The use of nutritional ergogenic aids containing Eleutherococcus senticosus (ES), a plant which is also known as ciwujia or Siberian ginseng, is relatively common among endurance athletes. Eleutherococcus senticosus has been suggested to improve cardiorespiratory fitness (CF) and fat metabolism (FAM) and, therefore, endurance performance (EP). This article reviews the studies that evaluated the effects of ES during endurance exercise, three of which suggest that ES substantially improves CF, FAM, and EP. However, each of these reports contains severe methodological flaws, which seriously threaten their internal validity, thereby rendering hazardous the generalization of the results. On the other hand, 5 studies that used rigorous research protocols show no benefit of ES on CF, FAM, and EP. It is therefore concluded that ES supplementation (up to 1000 to 1200 mg/d for 1 to 6 wk) offers no advantage during exercise ranging in duration from 6 to 120 min.
Eric D.B. Goulet and Isabelle J. Dionne
Marianne Lacharité-Lemieux and Isabelle J. Dionne
Chronic effects of two different exercise environments on self-chosen intensity and physiological adaptations were examined in postmenopausal women. Twenty-three healthy to overweight (body mass index [BMI] 22–29 kg/m2) postmenopausal women performed three weekly training sessions during 12 weeks and were assigned to either: (1) indoor training or (2) outdoor training. Body composition, metabolic profile, and physical fitness (including Vo2max, maximal strength, and endurance) were assessed pre- and postintervention. Exercise intensity was measured every week during the training. Maximum intensity decreased significantly in time only in outdoor training (p ≤ .05). Body composition and VO2max were significantly improved indoors (p ≤ .05), whereas resting blood pressure and upper body maximal strength and endurance were improved outdoors (p ≤ .05). Indoor training is associated with maintaining intensity over time and slightly higher physiological improvements than outdoor training. However, outdoor training seems promising from a long-term perspective, due to its positive effects on health parameters and exercise adherence.
Mylène Aubertin-Leheudre, Eric D.B. Goulet, and Isabelle J. Dionne
Hormone-replacement therapy (HRT) attenuates the menopause-associated alterations in body composition. It is not known, however, whether this effect is a result of a concomitant increase in energy expenditure. The authors examined whether women submitted to a long-term HRT treatment presented greater energy expenditure than women who had never used HRT. We compared 13 postmenopausal women using HRT (>1 yr) with 13 age- (±2 yr) and body-mass-index-matched (BMI; ±1.5kg/m2) postmenopausal women not using HRT. Resting energy expenditure (REE; indirect calorimetry), body composition, and daily (DEE) and physical activity (PAEE) energy expenditure (accelerometry) were obtained. Although BMI, fat mass, fat-free mass, DEE, and PAEE were similar between groups, the HRT group displayed a significantly greater REE than the no-HRT group (Δ +222 kcal/day). In conclusion, the authors observed that a long-term treatment with HRT is associated with a greater REE in postmenopausal women. These results need to be confirmed.
Cédric R.H. Lamboley, Donald Royer, and Isabelle J. Dionne
The aim of this study was to determine the effects of oral β-hydroxy-β-methylbutyrate (HMB) supplementation (3 g/d) on selected components of aerobic performance and body composition of active college students. Subjects were randomly assigned to either an HMB (n = 8) or a placebo (PLA) group (n = 8) for a 5-wk supplementation period during which they underwent interval training 3 times a week on a treadmill. Aerobic-performance components were measured using a respiratory-gas analyzer. Body composition was determined using dual-energy X-ray absorptiometry. After the intervention, there were significant differences (P < 0.05) between the 2 groups in gains in maximal oxygen consumption (+8.4% for PLA and +15.5% for HMB) and in respiratory-compensation point (+8.6% for PLA and +13.4% for HMB). Regarding body composition, there were no significant differences. The authors concluded that HMB supplementation positively affects selected components of aerobic performance in active college students.
Eric D.B. Goulet, Michel O. Mélançon, Mylène Aubertin Leheudre, and Isabelle J. Dionne
It is unclear whether long-term aerobic (AT) or resistance (RT) training can improve insulin sensitivity (IS) beyond the residual effect of the last training bout in older women (54–78 years). Therefore, a group of nonobese, healthy older women underwent 6 months of AT (n = 8) or RT (n = 10), and the authors measured IS 4 days after the last training bouts using the hyperinsulinemic-euglycemic clamp technique. Women trained 3 days/week. AT consisted of 25- to 60-min sessions of walking/jogging at 60–95% of maximal heart rate. RT consisted of three sets of nine exercises repeated 10 times at 80% of 1 repetition maximum. AT decreased fat mass, whereas both AT and RT increased fat-free mass. Neither training program, however, improved absolute or relative rates of glucose disposal. The authors therefore concluded that nonobese, healthy older women should perform AT or RT on a daily basis in order to improve IS and maintain the improvement.
Eric D.B. Goulet, Mylène Aubertin-Leheudre, Gérard E. Plante, and Isabelle J. Dionne
The authors determined, through a meta-analytic approach, whether glycerol-induced hyperhydration (GIH) enhances fluid retention and increases endurance performance (EP) significantly more than water-induced hyperhydration (WIH). Collectively, studies administered 23.9 ± 2.7 mL of fuid/kg body weight (BW) with 1.1 ± 0.2 g glycerol/kg BW, and hyperhydration was measured 136 ± 15 min after its onset. Compared with WIH, GIH increased fluid retention by 7.7 ± 2.8 mL/kg BW (P < 0.01; pooled effect size [PES]: 1.64 ± 0.80, P < 0.01, N = 14). The use of GIH was associated with an improvement in EP of 2.62% ± 1.60% (P = 0.047; PES: 0.35 ± 0.13, P = 0.014, N = 4). Unarguably, GIH significantly enhances fluid retention better than WIH. Because of the dearth of data, the effect of GIH on EP must be further investigated before more definitive conclusions can be drawn as to its ergogenic property.
Serge Beliaeff, Danielle R. Bouchard, Christophe Hautier, Martin Brochu, and Isabelle J. Dionne
This cross-sectional study examined the relationship between arm and leg muscle mass and isometric muscle strength in 465 well-functioning women and 439 well-functioning men from the NuAge cohort, age 67–84 years. Leg and arm muscle mass and body fat were measured by dual-X-ray absorptiometry. Maximum voluntary isometric strength of knee extensors and elbow flexors was measured using the belt-resisted method and a handheld dynamometer, respectively. The regression model including leg muscle mass, physical activity level, age, height, and body fat explained 14% of the variance in quadriceps strength in men and 11% in women (p < .001), whereas the model including arm muscle mass and the same covariates elucidated 40% and 28%, respectively, of the variance in biceps strength (p < .001). These results suggest that muscle mass does not play a crucial role in the variations of isometric muscle strength in well-functioning elderly.
Mathieu L. Maltais, Karine Perreault, Alexandre Courchesne-Loyer, Jean-Christophe Lagacé, Razieh Barsalani, and Isabelle J. Dionne
The decrease in resting energy expenditure (REE) and fat oxidation with aging is associated with an increase in fat mass (FM), and both could be prevented by exercise such as resistance training. Dairy consumption has also been shown to promote FM loss in different subpopulations and to be positively associated with fat oxidation. Therefore, we sought to determine whether resistance exercise combined with dairy supplementation could have an additive impact on FM and energy metabolism, especially in individuals with a deficit in muscle mass. Twenty-six older overweight sarcopenic men (65 ± 5 years old) were recruited for the study. They participated in 4 months of resistance exercise and were randomized into three groups for postexercise shakes (control, dairy, and nondairy isocaloric and isoprotein supplement with 375 ml and ~280 calories per shake). Body composition was measured by dual X-ray absorptiometry and REE by indirect calorimetry. Fasting glucose, insulin, leptin, inflammatory profile, and blood lipid profile were also measured. Significant decreases were observed with FM only in the dairy supplement group; no changes were observed for any other variables. To conclude, FM may decrease without changes in metabolic parameters during resistance training and dairy supplementation with no caloric restriction without having any impact on metabolic properties. More studies are warranted to explain this significant decrease in FM.
Hugo Parent-Roberge, Thomas A. Deshayes, Catherine Fortier, Karine Marquis, Christiane Lacharité-Lemieux, Chantale Rodrigue, Isabelle J. Dionne, Mohsen Agharazii, Mélanie Godin, and Eléonor Riesco
Intradialytic exercise is feasible and yields substantial clinical benefits in middle-aged patients. However, evidence is scarce in older hemodialysis patients. Objective: To assess the feasibility and clinical benefits of supervised, intradialytic exercise in older patients. Methods: Multicenter one-arm feasibility study. The main outcome was feasibility (ease of recruitment, dropout rate, adherence, affective valence, and adverse events). The secondary outcomes were physical capacity (five-repetition sit-to-stand, 60-s sit-to-stand tests, and grip strength), quality of life (36-Item Short-Form Health Survey), quality of sleep (Pittsburgh Sleep Quality Index), depressive symptoms (Beck Depression Inventory), and dialysis efficacy (Kt/V and urea reduction ratio). Results: About 79% of the screened patients agreed to participate (n = 25, 73 [66–77] years). The dropout rate was high (32%), but adherence remained high among the participants who completed the study (94%). Improvements were found in the five-repetition sit-to-stand (p < .001), 60-s sit-to-stand tests (p = .028), 36-Item Short-Form Health Survey mental component score (p = .008), depressive symptoms (p = .006), and quality of sleep (p = .035). Conclusion: Supervised intradialytic exercise seems safe and beneficial in older patients.