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William M. Sherman, Julie M. Lash, John C. Simonsen and Susan A. Bloomfield

Because muscle damage from eccentric exercise has been associated with alterations in muscle glycogen metabolism, this study determined the effects of exercise on the insulin and glucose responses to an oral glucose tolerance test (OGTT). In a repeated-measures design, 11 subjects undertook either no exercise, 2 min of isokinetic leg exercise, or 50 min of level or downhill running. No exercise was performed and diet was controlled during the 48 hrs after the treatments and before the OGTT. Ratings of muscle soreness and CK activity were significantly elevated 48 hrs after downhill running. Level running also increased CK activity but did not induce muscle soreness. Isokinetic exercise did not affect either one. Blood glucose responses to the OGTT were similar among the treatments. In contrast, the insulin responses to the OGTT following downhill running were significantly increased. These results suggest that eccentric exercise associated with downhill running that results in delayed muscle soreness is associated with the development of a mild insulin-resistant condition.

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Randall L. Wilber and Robert J. Moffatt

Ten trained male runners performed a treadmill exercise test at 80% VO2max under two experimental conditions, carbohydrate (CHO, 7% carbohydrate) and placebo (P), to determine the effect of carbohydrate ingestion on endurance performance (treadmill run time), blood glucose concentration, respiratory exchange ratio (RER), and subjective ratings of perceived exertion (RPE). Treatment order was randomized and counterbalanced and test solutions were administered double-blind. Ingestion took place 5 min preexercise (250 ml) and at 15-min intervals during exercise (125 ml). Performance was enhanced by 29.4% (p ~ 0.05) during CHO (115 ±25 min) compared to P (92 ± 27 min). Blood glucose concentration was significantly greater during CHO (5.6 ± 0.9 mM) relative to P (5.0 ±0.7 mM). There was a significant increase in mean RER following CHO ingestion (.94±.01) compared to P (.90±.01). Average RPE was significantly less during CHO (14.5±2.3) relative to P (15.4±2.4). These data suggest that time to exhaustion of high-intensity treadmill exercise is delayed as a result of carbohydrate ingestion and that this effect is mediated by favorable alterations in blood glucose concentration and substrate utilization.

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Isaiah Trice and Emily M. Haymes

In this study a double-blind design was used to determine the effect of caffeine on time to exhaustion and on associated metabolic and circulatory measures. Eight male subjects ingested either caffeine (5 mg/kg body weight) or a placebo 1 hr prior to exercise at 85-90% of maximum workload. Subjects were encouraged to complete three 30-min intermittent cycling periods at 70 rpm with 5 min rest between each. The exercise was terminated when the subject failed to complete three 30-min periods or failed to maintain 70 rpm for at least 15 s consecutively. Serum free fatty acids, glycerol, blood glucose, lactate, perceived exertion, heart rate, and O2 cost were measured. The time to exhaustion was significantly longer during the caffeine trial than during the placebo trial. Serum free fatty acid levels were significantly different between trials. The decline in blood glucose levels was significantly less during the caffeine trial than during the placebo trial. There were no significant differences between trials for the other measures. It was concluded that caffeine increases time to exhaustion when trained subjects cycled intermittently at high levels of intensity.

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Andrew C. Morris, Ira Jacobs, Tom M. McLellan, Abbey Klugerman, Lawrence C.H. Wang and Jiri Zamecnik

The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of ginseng extract ingestion on physiological responses to intense exercise. Subjects performed a control ride (CN) on a cycle ergometer, followed by placebo (PL) and ginseng (GS) treatments. Ginseng was ingested as 8 or 16 mg/kg body weight daily for 7 days prior to trial GS. Venous blood was sampled for FFA, lactate, and glucose analyses. Due to similar findings for both dose groups, the subjects were considered as one group. Lactate, FFA, VO2, VE, and RPE increased significantly from 10 through 40 min. RER increased during the first 10 min of exercise and then remained stable, with no intertrial differences. Glucose did not vary significantly from 0 to 40 min or among treatments. RPE was significantly greater and time to exhaustion was significantly less during trial CN than PL or GS, while PL and GS trials were similar. The data indicated that with 1 week of pretreatment there is no ergogenic effect of ingesting the ginseng saponin extract.

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Roy L.P.G. Jentjens and Asker E. Jeukendrup

Vanadium compounds have been shown to have insulin-like properties in rats and non-insulin-dependent diabetic humans. The purpose of the present study was to examine whether the effects of acute and short-term administration of vanadyl sulphate (VS) on insulin sensitivity also exist in healthy active individuals. Five male and 2 female participants (age: 24.9 ± 1.5 years; height: 176.1 ± 2.9 cm; body mass: 70.1 ± 2.9 kg) underwent 3 oral glucose tolerance tests (OGTT). The first OGTT was performed to obtain a baseline index of insulin sensitivity (ISI). On the night preceding the second OGTT, participants ingested 100 mg of VS, and the acute effects of VS on ISI were examined. For the next 6 days, participants were instructed to ingest 50 mg of VS twice daily, and a final OGTT was performed on day 7 to determine the short-term effects of VS on ISI. No differences were found in fasting plasma glucose and insulin concentrations after VS administration. Furthermore, ISI after 1 day and 7 days of VS administration was not different compared with baseline ISI (4.8±0.1 vs. 4.7±0.1 vs. 4.7 ± 0.1, respectively). These results demonstrate that there are no acute and short-term effects of VS administration on insulin sensitivity in healthy humans.

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John L. Ivy, Peter T. Res, Robert C. Sprague and Matthew O. Widzer

Increasing the plasma glucose and insulin concentrations during prolonged variable intensity exercise by supplementing with carbohydrate has been found to spare muscle glycogen and increase aerobic endurance. Furthermore, the addition of protein to a carbohydrate supplement will enhance the insulin response of a carbohydrate supplement. The purpose of the present study was to compare the effects of a carbohydrate and a carbohydrate-protein supplement on aerobic endurance performance. Nine trained cyclists exercised on 3 separate occasions at intensities that varied between 45% and 75% VO2max for 3 h and then at 85% VO2max until fatigued. Supplements (200 ml) were provided every 20 min and consisted of placebo, a 7.75% carbohydrate solution, and a 7.75% carbohydrate / 1.94% protein solution. Treatments were administered using a double-blind randomized design. Carbohydrate supplementation significantly increased time to exhaustion (carbohydrate 19.7 ± 4.6 min vs. placebo 12.7 ± 3.1 min), while the addition of protein enhanced the effect of the carbohydrate supplement (carbohydrate-protein 26.9 ± 4.5 min, p < .05). Blood glucose and plasma insulin levels were elevated above placebo during carbohydrate and carbohydrate-protein supplementation, but no differences were found between the carbohydrate and carbohydrate-protein treatments. In summary, we found that the addition of protein to a carbohydrate supplement enhanced aerobic endurance performance above that which occurred with carbohydrate alone, but the reason for this improvement in performance was not evident.

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Stavros A. Kavouras, John P. Troup and Jacqueline R. Berning

To examine the effects of a 3-day high carbohydrate (H-CHO) and low carbohydrate (L-CHO) diet on 45 min of cycling exercise, 12 endurance-trained cyclists performed a 45-min cycling exercise at 82 ± 2% VO2peak following an overnight fast, after a 6-day diet and exercise control. The 7-day protocol was repeated under 2 randomly assigned dietary trials H-CHO and L-CHO. On days 1–3, subjects consumed a mixed diet for both trials and for days 4–6 consumed isocaloric diets that contained either 600 g or 100 g of carbohydrates, for the HCHO and the L-CHO trials, respectively. Muscle biopsy samples, taken from the vastus lateralis prior to the beginning of the 45-min cycling test, indicated that muscle glycogen levels were significantly higher (p < .05) for the H-CHO trial (104.5 ± 9.4 mmol/kg wet wt) when compared to the L-CHO trial (72.2 ± 5.6 mmol/kg wet wt). Heart rate, ratings of perceived exertion, oxygen uptake, and respiratory quotient during exercise were not significantly different between the 2 trials. Serum glucose during exercise for the H-CHO trial significantly increased (p < .05) from 4.5 ± 0.1 mmol · L−1 (pre) to 6.7 ± 0.6 mmol · L−1 (post), while no changes were found for the L-CHO trial. In addition, post-exercise serum glucose was significantly greater (p < .05) for the H-CHO trial when compared to the L-CHO trial (H-CHO, 6.7 ± 0.6 mmol · L−1; L-CHO, 5.2 ± 0.2 mmol · L−1). No significant changes were observed in serum free fatty acid, triglycerides, or insulin concentration in either trial. The findings suggest that L-CHO had no major effect on 45-min cycling exercise that was not observed with H-CHO when the total energy intake was adequate.

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Jean-Marc Foricher, Nathalie Boisseau, Nathalie S. Ville, Phanélie M. Berthon, Dominique Bentué-Ferrer, Arlette Gratas-Delamarche and Paul Delamarche

To examine hormonal and metabolic effects of an oral challenge in glucose (≈ 16 g), 15 prepubertal girls performed a 30-min ergocycle test at 60% of Wmax. Among them, 8 ingested an oral glucose challenge between 2 and 3 min after the beginning of the exercise whereas the other 7 girls received no fluid intake. Plasma glucose is influenced by the oral challenge, as the values obtained at the 15th and 30th min are higher than those of the control group. Plasma FFA, catecholamines, and insulin are not significantly modified by the oral challenge. Therefore, it seems that a challenge in glucose at the beginning of a prolonged exercise could avoid a fall in plasma glucose.

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Glen Davison and Michael Gleeson

The aim of the present study was to investigate the effect of vitamin C with or without carbohydrate consumed acutely in beverages before and during prolonged cycling on immunoendocrine responses. In a single blind, randomized manner six healthy, moderately trained males exercised for 2.5 h at 60% VO2max and consumed either placebo (PLA), carbohydrate (CHO, 6% w/v), vitamin C (VC, 0.15% w/v) or CHO+VC beverages before and during the bouts; trials were separated by 1 wk. CHO and CHO+VC significantly blunted the post-exercise increase in plasma concentrations of cortisol, ACTH, total leukocyte, and neutrophil counts and limited the decrease in plasma glucose concentration and bacteria-stimulated neutrophil degranulation. VC increased plasma antioxidant capacity (PAC) during exercise (P < 0.05) but had no effect on any of the immunoendocrine responses (P > 0.05). CHO+VC increased PAC compared to CHO but had no greater effects, above those observed with CHO alone, on any of the immunoendocrine responses. In conclusion, acute supplementation with a high dose of VC has little or no effect on the hormonal, interleukin-6, or immune response to prolonged exercise and combined ingestion of VC with CHO provides no additional effects compared with CHO alone.

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Louise M. Burke, Gregory R. Collier and Mark Hargreaves

The glycemic index (GI) provides a way to rank foods rich in carbohydrate (CHO) according to the glucose response following their intake. Consumption of low-GI CHO-rich foods may attenuate the insulin-mediated metabolic disturbances associated with CHO intake in the hours prior to exercise, better maintaining CHO availability. However, there is insufficient evidence that athletes who consume a low-GI CHO-rich meal prior to a prolonged event will gain clear performance benefits. The ingestion of CHO during prolonged exercise promotes CHO availability and enhances endurance and performance, and athletes usually choose CHO-rich foods and drinks of moderate to high GI to achieve this goal. Moderate- and high-GI CHO choices appear to enhance glycogen storage after exercise compared with low-GI CHO-rich foods. However, the reason for this is not clear. A number of attributes of CHO-rich foods may be of value to the athlete including the nutritional value of the food or practical issues such as palatability, portability, cost, gastric comfort, or ease of preparation.