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Stephan P. Clancy, Priscilla M. Clarkson, Michael E. DeCheke, Kazunori Nosaka, Patty S. Freedson, John J. Cunningham and Bruce Valentine

The effects of 9 weeks of daily chromium supplementation (200μg Cr as picolinate) were investigated in a double-blind design in football players during spring training. Testing was done pre-, mid-, and postsupplementation on the following criterion measures: urinary chromium excretion, girth and skinfold measures, percent body fat and lean body mass, and isometric and dynamic strength. With the exception of 2 variables (of 65 variables analyzed), no significant group by trials interactions were found (based on a repeated measures ANOVA). The two exceptions were unrelated and inconsequential. For 27 of the 38 subjects, average urinary chromium loss at pre was 0.36 μg/24 hr, whereas it was undetectable (< 0.1 μg/24 hr) for 10 subjects and excessive in 1 subject (2.4 μg/24 hr). Subjects receiving chromium supplements demonstrated urinary chromium losses five times greater than those in the placebo group at mid and post. Chromium picolinate supplementation was ineffective in bringing about changes in body composition or strength during a program of intensive weight-lifting training.

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Robert G. Lefavi, Richard A. Anderson, Robert E. Keith, G. Dennis Wilson, James L. McMillan and Michael H. Stone

As the biologically active component of glucose tolerance factor (GTF), the essential trace mineral chromium is now being marketed to athletes. GTF potentiates insulin activity and is responsible for normal insulin function. Thus, insulin's effects on carbohydrate, fat, and protein metabolism are dependent upon the maintenance of adequate chromium stores. Due to excessive chromium loss and marginal chromium intake, athletes may have an increased requirement for chromium. Therefore, in some circumstances the dietary supplementation of a chromium compound may be efficacious. The restoration and maintenance of chromium stores via supplementation would promote optimal insulin efficiency, necessary for high-level athletic performance. However, potential anabolic effects of enhanced insulin function would likely be marginal, and reports of short-term anabolic increases from the supplementation of an organic chromium compound need to be confirmed.

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Jerry A. Frentsos and Janine T. Baer

Dietary habits were evaluated in 6 elite triathletes (4 male, 2 female). Analysis of 7-day diet records showed mean daily energy and carbohydrate intake to be insufficient to support estimated requirements. Mean intakes of vitamins and most minerals exceeded the Recommended Dietary Allowances (RDAs) except zinc and chromium, which did not meet 66% of recommended amounts. Individualized nutrition intervention using the Diabetic Food Exchange System to support performance during training and competition was provided. To improve dietary intake, subjects consumed fortified nutrition supplements (Reliv, Inc.) before and after daily training. Follow-up 7-day diet records showed that average energy intake and percentage of energy from carbohydrate increased, as did intakes of zinc and chromium. Triathletes' performance in a short course triathlon was improved compared to a similar competition completed prior to the nutrition intervention. Following the intervention, triathletes were able to meet recommended daily energy, macronutrient, and micronutrient intakes and improve endurance performance.

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Deborah L. Hasten, E. Paul Rome, B. Don Franks and Maren Hegsted

Changes in body weight (BW), a sum of three body circumferences (ΣC), a sum of three skinfolds (ΣSF), and the one-repetition maximum (IRM) for the squat (SQ) and bench press (BP) were examined in 59 college-age students (37 males [MI, 22 females [F]) over a 12-week weight lifting program. Using a double-blind protocol, half of the students were given 200 μg/day chromium (Cr) in the form of chromium picolinate (CrPic) while the other half received a placebo (P). Therefore four groups were randomly formed: F-CrPic (n=12), F-P (n=10), M-CrPic (n=18), and M-P (n=19). All groups had significant increases in ΣC and significant decreases in ΣSF. No treatment effects were seen for the strength measurements, although the males experienced greater absolute increases. The only significant treatment effect found was due to the F-CrPic group gaining more BW (p=0.0048) than the other three groups. It was concluded that CrPic supplementation had a greater effect on the females than on the males.

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Priscilla M. Clarkson and Emily M. Haymes

This paper reviews information pertaining to zinc, copper, chromium, and selenium requirements of athletes. Exercise increases zinc loss from the body, and dietary intake for some athletes, especially females, may be inadequate. Blood copper levels are altered by exercise, but there is no information to suggest that copper ingestion or status is compromised in athletes. Studies have shown that urinary chromium excretion is increased by exercise, but whether this leads to an increased requirement is still unknown. There is concern that athletes may not ingest sufficient quantities of chromium; however, there are inadequate data to confirm this. The limited data that exist show that athletes do not have altered selenium status. There is no conclusive evidence that supplementation with any of these trace minerals will enhance performance. A diet containing foods rich in micronutrients is recommended. However, for those athletes concerned that their diets may not be sufficient, a multivitamin/ mineral supplement containing no more than the RDA may be advised.

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Wayne W. Campbell, Lyndon J.O. Joseph, Richard E. Ostlund Jr., Richard A. Anderson, Peter A. Farrell and William J. Evans

This study assessed the effects of resistive training (RT) with or without chromium picolinate (Cr-pic) supplementation on the 24-h urinary excretions of myo-inositol, D-chiro-inositol, and pinitol, as well as clinical indices of kidney and liver functions. Thirty-two nondiabetic subjects, age 62 ± 4 y, performed RT twice weekly for 12 wk and consumed either 924 μg Cr/d as Cr-pic (n = 17) or a placebo (n = 15). Whole-body strength increased in all subjects by 20% and urinary chromium excretion increased 47-fold in the Cr-pic group. Urinary myo-inositol, D-chiro-inositol, and pinitol were not changed with RT or influenced by Cr-pic. Serum indices of kidney and liver functions were within clinically normal ranges at baseline and the end of the study. These results suggest that RT did not influence the urinary excretions of inositols. High dose Cr-pic did not influence the urinary excretion of inositols and the selected indices of kidney and liver functions in conjunction with RT

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J. Mark Davis, Ralph S. Welsh and Nathan A. Alderson

Purpose:

This study was designed to test the hypothesis that addition of chromium (Cr) to a carbohydrate-electrolyte drink would enhance the reported benefits of carbohydrate on exercise capacity during intermittent high-intensity shuttle running.

Methods:

Eight physically active men performed 3 exercise trials while ingesting 6% carbohydrate-electrolyte (CHO), CHO plus chromium picolinate (400 μg) (CHO + Cr+3). or placebo (P) using a double-blind, counterbalanced design. Each trial consisted of 5 × 15 min bouts of shuttle running (walk, sprint, and run at 95 and 55% of estimated V̇O2max, separated by 3-min rest). This was followed by a fatigue test (running alternating 20-m lengths at 55 and 95% of estimated V̇O2, until fatigue).

Results:

During the standardized shuttle running, blood glucose was higher with both CHO and CHO + Cr+3 than P. Plasma free fatty acid was higher in P than both CHO and CHO + Cr+3 at 75 min of exercise and at fatigue. In the fatigue test, subjects ran longer with both CHO and CHO + Cr+3 than P.

Conclusions:

The data confirm an ergogenic benefit of ingesting CHO during exercise designed to imitate sports like basketball, soccer, and hockey, but do not support the hypothesis that the addition of Cr would enhance this effect.

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Wayne W. Campbell, Lyndon J.O. Joseph, Richard A. Anderson, Stephanie L. Davey, Jeremy Hinton and William J. Evans

This study assessed the effect of resistive training (RT), with or without high-dose chromium picolinate (Cr-pic) supplementation, on body composition and skeletal muscle size of older women. Seventeen sedentary women, age range 54-71 years. BMI 28.8±2.4 kg/m2. were randomly assigned (double-blind) to groups (Cr-pic. n = 9; Placebo, n = 8) that consumed either 924 μg Cr/d as Cr-pic or a low-Cr placebo (<0.2 μg Cr/d) during a 12-week RT program (2 day/ week, 3 sets · exercise−1 · d1,80% of 1 repetition maximum). Urinary chromium excretion was 60-fold higher in the Cr-pic group, compared to the Placebo group (p < .001), during the intervention. Resistive training increased maximal strength of the muscle groups trained by 8 to 34% (p < .001), and these responses were not influenced by Cr-pic supplementation. Percent body fat and fat-free mass were unchanged with RT in these weight-stable women, independent of Cr-pic supplementation. Type I and type II muscle fiber areas of the m. vastus lateralis were not changed over time and were not influenced by Cr-pic supplementation. These data demonstrate that high-dose Cr-pic supplementation did not increase maximal strength above that of resistive training alone in older women. Further, these data show that, under these experimental conditions, whole body composition and skeletal muscle size were not significantly changed due to resistive training and were not influenced by supplemental chromium picolinate.

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Priscilla M. Clarkson

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Richard B. Kreider, Robert Klesges, Karen Harmon, Pamela Grindstaff, Leigh Ramsey, Daryll Bullen, Larry Wood, Yuhua Li and Anthony Almada

This study examined the effects of ingesting nutritional supplements designed to promote lean tissue accretion on body composition alterations during resistance training. Twenty-eight resistance-trained males blindly supplemented their diets with maltodextrin (M), Gainers Fuel® 1000 (GF), or Phosphagain™ (P). No significant differences were observed in absolute or relative total body water among groups. Energy intake and body weight significantly increased in all groups combined throughout the study with no group or interaction differences observed. Dual energy x-ray absorptiometry-determined body mass significantly increased in each group throughout the study with significantly greater gains observed in the GF and P groups. Lean tissue mass (excluding bone) gain was significantly greater in the P group, while fat mass and percent body fat were significantly increased in the GF group. Results indicate that total body weight significantly increased in each group and that P supplementation resulted in significantly greater gains in lean tissue mass during resistance training.