The purpose of this study was to discover whether severe dietary carbohydrate (CHO) restriction modifies the relationship between exercise intensity and hormonal responses to exercise. Changes in the plasma adrenaline (A), noradrenaline (NA), growth hormone (hGH), testosterone (T), and blood lactate (LA) during an incremental exercise performed until volitional exhaustion were determined in 8 physically active volunteers after 3 days on low CHO (<5% of energy content; L-CHO) and isocaloric mixed (M) diets. Following L-CHO diet, the basal plasma A, NA, and hGH concentrations were increased, whilst T and LA levels were decreased. During exercise all the hormones increased exponentially, with thresholds close to that of LA. Neither the magnitude nor the pattern of the hormonal changes were affected by L-CHO diet except the NA threshold, which was lowered. Blood LA response to exercise was diminished and LA threshold was shifted towards higher loads by L-CHO diet. It is concluded that restriction of CHO intake (a) does not affect the pattern of changes in plasma A, hGH, and T concentrations during graded exercise but lowers NA threshold, indicating increased sensitivity of the sympathetic nervous system to exercise stimulus; (b) alters the basal and exercise levels of circulating hormones, which may have an impact on the balance between anabolic and catabolic processes and subsequently influence the effectiveness of training.
Jozef Langfort, Ryszard Zarzeczny, Krystyna Nazar and Hanna Kaciuba-Uscilko
Andrzej W. Ziemba, Jan Chmura, Hanna Kaciuba-Uscilko, Krystyna Nazar, Piotr Wisnik and Wojciech Gawronski
This study was designed to determine the effect of ginseng treatment on multiple choice reaction time (RT) during exercise. Fifteen soccer players (age 19.07 ± 0.62 yrs) were placed in a double-blind manner into one of two groups: ginseng (n = 7), receiving 350 mg of ginseng daily for 6 weeks, or placebo (n = 8), receiving a placebo daily for 6 weeks. Before and after the treatment all the subjects performed an incremental bicycle ergometer exercise with intensity increasing 50 W every 3 min until volitional exhaustion. RT was measured before exercise, and then in the last 2 min of each exercise load. Maximal oxygen uptake (VO2max) and lactate threshold (LAT) were also determined from the exercise test. Ginseng treatment was found to shorten RT at rest and during exercise, shifting the exercise load associated with the shortest RT toward higher exercise loads. Neither ginseng nor placebo influenced VO2 max and LAT. In conclusion, ginseng extract does improve psychomotor performance during exercise without affecting exercise capacity.