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This study examined the effects of intense endurance training on basal plasma and 24-hour urinary calcium (Ca), magnesium (Mg), iron (Fe), zinc (Zn), and copper (Cu) levels in 9 male competitive cyclists. The supervised training program followed a baseline period and included a volume phase (6 weeks, averaging 87% of maximal heart rate [HRmax]), an interval phase (18 days, 100% of HRmax), and a 10-day unloading taper. The primary training outcome measure was 20-km time-trial cycling performance. Subjects ate unrestricted diets and maintained their weight. Compared to baseline, performance improved significantly (p < .05), while mineral metabolism was not significantly different after the volume phase. However, after the interval phase, renal Ca excretion increased (p < .05) and plasma Ca fell slightly below the clinical norm. As compared to the interval phase, urinary Ca decreased (p < .05), plasma Ca increased (p < .05), and performance further improved (p < .05) after the taper. Whereas Mg, Fe, Zn, and Cu metabolism remained unchanged throughout the study, greater renal Ca excretion was associated with very high intensity interval training.
R.H. Dressendorfer, S.R. Petersen, and S.E. Moss Lovshin are with the Faculty of Physical Education and Recreation at the University of Alberta, Edmonton, Alberta, Canada T6G 2H9. C.L. Keen is with the Departments of Nutrition and Internal Medicine at the University of California, Davis, CA 95616.