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Andrew J. Johnson, Emily E. Schmitt, Jeffrey R. French, and Evan C. Johnson

Purpose: To investigate the relationship between pacing strategy and performance during uphill and downhill running—specifically, what distribution of energy corresponds to faster race finish times between and among participants. Methods: Eighteen years of race data from a 10.2-mile running race with an uphill first half and a downhill second half were analyzed to identify relationships between pacing and performance. A pacing coefficient (PC), equal to a participant’s ascent time divided by finishing time (FT), was used to define each participant’s pacing strategy. The American College of Sports Medicine metabolic running equation was used to estimate energy expenditure during the ascent, descent, and total race. Statistical analyses compared participants’ PC to their FT and finishing place within their age and gender category. Additionally, FT and finishing place were compared between groups of participants who exhibited similar pacing strategies. Results: PCs were positively associated with faster FTs (r 2 = .120, P < .001) and better finishing positions (r 2 = .104, P < .001). PCs above .600 were associated with the fastest average FTs and best average finishing position within age and gender categories (all P ≤ .047). Conclusions: Participants performed the best when energy expenditure increased no more than 10.4% during the uphill portion compared to their overall average. It is not possible to state that overly aggressive uphill efforts resulted in premature fatigue and thus slower decent times and worse race performance. However, participants should still avoid overly aggressive uphill pacing, as performance was associated with larger PCs.

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Lawrence E. Armstrong, Evan C. Johnson, Amy L. McKenzie, Lindsay A. Ellis, and Keith H. Williamson

This field investigation assessed differences (e.g., drinking behavior, hydration status, perceptual ratings) between female and male endurance cyclists who completed a 164-km event in a hot environment (35 °C mean dry bulb) to inform rehydration recommendations for athletes. Three years of data were pooled to create 2 groups of cyclists: women (n = 15) and men (n = 88). Women were significantly smaller (p < .001) than men in height (166 ± 5 vs. 179 ± 7 cm), body mass (64.6 ± 7.3 vs. 86.4 ± 12.3 kg), and body mass index (BMI; 23.3 ± 1.8 vs. 26.9 ± 3.4) and had lower preevent urinary indices of hydration status, but were similar to men in age (43 ± 7 years vs. 44 ± 9 years) and exercise time (7.77 ± 1.24 hr vs. 7.23 ± 1.75 hr). During the 164-km ride, women lost less body mass (−0.7 ± 1.0 vs. −1.7 ± 1.5 kg; −1.1 ± 1.6% vs. −1.9 ± 1.8% of body weight; p < .005) and consumed less fluid than men (4.80 ± 1.28 L vs. 5.59 ± 2.13 L; p < .005). Women consumed a similar volume of fluid as men, relative to body mass (milliliters/kilogram). To control for performance and anthropomorphic characteristics, 15 women were pair-matched with 15 men on the basis of exercise time on the course and BMI; urine-specific gravity, urine color, and body mass change (kilograms and percentage) were different (p < .05) in 4 of 6 comparisons. No gender differences were observed for ratings of thirst, thermal sensation, or perceived exertion. In conclusion, differences in relative fluid volume consumed and hydration indices suggest that professional sports medicine organizations should consider gender and individualized drinking plans when formulating pronouncements regarding rehydration during exercise.

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J. Luke Pryor, Evan C. Johnson, Jeffery Del Favero, Andrew Monteleone, Lawrence E. Armstrong, and Nancy R. Rodriguez

Postexercise protein and sodium supplementation may aid recovery and rehydration. Preserved beef provides protein and contains high quantities of sodium that may alter performance related variables in runners. The purpose of this study was to determine the effects of consuming a commercial beef product postexercise on sodium and water balance. A secondary objective was to characterize effects of the supplementation protocols on hydration, blood pressure, body mass, and running economy. Eight trained males (age = 22 ± 3 y, V̇O2max = 66.4 ± 4.2 ml·kg-1·min-1) completed three identical weeks of run training (6 run·wk-1, 45 ± 6 min·run-1, 74 ± 5% HRR). After exercise, subjects consumed either, a beef nutritional supplement (beef jerky; [B]), a standard recovery drink (SRD), or SRD+B in a randomized counterbalanced design. Hydration status was assessed via urinary biomarkers and body mass. No main effects of treatment were observed for 24 hr urine volume (SRD, 1.7 ± 0.5; B, 1.8 ± 0.6; SRD+B, 1.4 ± 0.4 L·d-1), urine specific gravity (1.016 ± 0.005, 1.018 ± 0.006, 1.017 ± 0.006) or body mass (68.4 ± 8.2, 68.3 ± 7.7, 68.2 ± 8.1 kg). No main effect of treatment existed for sodium intake—loss (-713 ± 1486; -973 ± 1123; -980 ± 1220 mg·d-1). Mean arterial pressure (81.0 ± 4.6, 81.1 ± 7.3, 83.8 ± 5.4 mm Hg) and average exercise running economy (V̇O2: SRD, 47.9 ± 3.2; B, 47.2 ± 2.6; SRD+B, 46.2 ± 3.4 ml·kg-1·min-1) was not affected. Urinary sodium excretion accounted for the daily sodium intake due to the beef nutritional supplement. Findings suggest the commercial beef snack is a viable recovery supplement following endurance exercise without concern for hydration status, performance decrements, or cardiovascular consequences.

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J.D. Adams, Stavros A. Kavouras, Evan C. Johnson, Lisa T. Jansen, Catalina Capitan-Jimenez, Joseph I. Robillard, and Andy Mauromoustakos

The purpose of this investigation was to quantify the effects of storage temperature, duration, and the urinary sediment on urinary hydration markers. Thirty-six human urine samples were analyzed fresh and then the remaining sample was separated into 24 separate vials, six in each of the following four temperatures: 22 °C, 7 °C, -20 °C, and -80 °C. Two of each sample stored in any given temperature, were analyzed after 1, 2, and 7 days either following vortexing or centrifugation. Each urine sample was analyzed for osmolality (UOsm), urine specific gravity (USG), and urine color (UC). UOsm was stable at 22 °C, for 1 day (+5–9 mmol∙kg-1, p > .05) and at 7 °C, UOsm up to 7 days (+8–8 mmol∙kg-1, p > .05). At -20 and -80 °C, UOsm decreased after 1, 2, and 7 days (9–61 mmol∙kg-1, p < .05). Vortexing the sample before analysis further decreased only UOsm in the -20 °C and -80 °C storage. USG remained stable up to 7 days when samples were stored in 22 °C or 7 °C (p > .05) but declined significantly when stored in -20 °C, and -80 °C (p < .001). UC was not stable in any of the storing conditions for 1, 2, and 7 days. In conclusion, these data indicate that urine specimens analyzed for UOsm or USG remained stable in refrigerated (7 °C) environment for up to 7 days, and in room temperature for 1 day. However, freezing (-20 and -80 °C) samples significantly decreased the values of hydration markers.

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Lawrence E. Armstrong, Elaine C. Lee, Douglas J. Casa, Evan C. Johnson, Matthew S. Ganio, Brendon P. McDermott, Jakob L. Vingren, Hyun M. Oh, and Keith H. Williamson


Exertional hyponatremia (EH) during prolonged exercise involves all avenues of fluid-electrolyte gain and loss. Although previous research implicates retention of excess fluid, EH may involve either loss, gain, or no change of body mass. Thus, the etiology, predisposing factors, and recommendations for prevention are vague—except for advice to avoid excessive drinking.


This retrospective field study presents case reports of two unacquainted recreational cyclists (LC, 31y and AM, 39 years) who began exercise with normal serum electrolytes but finished a summer 164-km ride (ambient, 34±5°C) with a serum [Na+] of 130 mmol/L.


To clarify the etiology of EH, their pre- and post-exercise measurements were compared to a control group (CON) of 31 normonatremic cyclists (mean ± SD; 37±6 years; 141±3 mmol Na+/L).


Anthropomorphic characteristics, exercise time, and post-exercise ratings of thermal sensation, perceived exertion and muscle cramp were similar for LC, AM and CON. These two hyponatremic cyclists consumed a large and similar volume of fluid (191 and 189 ml/kg), experienced an 11 mmol/L decrease of serum [Na+], reported low thirst sensations; however, LC gained 3.1 kg (+4.3% of body mass) during 8.9 hr of exercise and AM maintained body mass (+0.1kg, +0.1%, 10.6h). In the entire cohort (n = 33), post-event serum [Na+] was strongly correlated with total fluid intake (R2 = 0.45, p < .0001), and correlated moderately with dietary sodium intake (R2=0.28, p = .004) and body mass change (R2 = 0.22, p = .02). Linear regression analyses predicted the threshold of EH onset (<135 mmol Na+/L) as 168 ml fluid/kg.


The wide range of serum [Na+] changes (+6 to -11 mmol/L) led us to recommend an individualized rehydration plan to athletes because the interactions of factors were complex and idiosyncratic.