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Katherine Elizabeth Black, Paula Skidmore and Rachel Clare Brown

Food intolerance is becoming increasingly prevalent, and increasing numbers of athletes have celiac disease. This poses challenges as dietary recommendations for exercise are largely based on gluten-containing carbohydrate-rich foods. The K4 cycle race covers 384 km around the Coromandel Peninsula, New Zealand. Lack of sleep, darkness, and temperature variations pose a number of nutritional challenges. Limited food choices present those with celiac disease with even greater challenges. This case study describes the intakes of one such athlete during training and competing in the K4. Nutritional intakes were obtained during training using weighed-food records and during the race via dietary recall and the weighing of foods pre- and postrace. As simple substitution of gluten-containing foods for gluten-free foods leads to increased energy intake, alternatives need to be considered. During the race, insufficient energy was consumed to meet the nutritional guidelines for endurance performance. This was probably due to the nature of the course, racing conditions, the consistency of gluten-free food, and, toward the end of the race, sensory-specific satiety.

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Katherine Elizabeth Black, Jody Huxford, Tracy Perry and Rachel Clare Brown

Blood sodium concentration of tetraplegics during exercise has not been investigated. This study aimed to measure blood sodium changes in relation to fluid intakes and thermal comfort in tetraplegics during wheelchair rugby training. Twelve international male wheelchair rugby players volunteered, and measures were taken during 2 training sessions. Body mass, blood sodium concentration, and subjective thermal comfort using a 10-point scale were recorded before and after both training sessions. Fluid intake and the distance covered were measured during both sessions. The mean (SD) percentage changes in body mass during the morning and afternoon training sessions were +0.4%1 (0.65%) and +0.69% (1.24%), respectively. There was a tendency for fluid intake rate to be correlated with the percentage change in blood sodium concentration (p = .072, r 2 = .642) during the morning training session; this correlation reached significance during the afternoon session (p = .004, r 2 = .717). Fluid intake was significantly correlated to change in thermal comfort in the morning session (p = .018, r 2 = .533), with this correlation showing a tendency in the afternoon session (p = .066, r 2 = .151). This is the first study to investigate blood sodium concentrations in a group of tetraplegics. Over the day, blood sodium concentrations significantly declined; 2 players recorded blood sodium concentrations of 135 mmol/L, and 5 recorded blood sodium concentrations of 136 mmol/L. Excessive fluid intake as a means of attenuating thermal discomfort seems to be the primary cause of low blood sodium concentrations in tetraplegic athletes. Findings from this study could aid in the design of fluid-intake strategies for tetraplegics.