Dr Andrew Hulton
Andrew Hulton is a Teaching Fellow in Sport and Exercise Science, he joined the university in 2016. Previous to joining the university of Surrey he received his Master's degree in Sport Physiology in 2004 from Liverpool John Moores University, before going on to complete a PhD focusing on pre-exercise nutritional strategies for intermittent exercise. Prior to Andrew's role in teaching and research at higher education, he was a Sports Science Officer at his previous university working on various applied projects within the world of sport physiology and nutrition. Further to Andrew academic work he has also continued to work as an applied practitioner, he has worked as a nutritional consultant at Premiership and Championships football clubs, and as a Physical Performance Coach at the English Football Association, working primarily with the women's U19 and U20 squads, where he has been a part of the support staff during three European Championships and a World Cup.
Andrew's research interests are linked to training and nutritional strategies to enhance adaptations to inform practise and improve performance. Initial research themes focused on nutritional feeding specific to intermittent exercise, with this research aiming to maintain an ecological approach that can be applied to real sporting settings. Current research projects include the role of utility movements and changes of direction on training adaptation, the effects of ischemic preconditioning on short- and long-term recovery responses and skeletal muscle adaptations to resistance training, and the use of caffeine as an ergogenic aid.
Prof Don MacLaren, LJMU. Prof Barry Drust, University of Birmingham. Dr James Malone, Liverpool Hope University, Dr Marco Beato, University of Suffolk, Dr Kaio Vitzel, Massey Institute of Food Science and Technology
Together with colleagues from the School of Biosciences and Medicine, Andrew will teach on the BSc Sport and Exercise Science programme.
Andrew leads four modules on the Sports and Exercise Science programme- 1. Human Nutrition for Sport and Exercise 2. Performance Training and Assessment 3. Performance Analysis 4. Sports Nutrition. In addition to these he teaches on a variety of modules across programmes within the department.
Soccer is a high intensity intermittent sport, featuring critical events completed at high/maximal intensity which is superimposed onto an aerobic base of lower intensity activities and rest. Due to these varying energic demands and the duration of competition the need for optimal nutritional strategies to offset and delay fatigue are paramount. Over the last 50 years, several investigations have been reported on aspects of soccer be they nutrition-focused or those concerning the demands of the sport. Emanating from these scientific papers, observations have been made on the likely factors which result in the fatigue during match-play. Factors such as muscle glycogen depletion and hypoglycaemia are discussed. Studies on the energy demands of soccer have employed a variety of methodologies which are briefly reviewed and vary between the use of heart rate telemetry to the use of global positioning systems (GPS). Moving on from observations of the energy demands of the sport leads to the major focus of this review which highlights key nutritional strategies to support the preparation and recovery of male soccer players to enhance performance, or at least to enable players to perform adequately. This review examines relevant methodologies in assessing training and competitive energy costs as well as the concomitant energy intakes demanded for successful performance outcomes. In order to bring an applied aspect to the overall findings from areas discussed, some practical ideas of feeding strategies are presented.
Multiday ultra-endurance races present athletes with a significant number of physiological and psychological challenges. We examined emotions, the perceived functionality (optimal-dysfunctional) of emotions, strategies to regulate emotions, sleep quality, and energy intakeexpenditure in a four-man team participating in the Race Across AMerica (RAAM); a 4856km continuous cycle race. Cyclists reported experiencing an optimal emotional state for less than 50% of total competition, with emotional states differing significantly between each cyclist over time. Coupled with this emotional disturbance, each cyclist experienced progressively worsening sleep deprivation and daily negative energy balances throughout the RAAM. Cyclists managed less than one hour of continuous sleep per sleep episode, high sleep latency and high percentage moving time. Of note, actual sleep and sleep efficiency were better maintained during longer rest periods, highlighting the importance of a race strategy that seeks to optimise the balance between average cycling velocity and sleep time. Our data suggests that future RAAM cyclists and crew should: 1) identify beliefs on the perceived functionality of emotions in relation to best (functional-optimal) and worst (dysfunctional) performance as the starting point to intervention work; 2) create a plan for support sufficient sleep and recovery; 3) create nutritional strategies that maintain energy intake and thus reduce energy deficits; and 4) prepare for the deleterious effects of sleep deprivation so that they are able to appropriately respond to unexpected stressors and foster functional working interpersonal relationships. Â© Journal of Sports Science and Medicine (2013).
PURPOSEVariations in substrate metabolism have been identified in women during continuous steady-state aerobic exercise performed at the same relative intensity throughout discrete phases of the menstrual cycle, although some evidence exists that this is abolished when carbohydrate is ingested. This investigation examined the effects of a supraphysiologic exogenous glucose infusion protocol, administered during two phases of the menstrual cycle (follicular and luteal) in eumenorrheic women to identify differences between metabolic, hormonal and substrate oxidative responses. METHODSDuring the experimental conditions, blood glucose was infused intravenously at rates to "clamp" blood glucose at 10 mM in seven healthy females (age 20 ± 1 y, mass 55.0 ± 4.1 kg, [Formula: see text] 40.0 ± 1.8 ml/kg/min). Following 30 min of seated rest, participants exercised on a cycle ergometer for 90 min at 60% [Formula: see text]. During the rest period and throughout exercise, blood metabolites and hormones were collected at regular intervals, in addition to expired air for the measurement of substrate oxidation. RESULTSSignificant differences between ovarian hormones and menstrual phase were identified, with estrogen significantly higher during the luteal phase compared to the follicular phase (213.28 ± 30.70 pmol/l vs 103.86 ± 13.85 pmol/l; p = 0.016), and for progesterone (14.23 ± 4.88 vs 2.11 ± 0.36 nmol/l; p = 0.042). However, no further significance was identified in any of the hormonal, metabolite or substrate utilisation patterns between phases. CONCLUSIONThese data demonstrate that the infusion of a supraphysiological glucose dose curtails any likely metabolic influence employed by the fluctuation of ovarian hormones in eumenorrheic women during moderate exercise.
Carbohydrates (CHO) are one of the fundamental energy sources during prolonged steady state and intermittent exercise. The consumption of exogenous CHO during exercise is common place, with the aim to enhance sporting performance. Despite the popularity around exogenous CHO use, the process by which CHO is regulated from intake to its use in the working muscle is still not fully appreciated. Recent studies utilizing the hyperglycaemic glucose clamp technique have shed light on some of the potential barriers to CHO utilisation during exercise. The present review addresses the role of exogenous CHO utilisation during exercise, with a focus on potential mechanisms involved, from glucose uptake to glucose delivery and oxidation at the different stages of regulation. Narrative review. A number of potential barriers were identified, including gastric emptying, intestinal absorption, blood flow (splanchnic and muscle), muscle uptake and oxidation. The relocation of glucose transporters plays a key role in the regulation of CHO, particularly in epithelial cells and subsequent transport into the blood. Limitations are also apparent when CHO is infused, particularly with regards to blood flow and uptake within the muscle. We highlight a number of potential barriers involved with the regulation of both ingested and infused CHO during exercise. Future work on the influence of longitudinal training within the regulation processes (such as the gut) is warranted to further understand the optimal type, dose and method of CHO delivery to enhance sporting performance.
To understand if students have met desired learning outcomes, assessments are imposed to identify whether learning has occurred. Presentation assessments are popular within higher education, but traditional software tools may be too static for the new generation of students, whereas new programmes are able to make more captivating and engaging presentations. Therefore, the aim of this project was to compare students’ preferences between traditional and novel software during assessments. Anonymous questionnaires were completed to record student preferences, followed by more rigorous qualitative analysis via a focus group to facilitative further discussions. It was found that the novel software has the potential to be engaging and provide an alternative assessment tool that can be used in isolation or within traditional programmes.
Purpose The effect of hyperglycaemia with and without additional insulin was explored at a low and high intensity of exercise (40% vs 70% VO2peak) on glucose utilization (GUR), carbohydrate oxidation, non-oxidative glucose disposal (NOGD), and muscle glycogen. Methods Eight healthy trained males were exercised for 120 min in four trials, twice at 40% VO2peak and twice at 70% VO2peak, while glucose was infused intravenously (40%G; 70%G) at rates to “clamp” blood glucose at 10 mM. On one occasion at each exercise intensity, insulin was also infused at 40 mU/m2/per min (i.e. 40%GI and 70%GI). The glucose and insulin infusion began 30 min prior to exercise and throughout exercise. A muscle biopsy was taken at the end of exercise for glycogen analysis. Results Hyperglycaemia significantly elevated plasma insulin concentration (p
Pre-exercise meals or single foods containing low glycaemic index (LGI) carbohydrates (CHO) have been shown to enhance performance prior to prolonged steady state exercise compared to high glycaemic index (HGI) CHO. This study investigated the impact of HGI and LGI pre-exercise meals on intermittent high intensity exercise. Nine male recreational football players performed a football specific protocol followed by a 1 km time trial 3.5 h after ingesting 1 of 2 isoenergetic test meals (HGI: 870.3 kcal, LGI: 889.5 kcal), which were either HGI (GI: 80) or LGI (GI: 44). Blood glucose, fatty acids (FA), glycerol, β-hydroxybutyrate, lactate and insulin were assessed before, during, and after the exercise bout, whilst rates of CHO and fat oxidation were determined at 4 time points during the protocol. No significant differences were found for the 1 km time trial (LGI: 210.2 ± 19.1 s: HGI: 215.8 ± 22.6 s) (mean ± SD), nor for any of the other variables measured (P > 0.05) apart from a significant condition effect with FA and significant interaction effects observed for glucose, β-hydroxybutyrate and lactate (P < 0.05). These findings suggest that the type of CHO ingested in a pre-match meal has no significant impact on performance or metabolic responses during 90 min of intermittent high intensity exercise.
The effect of hyperglycaemia on exercise with low and elevated muscle glycogen on glucose utilization (GUR), carbohydrate and fat oxidation, hormonal and metabolite responses, as well as rating of perceived exertion (RPE) were explored. Five healthy trained males were exercised for 90 min at 70% V̇O in two trials, while glucose was infused intravenously at rates to "clamp" blood glucose at 12 mM. On one occasion, participants were 'loaded' with carbohydrate (CHO-L), whilst on a separate occasion, participants were glycogen depleted (CHO-D). Prior exercise and dietary manipulations produced the 'loaded' and 'depleted' states. The CHO-L and CHO-D conditions resulted in muscle glycogen concentrations of 377 and 159 mmol/g dw, respectively. Hyperglycaemia elevated plasma insulin concentrations with higher levels for CHO-L than for CHO-D (P
The popularity and professionalism of female soccer has increased markedly in recent years, with elite players now employed on either a professional or semiprofessional basis. The previous review of the physiological demands of female soccer was undertaken two decades ago when the sport was in its relative infancy. Increased research coupled with greater training and competition demands warrants an updated review to consider the effect on physical performance and injury patterns. The physical demands of match-play along with the influence of factors such as the standard of competition, playing position and fatigue have been explored. Total distance covered for elite female players is approximately 10 km, with 1.7 km completed at high-speed (>18 km·h-1). Elite players complete 28 % more high-speed running and 24 % more sprinting than moderate-level players. Decrements in highspeed running distance have been reported between and within halves, which may indicate an inability to maintain high-intensity activity. Although the physical capacity of female players is the most thoroughly researched area, comparisons are difficult due to differing protocols. Elite players exhibit maximal oxygen uptake (VO2max) values of 49.4–57.6 mL·kg-1·min-1, Yo Yo Intermittent Endurance test level 2 (YYIE2) scores of 1,774 ± 532 m [mean ± standard deviation (SD)] and 20 m sprint times of 3.17 ± 0.03 s (mean ± SD). Reasons for the increased prevalence of anterior cruciate ligament injuries in females (2–6 times greater than males) are discussed, with anatomical, biomechanical loading and neuromuscular activation differences being cited in the literature. This review presents an in-depth contemporary examination of the applied physiology of the female soccer player.
The methylome and transcriptome signatures following exercise that are physiologically and metabolically relevant to sporting contexts such as team sports or health prescription scenarios (e.g., high intensity interval training/HIIT) has not been investigated. To explore this, we performed two different sport/exercise relevant high-intensity running protocols in five male sport team members using a repeated measures design of: (1) change of direction (COD) versus; (2) straight line (ST) running exercise with a wash-out period of at least 2 weeks between trials. Skeletal muscle biopsies collected from the vastus lateralis 30 min and 24 h post exercise, were assayed using 850K methylation arrays and a comparative analysis with recent (subject-unmatched) sprint and acute aerobic exercise meta-analysis transcriptomes was performed. Despite COD and ST exercise being matched for classically defined intensity measures (speed × distance and number of accelerations/decelerations), COD exercise elicited greater movement (GPS-Playerload), physiological (HR), metabolic (lactate) as well as central and peripheral (differential RPE) exertion measures compared with ST exercise, suggesting COD exercise evoked a higher exercise intensity. The exercise response alone across both conditions evoked extensive alterations in the methylome 30 min and 24 h post exercise, particularly in MAPK, AMPK and axon guidance pathways. COD evoked a considerably greater hypomethylated signature across the genome compared with ST exercise, particularly at 30 min post exercise, enriched in: Protein binding, MAPK, AMPK, insulin, and axon guidance pathways. Comparative methylome analysis with sprint running transcriptomes identified considerable overlap, with 49% of genes that were altered at the expression level also differentially methylated after COD exercise. After differential methylated region analysis, we observed that VEGFA and its downstream nuclear transcription factor, NR4A1 had enriched hypomethylation within their promoter regions. VEGFA and NR4A1 were also significantly upregulated in the sprint transcriptome and meta-analysis of exercise transcriptomes. We also confirmed increased gene expression of VEGFA , and considerably larger increases in the expression of canonical metabolic genes PPARGC1A (that encodes PGC1- α) and NR4A3 in COD vs. ST exercise. Overall, we demonstrate that increased physiological/metabolic load via COD exercise in human skeletal muscle evokes considerable epigenetic modifications that are associated with changes in expression of genes responsible for adaptation to exercise.
The ergogenic effect of caffeine is well established, although no investigations providing a high carbohydrate feeding strategy (pre-exercise meal=2 g/kg BM) co-ingested with caffeine exist for soccer. This investigation examines the effect of caffeine in addition to a pre-exercise carbohydrate meal and drink mid-way through a soccer simulation. Eight recreational soccer players completed an 85-minute soccer simulation followed by an exercise capacity test (Yo-yo Intermittent Endurance test level 2) on two occasions. Prior to exercise participants consumed a high carbohydrate meal, with placebo or 5 mg/kg BM-1 caffeine. No significant performance effect was identified (p=0.099) despite a 12.8% (109 m) improvement in exercise capacity following caffeine. Rates of carbohydrate and fat oxidation did not differ between conditions and nor were differences apparent for plasma glucose, fatty acids, glycerol, β-hydroxybutyrate (p>0.05). However, an increase in lactate was observed for caffeine (p=0.039). A significant condition effect on rating of perceived exertion was identified (p
As the interest and popularity of female soccer has increased over the last few decades, there still lacks research conducted with the elite population, specifically ecological training interventions during the competitive season. Therefore, the aim of this study was to compare the effectiveness of 12 weeks (undertaken once a week) of plyometric (PLY) training on physical performance in professional female soccer players during the season. Using a randomized controlled trial design, 16 players were included in the current study (mean ± SD; age 23 ± 4 years, weight 60.3 ± 4.9 kg, height 167 ± 3.7 cm) and randomized in PLY (n = 8) and Control groups (CON, n = 8), respectively. Squat jump (SJ), counter movement jump (CMJ), long jump (LJ), single-leg triple jump distance test (triple jump test), changes of direction 505 test (505-COD), and sprint 10 and 30 m were performed before and after 12 weeks of PLY training. Significant within-group differences were found in triple jump test dominant (p = 0.031, effect size [ES] = moderate) and nondominant limb (p = 0.021, ES = moderate) and sprint 10 m (p = 0.05, ES = large), whereas the CON did not report any positive variation. However, neither group reported significant variation in SJ, CMJ, LJ, 505-COD, and sprint 30 m (underlining the difficulties in obtain meaningful variation in season). These findings have strong practical applications because this study showed for the first time that a single session a week of plyometric training can significantly increase sport-specific fitness parameters in professional female soccer players during the season.
Purpose: The purpose of the present study was to investigate the age-related carbohydrate oxidation and glucose utilisation rate response during exercise at the same relative intensity under hyperglycaemia in aged and young males. Methods: 16 endurance-trained aged (n = 8; 69.1 ± 5.2 year) and young (n = 8; 22.4 ± 2.9 year) males were studied during 40 min of cycling exercise (60% VO2max)under both hyperglycaemic and euglycaemic (control) conditions. Venous blood samples were collected at baseline, post-infusion, mid- and post-exercise. Carbohydrate and fat oxidation rates were determined at both 15 and 35 min during exercise, and glucose utilisation rates were calculated. Results: The aged group displayed significantly lower rates of carbohydrate oxidation during 42 exercise during maintained hyperglycemia (15 mins = 2.3 ± 0.4 vs. 1.6 ± 0.5 g.min-1; 35 mins 43 = 2.3 ± 0.5 vs. 1.5 ± 0.5 g.min-1) and control (15 mins = 2.2 ± 0.4 vs. 1.6 ± 0.7 g.min-1; 35 mins 44 = 1.9 ± 0.7 vs. 1.3 ± 0.7 g.min-1) conditions (P = 0.01). The rate of glucose utilisation during 45 exercise was also significantly reduced (85.76 ± 23.95 vs 56.67 ± 15.09 uM.kg-1.min-1). There 46 were no differences between age groups for anthropometric measures, fat oxidation, insulin, 47 glucose, NEFA, glycerol and lactate (P > 0.05), although hyperglycemia resulted in elevated 48 glucose and insulin, and attenuated fat metabolite levels. Conclusion: Our findings highlight that ageing results in a reduction in carbohydrate oxidation and utilisation rates during exercise at the same relative exercise intensity.
The aim of this investigation was to describe differences in training loads between position groups within professional American football. Integrated micro technology data were collected on 63 NFL football players during an American football training camp. Five key metrics (total distance, high-speed distance, player load (PL), PL per minute, and total inertial movement analysis [IMA]) served to quantify both running and nonrunning activities. Players were classified into position groups (defensive back [DB], defensive linemen [DL], linebacker, offensive linemen [OL], quarterback, running back, tight end, and wide receiver [WR]). Training sessions were identified by their relationship to the upcoming match (e.g., -4, -3, and -2). Running and nonrunning activities varied between position groups relative to the training day. Differences in total distance between DB and WR were observed to be unclear across the 3 training days (game day [GD] -4: 74 ± 392 m; GD -3: 2122 ± 348 m; and GD -2: 2222 ± 371 m). However, moderate to large differences were observed between these 2 positions and the other positional groups. A similar relationship was observed in PL and PL per minute, with the DB and WR groups performing greater amounts of load compared with other positional groups. Differences in high-speed distance varied across positional groups, indicating different outputs based on ergonomic demands. The OL and DL groups ran less but engaged in a higher amount of nonrunning activities (total IMA) with differences ranging from moderate to large across the 3 training days. Total IMA differences between offensive and defensive linemen were unclear on GD -4 (24 ± 9) and GD -2 (22 ± 8) and likely moderate on GD -3 (29 ± 9). Positional differences with regard to running and non-running activities highlight the existence of position-specific training within a training microcycle. In addition, total IMA provides a useful metric for quantifying sport-specific movements within the game of American football. Â© 2017 National Strength and Conditioning Association.
Pre-exercise meals containing carbohydrates (CHO) are recommended to athletes, although there is evidence to suggest that a high fat meal prior to exercise increases utilisation of fats yet may not adversely affect performance. This study investigated the effect of a high fat and high CHO pre-exercise meal prior to high intensity intermittent exercise. Ten male recreational soccer players performed a soccer specific protocol followed by a 1km time trial 3 h after ingesting one of 2 test meals, high fat meal (HFM) or a high CHO meal (HCM). Blood glucose, fatty acids (FA), glycerol, β-hydroxybutyrate, lactate and insulin were assessed prior to the meal, pre-exercise, half-time, and post-exercise, whilst rates of CHO and fat oxidation were determined at 4 time points during the exercise as well as heart rate (HR) and rating of perceived exertion (RPE). Significant increases in FA, glycerol, Î²-hydroxybutyrate and fat oxidation after the HFM were observed, while CHO oxidation was significantly higher following the HCM (P
The present study evaluated the effectiveness of participation in recreational football during a community health programme, on physiological markers of health within a hard to reach population. Nine men (Age: 33 ± 9 years, Mass: 75.4 ± 13.7 kg, Height: 1.74 ± 0.07 m and Body Fat: 19 ± 2%) were recruited to participate in the study in collaboration with an English Premier League Football Club. Participants completed the 12-week football-based programme which included two coached football sessions each week. Physiological tests for blood pressure, resting heart rate, cholesterol and an anthropometrical test for body composition were completed at three time points during the study (Weeks – 1, 6 and 12) in an attempt to evaluate the impact of the intervention on health. During each training session, measurements of intensity (%HRmax, identified from the yoyo intermittent level 1 test), duration and rating of perceived exertion were made. The 12-week programme (mean HRmax throughout programme = 75 ± 4% beats min−1; mean RPE throughout programme = 6 ± 1) elicited few changes in physiological markers of health with the only significant change been a decrease in resting heart rate from weeks 6 to 12 (87 ± 22 beats min−1 at week-6, to 72 ± 17 beats min−1; p < 0.05). These data would suggest that the current community football-related health project was not effective in improving physiological markers of health, but was able to maintain their level of health. A lack of improvement may be due to the low intensity of sessions and a lack of coach education for the promotion of sessions that aim to improve health.
Caffeine supplementation has shown to be an effective ergogenic aid enhancing athletic performance, although limited research within female populations exists. Therefore, the aim of the investigation was to assess the effect of pre-exercise caffeine supplementation on strength performance and muscular endurance in strength-trained females. In a double-blind, randomised, counterbalanced design, fourteen strength-trained females using hormonal contraception consumed either 3 or 6 mg·kg−1 BM of caffeine or placebo (PLA). Following supplementation, participants performed a one-repetition maximum (1RM) leg press and repetitions to failure (RF) at 60% of their 1RM. During the RF test, rating of perceived exertion (RPE) was recorded every five repetitions and total volume (TV) lifted was calculated. Repeated measures ANOVA revealed that RF (p = 0.010) and TV (p = 0.012) attained significance, with pairwise comparisons indicating a significant difference between 3 mg·kg−1 BM and placebo for RF (p = 0.014), with an effect size of 0.56, and for 6 mg·kg−1 BM (p = 0.036) compared to the placebo, with an effect size of 0.65. No further significance was observed for 1RM or for RPE, and no difference was observed between caffeine trials. Although no impact on lower body muscular strength was observed, doses of 3 and 6 mg·kg−1 BM of caffeine improved lower body muscular endurance in resistance-trained females, which may have a practical application for enhancing resistance training stimuli and improving competitive performance.
Training practices for elite soccer players should take into account specific technical, tactical and physical components. As a consequence of these demands small-sided games (SSGs) have become a popular conditioning tool that replicate the demands encountered during match play. The aim of this investigation was to examine how the manipulation of exercise to rest ratio, within the same overall duration, affected both physical and technical outcomes during SSGs in elite youth soccer. Twelve elite youth soccer players participated in three variations of eight minute 6v6 SSGs. The three variations included eight minutes continuous, 2 x 4 min and 4 x 2 min. Players perceived the continuous 8 min block as the hardest (4.5 ± 1.5 AU), followed by the 2 x 4 min (3.9 ± 1.4 AU) and the 4 x 2 min (3.3 ± 1.4 AU), although no difference in mean HR or physical measures via GPS analysis between SSGs was evident. From the technical perspective, only goals scored reached significance, with post hoc analysis identifying the number of goals scored were significantly higher during the 4 x 2 min and 2 x 4 min SSGs compared to 8 min continuous block. These results show that subjective ratings of exertion differed between conditions, but only minor technical manipulations were observed by adjusting work to rest ratios, with no significant effect on physical performance.
Match analysis technology has been extensively used in football, but there is limited literature on its use in futsal. Despite its increased popularity, the female futsal game model has never been quantified. The aim of this study was to quantify locomotor and mechanical activities performed during a non-competitive female futsal match, measuring the differences between the first and second half. Sixteen female futsal players of the Italian 2nd division were enrolled (age 27±5 years, height 1.65±0.09 m, body weight 56.9±7.7 kg, BMI 20.9±1.9, fat mass 21.5±2.9%). Locomotor and mechanical activities were recorded by means of the 10 Hz GPS StatSports system. Games were performed on a 38x18 m synthetic grass outdoor pitch. Significant differences were found between the first and second half in total distance (142±114 and 1313±113 m, p
Energy Expenditure was measured with doubly labelled water technique during heavy sustained exercise with an official finishing team in the Race Across America. Energy Intake was also calculated to produce an energy balance for the race. A team of 4 cyclists (Mean ±SD age: 37+4 yr; body height: 182+8cm; body mass: 80.8+6.6kg) completed the race in a relay fashion. The team completed the race in 6 days 10h and 51min. Total mean energy expenditure was found to be 43401kcals (181711kJ) with a mean daily energy expenditure of 6420kcals (26879 kJ). Total mean energy intake from all food and drink consumed was calculated at 29506kcals (123536kJ) with a mean daily energy intake of 4918kcals (20591kJ). This resulted in a total mean energy deficit of 13878kcals (58104kJ) with a mean daily energy deficit of 1503kcals (6293kJ). The high energy expenditure highlights the need for correct and practical dietary strategies and challenges nutritionists to devise high energy diets that not only contain the correct macronutrient balance, but are also palatable to the cyclists, thus encouraging a high energy intake. Â© Georg Thieme Verlag KG Stuttgart.
Prolonged strenuous exercise is associated with the appearance of biomarkers of cardiac cell damage and a decline in cardiac function during recovery. Few studies have assessed repeated bouts of prolonged exercise and whether this results in further biomarker accumulation and greater dysfunction. Further, it may be useful to describe the changes in a range of biomarkers that may provide additional insight into the clinical significance of cardiac biomarker release. Four highly trained cyclists completed the 4800 km Race Across America (RAAM) in 7 days. Venous blood samples and echocardiograms were taken prior to, every 24 hours during and immediately after the RAAM. Venous blood was analysed for cardiac troponin I (cTnI), creatine kinase MB (CK-MB), fatty acid binding protein (HFABP), glycogen phosphorylase BB (GPBB) and N-Terminal Brain Natriuretic Peptide (NTproBNP). Echocardiograms allowed analysis of septal, left ventricular free wall and right ventricular free wall tissue velocities during systole and diastole. Before the RAAM cTnI levels were below the assay detection level (0.02 ng.ml -1). In three riders cTnI peaked on day one (0.03 ng.ml -1) and returned below detection levels post race. In the 4 th rider cTnI peaked on day 5 (0.08 ng.ml -1) and was still elevated post-race. Both CK-MB and H-FABP were increased during the RAAM in all 4 cyclists. In three riders H-FABP peaked on day one (3.49 to 5.09 ng.ml -1) and declined over the rest of the RAAM. In the final rider H-FABP peaked on day two (5.90 ng.ml -1) and then dropped back to baseline by the post-RAAM assessment. Interestingly, changes in H-FABP mirrored, temporally, changes in CK-MB in places and this may reflect an association with skeletal muscle damage. Data for GPBB value to (2.9 - 149.6 ng.ml -1) and NTproBNP value to (27.3 - 310.0 ng.L -1) were variable but again was elevated in all riders during the course of the RAAM. Changes in ventricular wall tissue velocities were minor and not cumulative. Peak atrial diastolic tissue velocity in the left ventricular free wall increased (P < 0.05) from 11 to 18 cm.s -1 over the last two race days but this did not significantly impact the ratio of early to late diastolic wall motion. Cardiac biomarkers were elevated during the completion of the RAAM in all 4 cyclist but changes were not cumulative which suggest that the hearts of the cyclists coped well with the extreme cardiac work demanded by this ultra-endurance exercise challenge.