The purpose of this study was to examine the effect of high-intensity physical activity during training on the biochemical status of thiamin and riboflavin in athletes. Thiamin and riboflavin concentrations in whole blood of a group of 19 athletes (6 men and 13 women) were measured during a low-intensity preparatory period and compared with measurements taken during a high-intensity training period. Additional variables measured included anthropometric characteristics, estimated energy expenditure during swim training, distance covered, resting energy expenditure obtained by indirect calorimetry, estimated energy requirement per day, and dietary intake of energy, thiamin, and riboflavin estimated from 3-day food records. For both male and female subjects, no major changes were observed in anthropometric characteristics or dietary intake, but energy expenditure during swim training per day significantly increased in the intensive-training period (496 ± 0 kcal in the preparation period compared with 995 ± 96 kcal in the intensive-training period for male subjects [p < .001] and 361 ± 27 kcal vs. 819 ± 48 kcal, respectively, for female subjects [p < .001]). Blood thiamin concentration decreased significantly during the intensive-training period compared with the preparation period (41 ± 6 ng/ml decreased to 36 ± 3 ng/ml for male subjects [p = .048], and 38 ± 10 ng/ml decreased to 31 ± 5 ng/ml for female subjects [p = .004]); however, the concentration of riboflavin was unchanged. These results suggest that intense training affects thiamin concentration, but not riboflavin concentration, in the whole blood of college swimmers.
Keywords: energy expenditure, swim training, intense training, preparation period