The physiological effects of endurance exercise have been a primary area of research in exercise science for many years. This research has led not only to a greater understanding of human physiology but also the limits of human performance. This is especially true regarding the effects of endurance exercise on energy metabolism and nutrition. However, as science has attempted to understand the physiological and nutritional demands of endurance exercise lasting 1 to 3 hours, an increasing number of athletes have begun participating in ultraendurance events lasting 4 to 24 hours. Consequently some research groups are now investigating the physiological responses to ultraendurance training and performance. This paper reviews the literature on ultraendurance performance and discusses nutritional factors that may affect bioenergetic, thermoregulatory, endocrinological, and hematological responses to ultraendurance performance.
Richard B. Kreider
Richard B. Kreider, Dawn Hill, Greg Horton, Michael Downes, Sarah Smith, and Beth Anders
The purpose of this study was to determine the effects of carbohydrate supplementation during intense training on dietary patterns, psychological status, and markers of anaerobic and aerobic performance. Seven members of the U.S. National Field Hockey Team were matched to 7 team counterparts (N = 14). One group was blindly administered a carbohydrate drink containing 1 g·kg−1 of carbohydrate four times daily, while the remaining group blindly ingested a flavored placebo during 7 days of intense training. Subjects underwent pre- and posttraining aerobic and anaerobic assessments, recorded daily diet intake, and were administered the Profile of Mood States (POMS) psychological inventory prior to and following each practice. Results revealed that the carbohydrate-supplemented group had a greater (p < .05) total energy intake, carbohydrate intake, and change (pre vs. post) in time to maximal exhaustion following training while reporting less postpractice psychological fatigue. However, no significant differences were observed in remaining psychological, physiological, or performance-related variables.
Richard B. Kreider, Robert Klesges, Karen Harmon, Pamela Grindstaff, Leigh Ramsey, Daryll Bullen, Larry Wood, Yuhua Li, and Anthony Almada
This study examined the effects of ingesting nutritional supplements designed to promote lean tissue accretion on body composition alterations during resistance training. Twenty-eight resistance-trained males blindly supplemented their diets with maltodextrin (M), Gainers Fuel® 1000 (GF), or Phosphagain™ (P). No significant differences were observed in absolute or relative total body water among groups. Energy intake and body weight significantly increased in all groups combined throughout the study with no group or interaction differences observed. Dual energy x-ray absorptiometry-determined body mass significantly increased in each group throughout the study with significantly greater gains observed in the GF and P groups. Lean tissue mass (excluding bone) gain was significantly greater in the P group, while fat mass and percent body fat were significantly increased in the GF group. Results indicate that total body weight significantly increased in each group and that P supplementation resulted in significantly greater gains in lean tissue mass during resistance training.
Richard B. Kreider, Gary W. Miller, Deborah Schenck, Charles W. Cortes, Victor Miriel, C. Thomas Somma, Pam Rowland, Caroll Turner, and Dawn Hill
Six trained male cyclists and triathletes participated in a double blind study to determine the effects of phosphate loading on maximal and endurance exercise performance. Subjects ingested either 1 gm of tribasic sodium phosphate or a glucose placebo four times daily for 3 days prior to performing either an incremental maximal cycling test or a simulated 40-km time trial on a computerized race simulator. They continued the supplementation protocol for an additional day and then performed the remaining maximal or performance exercise test. Subjects observed a 17-day washout period between testing sessions and repeated the experiment with the alternate supplement regimen in identical fashion. Metabolic data were collected at 15-sec intervals while venous blood samples and 2D-echocardiographic data were collected during each stage of exercise during the maximal exercise test and at 8-km intervals during the 404cm time trial. Results indicate that phosphate loading attenuated anaerobic threshold, increased myocardial ejection fraction and fractional shortening, increased maximal oxidative capacity, and enhanced endurance performance in competitive cyclists and triathletes.