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  • Author: Karsten Koehler x
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Meat Products as Potential Doping Traps?

Hans Braun, Hans Geyer, and Karsten Koehler

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Energy Balance, Macronutrient Intake, and Hydration Status During a 1,230 km Ultra-Endurance Bike Marathon

Bjoern Geesmann, Joachim Mester, and Karsten Koehler

Athletes competing in ultra-endurance events are advised to meet energy requirements, to supply appropriate amounts of carbohydrates (CHO), and to be adequately hydrated before and during exercise. In practice, these recommendations may not be followed because of satiety, gastrointestinal discomfort, and fatigue. The purpose of the study was to assess energy balance, macronutrient intake and hydration status before and during a 1,230-km bike marathon. A group of 14 well-trained participants (VO2max: 63.2 ± 3.3 ml/kg/min) completed the marathon after 42:47 hr. Ad libitum food and fluid intake were monitored throughout the event. Energy expenditure (EE) was derived from power output and urine and blood markers were collected before the start, after 310, 618, and 921 km, after the finish, and 12 hr after the finish. Energy intake (EI; 19,749 ± 4,502 kcal) was lower than EE (25,303 ± 2,436 kcal) in 12 of 14 athletes. EI and CHO intake (average: 57.1 ± 17.7 g/hr) decreased significantly after km 618 (p < .05). Participants ingested on average 392 ± 85 ml/hr of fluid, but fluid intake decreased after km 618 (p < .05). Hydration appeared suboptimal before the start (urine specific gravity: 1.022 ± 0.010 g/ml) but did not change significantly throughout the event. The results show that participants failed to maintain in energy balance and that CHO and fluid intake dropped below recommended values during the second half of the bike marathon. Individual strategies to overcome satiety and fatigue may be necessary to improve eating and drinking behavior during prolonged ultra-endurance exercise.

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Case Study: Hydration Intervention Improves Pre-game Hydration Status in Female Collegiate Soccer Players

Neele R. Mattausch, Kirsten Domnik, Karsten Koehler, Wilhelm Schaenzer, and Hans Braun

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Dietary Supplement Use among Elite Young German Athletes

Hans Braun, Karsten Koehler, Hans Geyer, Jens Kleinert, Joachim Mester, and Wilhelm Schänzer

Little is known about the prevalence and motives of supplement use among elite young athletes who compete on national and international levels. Therefore, the current survey was performed to assess information regarding the past and present use of dietary supplements among 164 elite young athletes (16.6 ± 3.0 years of age). A 5-page questionnaire was designed to assess their past and present (last 4 weeks) use of vitamins, minerals, carbohydrate, protein, and fat supplements; sport drinks; and other ergogenic aids. Furthermore, information about motives, sources of advice, supplement sources, and supplement contamination was assessed. Eighty percent of all athletes reported using at least 1 supplement, and the prevalence of use was significantly higher in older athletes (p < .05). Among supplement users, minerals, vitamins, sport drinks, energy drinks, and carbohydrates were most frequently consumed. Only a minority of the athletes declared that they used protein/amino acids, creatine, or other ergogenic aids. Major motives for supplement use were health related, whereas performance enhancement and recommendations by others were less frequently reported. Supplements were mainly obtained from parents or by athletes themselves and were mostly purchased in pharmacies, supermarkets, and health-food stores. Among all athletes, only 36% were aware of the problem of supplement contamination. The survey shows that supplement use is common and widespread among German elite young athletes. This stands in strong contrast to recommendations by leading sport organizations against supplement use by underage athletes.

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Case Study: Simulated and Real-Life Energy Expenditure During a 3-Week Expedition

Karsten Koehler, Frank Huelsemann, Markus de Marees, Bjoern Braunstein, Hans Braun, and Wilhelm Schaenzer

During prolonged periods of high energy expenditure (EE), restricted food intake can lead to a loss of body mass. This case study describes the preexpedition support for an unsupported 3-wk crossing of the Atacama Desert in Chile. The goals were to simulate the energy requirements of walking under varying conditions and to predict energy intake and EE to evaluate whether the expected weight loss was in acceptable limits. The expeditionist (male, 35 yr, 197 cm, basal weight 80 ± 0.5 kg) was a well-trained endurance athlete with experience of multiple expeditions. During the simulation, he walked on a treadmill at speeds of 2–7 km/hr under varying conditions of inclination (0%, 7.5%), backpack weight (0 kg, 30 kg), and altitude (sea level, simulated altitude of 3,500 m). Under all conditions, the lowest EE was observed at 5 km/hr. Based on the simulation data, we predicted an average EE of 4,944 kcal/day for the expedition. Because energy intake was restricted to 2,249 kcal/day, we expected the expeditionist to lose considerable weight and consequently advised him to gain 5 kg of body-fat reserves. During the actual desert crossing, he covered a distance of 26 ± 7 km/day at an average speed of 3.8 ± 0.4 km/hr. Daily EE (4,817 ± 794 kcal/day) exceeded energy intake (1,771 ± 685 kcal/day), and the negative energy balance was in agreement with the actual weight loss of 10.5 kg, which was most notable in the lower trunk.

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The Impact of Low Energy Availability on Nonexercise Activity Thermogenesis and Physical Activity Behavior in Recreationally Trained Adults

Alexandra Martin, Hande Hofmann, Clemens Drenowatz, Birgit Wallmann-Sperlich, Billy Sperlich, and Karsten Koehler

Energy availability describes the amount of dietary energy remaining for physiological functionality after the energy cost of exercise is deducted. The physiological and hormonal consequences of low energy availability (LEA) are well established, but the impact of LEA on physical activity behavior outside of exercise and, specifically, nonexercise activity thermogenesis (NEAT) has not been systematically examined. The authors conducted a secondary analysis of a repeated-measures crossover study in which recreationally trained young men (n = 6, 25 ± 1.0 years) underwent two 4-day conditions of LEA (15 kcal·kg fat-free mass−1 ·day−1) with and without endurance exercise (LEA + EX and LEA EX) and two energy-balanced control conditions (CON + EX and CON EX). The duration and intensity of physical activity outside of prescribed exercise were assessed using the SenseWear Pro3 armband. LEA did not alter NEAT (p = .41), nor time spent in moderate to vigorous (p = .20) and low-intensity physical activity (p = .17). However, time spent in low-intensity physical activity was lower in LEA + EX than LEA − EX (13.7 ± 0.3 vs. 15.2 ± 0.3 hr/day; p = .002). Short-term LEA does not seem to impact NEAT per se, but the way it is attained may impact physical activity behavior outside of exercise. As the participants expended similar amounts of energy during NEAT (900–1,300 kcal/day = 12.5–18.0 kcal·kg fat-free mass−1·day−1) and prescribed exercise bouts (15.0 kcal·kg fat-free mass−1·day−1), excluding it as a component of energy expenditure may skew the true energy available for physiological functionality in active populations.

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Carbohydrate Intake in Form of Gel Is Associated With Increased Gastrointestinal Distress but Not With Performance Differences Compared With Liquid Carbohydrate Ingestion During Simulated Long-Distance Triathlon

Mahdi Sareban, David Zügel, Karsten Koehler, Paul Hartveg, Martina Zügel, Uwe Schumann, Jürgen Michael Steinacker, and Gunnar Treff

The ingestion of exogenous carbohydrates (CHO) during prolonged endurance exercise, such as long-distance triathlon, is considered beneficial with regard to performance. However, little is known about whether this performance benefit differs among different forms of CHO administration. To this end, the purpose of our study was to determine the impact of CHO ingestion from a semisolid source (GEL) on measures of performance and gastrointestinal (GI) comfort compared with CHO ingestion from a liquid source (LIQ). Nine well-trained triathletes participated in this randomized crossover study. Each participant completed a 60-min swim, 180-min bike exercise, and a 60-min all-out run in a laboratory environment under 2 conditions, once while receiving 67.2 ± 7.2 g · h−1 (M ± SD) of CHO from GEL and once while receiving 67.8 ± 4.2 g · h−1 of CHO from LIQ. The amount of fluid provided was matched among conditions. Respiratory exchange ratio (RER), blood glucose, and lactate as well as GI discomfort were assessed at regular intervals during the experiment. The distance covered during the final all-out run was not significantly different among participants ingesting GEL (11.81 ± 1.38 km) and LIQ (11.91 ± 1.53 km; p = .89). RER, blood glucose, and lactate did not differ significantly at any time during the experiment. Seven participants reported GI discomfort with GEL, and no athlete reported GI discomfort with LIQ (p = .016). This study suggests that administration of GEL does not alter long-distance triathlon performance when compared with LIQ, but GEL seems to be associated with reduced GI tolerance. Athletes should consider this a potential disadvantage of GEL administration during long-distance triathlon.