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Joanne L. Fallowfield and Clyde Williams

The influence of increased carbohydrate intake on endurance capacity was investigated following a bout of prolonged exercise and 22.5 hrs of recovery. Sixteen male subjects were divided into two matched groups, which were then randomly assigned to either a control (C) or a carbohydrate (CHO) condition. Both groups ran at 70% VO2max on a level treadmill for 90 min or until volitional fatigue, whichever came first (T1), and 22.5 hours later they ran at the same % VO2max for as long as possible to assess endurance capacity (T2). During the recovery, the carbohydrate intake of the CHO group was increased from 5.8 (±0.5) to 8.8 (±0.1) g kg-1 BW. This was achieved by supplementing their normal diet with a 16.5% glucose-polymer solution. An isocaloric diet was prescribed for the C group, in which additional energy was provided in the form of fat and protein. Run times over T1 did not differ between the groups. However, over T2 the run time of the C group was reduced by 15.57 min (p<0.05), whereas those in the CHO group were able to match their T1 performance. Blood glucose remained stable throughout Tl and T2 in both groups. In contrast, blood lactate, plasma FFA, glycerol, ammonia, and urea increased. Thus, a high carbohydrate diet restored endurance capacity within 22.5 hrs whereas an isocaloric diet without additional carbohydrate did not.

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Andrea Fusco, Christine Knutson, Charles King, Richard P. Mikat, John P. Porcari, Cristina Cortis, and Carl Foster

muscle glycogen in the regulation of pace during prolonged exercise . Br J Sports Med . 2005 ; 39 ( 1 ): 34 – 38 . PubMed ID: 15618337 doi:10.1136/bjsm.2003.010645 15618337 10.1136/bjsm.2003.010645

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Keith C. DeRuisseau, Samuel N. Cheuvront, Emily M. Haymes, and Regina G. Sharp

The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of a 2-hour exercise bout on sweat iron and zinc concentrations and losses in males and females. Nine male and 9 female recreational cyclists exercised at ~50% V̇O2peak in a temperate environment (Ta = 23 °C, RH = 51%). Sweat samples were collected for 15 min during each of four 30-min exercise bouts. No significant differences were observed between males’ and females’ sweat iron or zinc concentrations or losses. Sweat iron concentrations decreased significantly between 60 and 90 min of exercise. Sweating rates increased significantly from 30 to 60 min and remained constant during the second hour. Sweat iron losses were significantly lower during the second hour (0.042 mg/m2/h) than the first hour of exercise (0.060 mg/m2/h). Sweat zinc concentrations also decreased significantly over the 2-hour exercise bout. Dietary intakes of iron and zinc were not significantly correlated to sweat iron and zinc concentrations. Sweat iron and zinc losses during 2 hours of exercise represented 3% and 1% of the RDA for iron and 9% and 8% of the RDA for zinc for men and women, respectively. These results suggest a possible iron conservation that prevents excessive iron loss during prolonged exercise.

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Carl J. Hulston and Asker E. Jeukendrup

The purpose of this study was to investigate the possibility of a placebo effect from carbohydrate (CHO) intake during prolonged exercise. Ten endurance-trained male cyclists performed 3 experimental trials consisting of 120 min of steady-state cycling at 61% VO2max followed by a time trial (TT) lasting approximately 60 min. During exercise participants ingested either plain water (WAT), artificially colored and flavored water (PLA), or a 6% carbohydrate-electrolyte solution (CES). PLA and CES were produced with identical color and taste. To investigate the possibility of a placebo effect from CHO intake, participants were told that both flavored solutions contained CHO and that the purpose of the study was to compare CHO drinks with water. Mean power output during TT was 218 ± 22 W in WAT, 219 ± 17 W in PLA, and 242 ± 27 W in CES. Performance times were 66.35 ± 6.15, 65.94 ± 5.56, and 59.69 ± 2.87 min for WAT, PLA, and CES, respectively. Therefore, CES ingestion enhanced TT performance by 11.3% compared with WAT (p < .05) and 10.6% compared with PLA (p < .05), with no difference between PLA and WAT. In conclusion, during a prolonged test of cycling performance, in which participants were not fully informed of the test conditions, there was no placebo effect when participants believed they had ingested CHO. In contrast, the real effect of CHO intake was a 10.6% improvement in TT cycling performance.

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Neil P. Walsh, Andrew K. Blannin, Nicolette C. Bishop, Paula J. Robson, and Michael Gleeson

Recent studies have shown that neutrophils can utilize glutamine and that glutamine supplementation can improve neutrophil function in postoperative and burn patients. The present study investigated the influence of oral glutamine supplementation on stimulated neutrophil degranulation and oxidative burst activity following prolonged exercise. Subjects, 7 well-trained men, reported to the laboratory following an overnight fast and cycled for 2 hrs at 60% VO2max on two occasions a week apart. They were randomly assigned to either a glutamine or placebo treatment. For both trials, subjects consumed a sugar-free lemon drink at 15-min intervals until 90 minutes, then a lemon flavored glutamine drink (GLN) or sugar-free lemon drink (PLA) was consumed at 15-min intervals for the remaining exercise and the 2-hr recovery period. Venous blood samples were taken pre-, during, and postexercise. Glutamine supplementation had no effect on the magnitude of postexercise leukocytosis, the plasma elastase concentration following exercise (which increased in both trials), or the plasma elastase release in response to bacterial stimulation (which fell in both trials). Neutrophil function assessed by oxidative burst activity of isolated cells did not change following exercise in either trial. These findings therefore suggest that the fall in plasma glutamine concentration does not account for the decrease in neutrophil function (degranulation response) following prolonged exercise.

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Thomas D. Fahey, James D. Larsen, George A. Brooks, William Colvin, Steven Henderson, and Darrel Lary

Five trained, fasted male cyclists rode a cycle ergometer three times at 50% of VO2,max for 180 min. Using a balanced order, double-blind procedure,subjects were given either a solution containing polylactate (PL: 80% polylactate, 20% sodium lactate, in 7% solution with water), glucose polymer (GP: multidextrin in 7% solution with water), or control (C: water sweetened with aspartame) 5 min before exercise and at 20-min intervals during exercise. Venous blood samples were taken at rest and at 20-min intervals during exercise. In general, PL and GP rendered similar results except that pH and bicarbonate (HCO3) were higher in PL. There were no differences between treatments in perceived exertion, sodium, potassium, chloride, lactate, heart rate, oxygen consumption, rectal temperature, or selected skin temperatures. These data show that polylactate may help maintain blood glucose and enhance blood buffering capacity during prolonged exercise and could be a useful component in an athletic fluid replacement beverage.

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Mahmoud S. El-Sayed, Angelheart J.M. Rattu, and Ian Roberts

The study examined the effect of carbohydrate ingestion on exercise performance capacity. Nine male cyclists performed two separate trials at 70% VO2max for 60 min followed by a maximal ride for 10 min. During trials subjects were fed either an 8% glucose solution (CHO) or a placebo solution (PL), which were administered at rest and during and immediately after submaximal exercise. Statistical analyses indicated that glucose levels at rest increased significantly 15 min after the ingestion of CHO compared to PL. At 30 and 60 min during submaximal exercise, plasma glucose levels decreased significantly in the CHO but not in the PL trial. Following the performance ride, glucose levels increased significantly only during the CHO test trial. Free fatty acids did not change significantly during testing trials. The maximal performance ride results showed that in the CHO trial, a significantly greater external work load was accomplished compared to the PL trial. It is concluded that CHO ingestion improves maximal exercise performance after prolonged exercise.

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Phillip Watson, Sophie Enever, Andrew Page, Jenna Stockwell, and Ronald J. Maughan

Eight young men were recruited to a study designed to examine the effect of tyrosine (TYR) supplementation on the capacity to perform prolonged exercise in a warm environment. Subjects entered the laboratory in the morning and remained seated for 1 hr before cycling to exhaustion at 70% VO2peak. Two 250-ml aliquots of a placebo (PLA ) or a TYR solution were ingested at 30-min intervals before exercise, with an additional 150 ml consumed every 15 min throughout exercise (total TYR dose: 150 mg/kg BM). Cognitive function was assessed before drink ingestion, at the end of the rest period, and at exhaustion. TYR ingestion had no effect on exercise capacity (PLA 61.4 ± 13.7 min, TYR 60.2 ± 15.4 min; p = .505). No differences in heart rate (p = .380), core temperature (p = .554), or weighted mean skin temperature (p = .167) were apparent between trials. Ingestion of TYR produced a marked increase in serum TYR concentrations (+236 ± 46 μmol/L; p < .001), with this difference maintained throughout exercise. No change was apparent during the PLA trial (p = .924). Exercise caused an increase in error rate during the complex component of the Stroop test (p = .034), but this response was not influenced by the drink ingested. No other component of cognitive function was altered by the protocol (all p > .05). Ingestion of a TYR solution did not influence time to exhaustion or several aspects of cognitive function when exercise was undertaken in a warm environment.

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Paula J. Robson, Patrick J.D. Bouic, and Kathryn H. Myburgh

The influence of an antioxidant vitamin supplement on immune cell response to prolonged exercise was determined using a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled, cross-over study. Twelve healthy endurance subjects (n = 6 male, n = 6 female; mean ± SD for age, 30.1 ± 6.2 yr; height, 1.76 ± 7 m; body mass, 72.2 ± 10.2 kg; VO2max, 63.7 ± 12 ml · kg–1 · min–1) participated in the study. Following a 3-week period during which subjects ingested a multivitamin and -mineral complex sufficient to meet the recommended daily allowance, they took either a placebo or an antioxidant vitamin supplement (containing 18 mg β-carotene, 900 mg vitamin C, and 90 mg vitamin E) for 7 days prior to a 2-h treadmill run at 65% VO2max. Blood samples were drawn prior to and immediately following exercise. These were analyzed for neutrophil oxidative burst activity, cortisol and glucose concentrations, and white blood cell counts, as well as serum anti-oxidant vitamin concentrations. Plasma vitamin C, vitamin E, and β-carotene concentrations significantly increased following 7-day supplementation (p < .05). In comparison to the placebo group, neutrophil oxidative burst was significantly higher following exercise (p < .05), but no differences were found in any other parameter following the 7-day supplementation period. Although the impact of exercise on neutrophil function is multifactorial, our data suggest that antioxidant supplementation may be of benefit to endurance athletes for the maintenance of this particular function of the innate immune system following the 7-day supplementation period.

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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.