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Richard D. Lewis

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Richard D. Lewis and Christopher M. Modlesky

Calcium and vitamin D can significantly impact bone mineral and fracture risk in women. Unfortunately, calcium intakes in women are low and many elderly have poor vitamin D status. Supplementation with calcium (~1000 mg) can reduce bone loss in premenopausal and late postmenopausal women, especially at sites that have a high cortical bone composition. Vitamin D supplementation slows bone loss and reduces fracture rates in late postmenopausal women. While an excess of nutrients such as sodium and protein potentially affect bone mineral through increased calcium excretion, phytoestrogens in soy foods may attenuate bone loss ihrough eslrogenlike activity. Weight-bearing physical activity may reduce the risk of osteoporosis in women by augmenting bone mineral during the early aduli years and reducing the loss of bone following menopause. High-load activities, such as resistance training, appear to provide the best stimulus for enhancing bone mineral; however, repetitive activities, such as walking, may have a positive impact on bone mineral when performed at higher intensities. Irrespective of changes in bone mineral, physical activities that improve muscular strength, endurance, and balance may reduce fracture risk by reducing the risk of falling. The combined effect of physical activity and calcium supplementation on bone mineral needs further investigation.

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Simon Higgins, Chad R. Straight and Richard D. Lewis

Endurance athletes commonly ingest caffeine as a means to enhance training intensity and competitive performance. A widely-used source of caffeine is coffee, however conflicting evidence exists regarding the efficacy of coffee in improving endurance performance. In this context, the aims of this evidence-based review were threefold: 1) to evaluate the effects of preexercise coffee on endurance performance, 2) to evaluate the effects of coffee on perceived exertion during endurance performance, and 3) to translate the research into usable information for athletes to make an informed decision regarding the intake of caffeine via coffee as a potential ergogenic aid. Searches of three major databases were performed using terms caffeine and coffee, or coffee-caffeine, and endurance, or aerobic. Included studies (n = 9) evaluated the effects of caffeinated coffee on human subjects, provided the caffeine dose administered, administered caffeine ≥ 45 min before testing, and included a measure of endurance performance (e.g., time trial). Significant improvements in endurance performance were observed in five of nine studies, which were on average 24.2% over controls for time to exhaustion trials, and 3.1% for time to completion trials. Three of six studies found that coffee reduced perceived exertion during performance measures significantly more than control conditions (p < .05). Based on the reviewed studies there is moderate evidence supporting the use of coffee as an ergogenic aid to improve performance in endurance cycling and running. Coffee providing 3–8.1 mg/kg (1.36–3.68 mg/lb) of caffeine may be used as a safe alternative to anhydrous caffeine to improve endurance performance.

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Joseph M. Kindler, Hannah L. Ross, Emma M. Laing, Christopher M. Modlesky, Norman K. Pollock, Clifton A. Baile and Richard D. Lewis

Assessment of physical activity in clinical bone studies is essential. Two bone-specific physical activity scoring methods, the Bone Loading History Questionnaire (BLHQ) and Bone-Specific Physical Activity Questionnaire (BPAQ), have shown correlations with bone density and geometry, but not architecture. The purpose of this study was to determine relationships between physical activity scoring methods and bone architecture in non-Hispanic white adolescent females (N = 24; 18-19 years of age). Bone loading scores (BLHQ [hip and spine] and past BPAQ) and energy expenditure (7-day physical activity recall) were determined from respective questionnaires. Estimates of trabecular and cortical bone architecture at the nondominant radius and tibia were assessed via magnetic resonance imaging. Total body and regional areal bone mineral density (aBMD), as well as total body fat mass and fat-free soft tissue (FFST) mass were assessed via dual energy X-ray absorptiometry. Pearson’s correlations and partial correlations adjusting for height, total body fat mass, and FFST were performed. Hip BLHQ scores were correlated with midtibia cortical volume (r = .43; p = .03). Adjusted hip and spine BLHQ scores were correlated with all midtibia cortical measures (r = .50-0.58; p < .05) and distal radius apparent trabecular number (r = .46-0.53; p < .05). BPAQ scores were correlated with all midtibia cortical (r = .41-0.51; p < .05) and most aBMD (r = .47-0.53; p < .05) measures. Energy expenditure was inversely associated with femoral neck aBMD only after statistical adjustment (r = .49, p < .05). These data show that greater load-specific physical activity scores, but not energy expenditure, are indicative of greater midtibia cortical bone quality, thus supporting the utility of these instruments in musculoskeletal research.