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      The effects of oral smokeless tobacco administration on endurance performance

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          Smokeless tobacco is widely used by athletes to enhance performance. Nicotine is a central nervous system stimulant and acts on cardiocirculatory and metabolic systems, involving tissue blood flow and circulatory vasoreactivity. The aim of this study was to investigate the effects of the oral smokeless tobacco (Swedish snus (SS)) on the perception of fatigue and time to exhaustion (TTE) during moderate-intensity aerobic exercise.


          Fourteen healthy non-tobacco male users were recruited for a double-blind, controlled crossover design (SS vs. snus placebo (SP)). Subjects were tested for 3 sessions: experimental session 1 (Exp1) consisted of an incremental test to determine the maximal aerobic power output (W max), whereas Exp2 and Exp3 consisted of exercising at 65%W max until exhaustion in SS or SP conditions. During Exp2 and Exp3, muscle and cerebral oxygenation was assessed by means of near-infrared spectroscopy, and the rating of perceived exertion (RPE) was recorded.


          Comparing SS with SP tests, significant differences ( p < 0.05) were found in the values of cerebral (~3%) and muscular tissues oxygenation (~4%) in the first 30 min of exercise. The RPE values were not significantly different between the 2 conditions (SS vs. SP). No significant difference was found in TTE (SS: 54.25 ± 21.84 min; SP: 50.01 ± 17.03 min).


          This study showed that muscular and cerebral oxygenation increased significantly with snus administration during an endurance exercise until exhaustion, but this did not affect fatigue perception and TTE. The results showed that snus could not be considered an ergogenic substance in non-tobacco users.

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          Most cited references 35

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          Computation of aortic flow from pressure in humans using a nonlinear, three-element model.

          We computed aortic flow pulsations from arterial pressure by simulating a nonlinear, time-varying three-element model of aortic input impedance. The model elements represent aortic characteristic impedance, arterial compliance, and systemic vascular resistance. Parameter values for the first two elements were computed from a published, age-dependent, aortic pressure-area relationship (G. J. Langewouters et al. J. Biomech. 17:425-435, 1984). Peripheral resistance was predicted from mean pressure and model mean flow. Model flow pulsations from aortic pressure showed the visual aspects of an aortic flow curve. For evaluation we compared model mean flow from radial arterial pressure with thermodilution cardiac output estimations, 76 times, in eight open heart surgical patients. The pooled mean difference was +7%, the SD 22%. After using one comparison per patient to calibrate the model, however, we followed quantitative changes in cardiac output that occurred either during changes in the state of the patient or subsequent to vasoactive drugs. The mean deviation from thermodilution cardiac output was +2%, the SD 8%. Given these small errors the method could monitor cardiac output continuously.
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            Perception of effort during exercise is independent of afferent feedback from skeletal muscles, heart, and lungs.

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              Validation of near-infrared spectroscopy in humans.

              Near-infrared (NIR) spectroscopy is a noninvasive technique that uses the differential absorption properties of hemoglobin to evaluate skeletal muscle oxygenation. Oxygenated and deoxygenated hemoglobin absorb light equally at 800 nm, whereas at 760 nm absorption is primarily from deoxygenated hemoglobin. Therefore, monitoring these two wavelengths provides an index of deoxygenation. To investigate whether venous oxygen saturation and absorption between 760 and 800 nm (760-800 nm absorption) are correlated, both were measured during forearm exercise. Significant correlations were observed in all subjects (r = 0.92 +/- 0.07; P < 0.05). The contribution of skin flow to the changes in 760-800 nm absorption was investigated by simultaneous measurement of skin flow by laser flow Doppler and NIR recordings during hot water immersion. Changes in skin flow but not 760-800 nm absorption were noted. Intra-arterial infusions of nitroprusside and norepinephrine were performed to study the effect of alteration of muscle perfusion on 760-800 nm absorption. Limb flow was measured with venous plethysmography. Percent oxygenation increased with nitroprusside and decreased with norepinephrine. Finally, the contribution of myoglobin to the 760-800 nm absorption was assessed by using 1H-magnetic resonance spectroscopy. At peak exercise, percent NIR deoxygenation during exercise was 80 +/- 7%, but only one subject exhibited a small deoxygenated myoglobin signal. In conclusion, 760-800 nm absorption is 1) closely correlated with venous oxygen saturation, 2) minimally affected by skin blood flow, 3) altered by changes in limb perfusion, and 4) primarily derived from deoxygenated hemoglobin and not myoglobin.

                Author and article information

                J Sport Health Sci
                J Sport Health Sci
                Journal of Sport and Health Science
                Shanghai University of Sport
                28 December 2016
                October 2018
                28 December 2016
                : 7
                : 4
                : 465-472
                [a ]Neuropsychopharmacology Laboratory, Department of Diagnostic and Public Health, University of Verona, Verona 37134, Italy
                [b ]Mind, Brain and Behavior Research Center CIMCYC, Department of Experimental Psychology, University of Granada, Granada 18071, Spain
                [c ]Department of Neurosciences, Biomedicine and Movement Sciences, School of Exercise and Sport Science, University of Verona, Verona 37131, Italy
                [d ]Department of Experimental and Clinical Medical Sciences, University of Udine, Udine 33100, Italy
                [e ]Department of Physical Performances, Norwegian School of Sport Sciences, Oslo N-0806, Norway
                Author notes
                [* ]Corresponding author. thomas.zandonai@

                Contributed equally to this manuscript.

                © 2018 Published by Elsevier B.V. on behalf of Shanghai University of Sport.

                This is an open access article under the CC BY-NC-ND license (

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