03569-3

Copyright © 2020 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: English, Italian

Recovery and dietary factors as predictors of physiological parameters in cyclists

Iva JUROV , Tanja KAJTNA, Radoje MILIĆ, Samo RAUTER

Institute of Sport, Faculty of Sport Ljubljana, Ljubljana, Slovenia


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BACKGROUND: For optimal cycling performance, stress, recovery factors and eating behaviors should be monitored. This research was carried out in order to find if the results of two validated questionnaires used on top-level cyclists correlate to changes in performance during the preparation period. RESTQ-76-Sport questionnaire (RESTQ) and the Three Factor Eating Questionnaire R-18 (TFEQ-R18) were used.
METHODS: Forty-nine top level male cyclists (VO2max=61.63±4.37) completed RESTQ and TFEQ-R18 on the day of incremental testing with indirect calorimetry on a cycle ergometer. We used a bivariate correlation analysis to find any correlations between TFEQ-R18 and subscales of RESTQ with physiological parameters (VO2max, peak power and power-to-weight ratio) in the whole group and according to three age categories.
RESULTS: Five scales of RESTQ correlated to power-to-weight ratio (including Stress Subscale scores -0.308, P=0.035, specifically in U17 group -0.429, P=0.046). In U23 group Stress Subscale scores significantly correlated to peak power (-0.713, P=0.047). TFEQ-R18 analysis showed that cognitive restraint was correlated to VO2max in the U23 group (0.475, P=0.046) and uncontrolled eating to VO2max in the whole group (r=-0.291, P=0.043).
CONCLUSIONS: This study suggests that there are significant differences in perception of stress and recovery according to age groups in top level male cyclists. Many scales in questionnaires correlating to performance related parameters indicate that monitoring stress and recovery factors in the preparation period is useful. RESTQ is a valuable tool for detecting early changes in top-level cyclists that could lead to overreaching and potentially to the overtraining syndrome.


KEY WORDS: Athletic performance; Feeding behavior; Exercise test; Bicycling

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