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In this issue:

Active Voice: Caffeine and Endurance Time Trial Performance — Effects and Mechanisms
  of Action?
Register for Free Webinars on NIH Strategic Framework; Deadline Approaching for Public
  Comment on NIH-wide Strategic Plan on August 16
Sedentary Behavior Conference: "Be the Voice of Movement"
International Paralympic Committee Launches Call for Rio 2016 Research Applications
Have You Visited the ACSM Job Center?
This Week's Trivia Question
ACSM in the News: Stories Making Headlines


Active Voice: Caffeine and Endurance Time Trial Performance — Effects and Mechanisms of Action?
By Christopher D. Black, Ph.D. and Alexander R. Gonglach, M.S.
Christopher D. Black, Ph.D. Alexander R. Gonglach, M.S.
Viewpoints presented in SMB commentaries reflect opinions of the authors and do not necessarily reflect positions or policies of ACSM.

Christopher D. Black, Ph.D., is an assistant professor of exercise science at the University of Oklahoma in Norman, Oklahoma. He is a member of ACSM, with research interests and training in the area of muscle physiology and the causes and performance/adherence consequences of exercise-related musculoskeletal pain.

Alexander R. Gonglach, M.S., is an exercise physiology graduate student at the University of Oklahoma in Norman, Oklahoma.

Caffeine improves endurance performance — on this expected response, most researchers, athletes and weekend warriors agree. For a small subset of the population, an ergogenic effect of this magnitude has large practical significance, since a two to four percent increase in performance could equate to a 40 to 80 second improvement in a 35-minute race. Such improvement would easily represent the difference between medaling in a highly competitive race versus not even finishing among the upper tier of runners. Despite 30- plus years of research demonstrating that caffeine improves endurance performance, the mechanism(s) of action remain somewhat a mystery. Several hypotheses have been put forth, including: 1) alterations in fat metabolism leading to glycogen sparing; 2) direct actions on skeletal muscle leading to increased force production, perhaps through alterations in calcium release from the sarcoplasmic reticulum; 3) central and/or peripheral nervous system actions leading to increased skeletal muscle force production; and 4) reductions in perceptions of muscle pain and sense of effort. While there is growing scientific support for certain hypotheses, scientific evidence supporting each of these hypotheses may be found in the recent literature.
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Register for Free Webinars on NIH Strategic Framework; Deadline Approaching for Public Comment on NIH-wide Strategic Plan on August 16
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) is requesting input from stakeholders in the extramural community and the general public regarding the framework for a five-year, NIH-wide strategic plan. Since physical activity research has been added to the NIH common fund, feedback from ACSM members will be valuable to shape future research programs related to physical activity, active lifestyles and Exercise is Medicine®. You can find background information, an overview of the plan, available opportunities and submit comments electronically at the NIH-wide strategic plan RFI submission website.

The NIH will be hosting webinars about the framework to gather additional input. Catch one later this afternoon from 3:30-5:00 p.m. Eastern time or this Thursday, August 13, from 4:00-5:30 p.m. Eastern time. Please direct all inquiries to: The deadline for comments about the framework is August 16 at 11:59 p.m. Eastern time.

The NIH-wide strategic plan is being developed in response to a request from the U.S. Congress and will be completed in late December 2015.

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Sedentary Behavior Conference: "Be the Voice of Movement"
Reducing time spent sitting or being sedentary is currently emerging as an important public health strategy. The Sedentary Behavior Conference — presented by Weimo Zhu, Ph.D., from the University of Illinois and SHAPE America — will focus on critical measurement and research issues, as well as practical concerns in sedentary behavior, health research and practice.

The conference, which will be held October 15-17, 2015, at the University of Illinois, is the ideal forum for exercise science researchers, specialists and practitioners, physical activity epidemiologists, fitness leaders, public health officials, health policymakers, integrative medicine practitioners, health care providers, physical therapists, adapted physical education specialists and more. Proposals for poster sessions at the conference will be accepted until September 15, 2015. Click here to learn more about the conference or to register today.

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International Paralympic Committee Launches Call for Rio 2016 Research Applications
The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) has launched a call for applications for research projects to be carried out at the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games, between September 7 and 18. As part of its commitment to furthering research in all areas of the Paralympic movement, the IPC welcomes proposals in the areas of athlete health, classification, sport counselling, assistive technology, athlete identity, marketing and branding, development and public awareness, as well as other relevant subject areas.

Inquiries and applications should be sent to Peter Van de Vliet, M.D., IPC Medical and Scientific Director ( The deadline for receipt of applications is October 1, 2015.

Research at Rio 2016 is subject to the following conditions:
  • The principal investigator has a proven record of data collection in sport or at major events;
  • The principal investigator has the support of the sport(s) to which the project applies (support letters must be provided);
  • The project cannot successfully be accomplished at another event other than the Paralympic Games;
  • It does not interfere with the complex organizational and logistical requirements associated with hosting the Paralympic Games.
The application form, details on the application procedure and timelines as well as examples of previously approved research projects can be found at:

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Have You Visited the ACSM Job Center?
Are you currently searching for jobs, internships and assistantships in sports medicine, exercise science or related fields? Are you an employer wishing to advertise a job posting to the ACSM community? Check out the ACSM Job Center and other career resources today!
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Sports Medicine Bulletin Survey Question:

The sport sculpture of this American artist was included in many ACSM publications during the 1950s and 1960s. Who was he?

A. Henry Miller
B. Leroy Nieman
C. R. Tait McKenzie
D. Michael Sloan

Last Week's Answer: B) Los Angeles

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ACSM in the News includes recent stories featuring the college and its members as subject matter experts. ACSM is a recognized leader among national and international media and a trusted source on sports medicine and exercise science topics. Because these stories are written by the media, they do not necessarily reflect ACSM statements, views or endorsements. These stories are meant to share coverage of ACSM with members and inform them about what the public is reading and hearing about the field.

New Advice: "Exercise and Call me in the Morning"
Monadock Ledger-Transcript
Exercise. It's vital to staying healthy. But, nearly 80 percent of adult Americans don't exercise enough, according to a 2013 Center for Disease Control survey.

This study was enough to move Monadnock Community Hospital to try to reverse that here with Exercise is Medicine — a national initiative it joined last month.

In the first phase of the program, a doctor or nurse will record a patients "exercise vital sign," just like they would a patient's blood pressure, pulse or weight. An exercise vital sign is the average number of minutes a patient exercises a week.

Doctors will also write a prescription recommending how much a patient should exercise. In coordination with this program, the hospital is offering a free one-month trial through its Bond Wellness fitness center.

"We're expecting the 75-year-old to exercise as much as the 25-year-old," said Dr. Gregory Neilley. "Personally, I think that's where there is going to be most of the benefit — yeah, you got arthritis, high blood pressure, or a heart problem. But you can still exercise."

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Why We Play Sports: Winning Motivates, But Can Backfire, Too
Playing sports has always been important to 31-year-old Erik Johanson, a city planner in Philadelphia. Johanson thrived in baseball and ice hockey as a kid, he says — "one of the best players on the team in high school."

Today, Johanson is married and expecting his first child but is still passionate about ice hockey — and about winning. He plays on a highly competitive team of guys who got together after college and still play weekly in an adult league; they hope to take the crown this year.

"I think if you had that experience when you were younger — and that experience feels really good to win — I don't think you ever really lose that," he says. "I think, especially when life gets more complicated when you grow up, you still need it. You have fewer opportunities for it, because it's not such a key part of your life anymore, so you seek it out."

A recent poll NPR did with the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health found that a solid majority of adults in the U.S. who play sports — 56 percent — say that winning is important to them, too. Fifty-four percent of adults who play sports say they always or often push themselves to their physical limits, and 85 percent say their performance is important to them.

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