There has been a recent increase in the popularity of low carbohydrate diets or low carbohydrate high fat diets being adopted by athletic populations. This may lead to some adaptations that improve the endurance phenotype, such as improvements in fat oxidation, but the evidence of a performance benefit is less conclusive.
As carbohydrate should provide the largest contribution to an athletes energy intake these dietary approaches have the potential to increase the risk of a low energy availability which can adversely affect bone metabolism and has the potential to increase injury risk. Recent data (Hammond et al. 2020) suggests that low carbohydrate availability may act negatively on bone, independent of the energy availability, further research is required to explore this further.
Therefore, a team of researchers at the Department of Physical Education and Sport Sciences at UL in partnership with the Sport Ireland Institute are currently carrying out a research project which aims to determine the impact of pre exercise carbohydrate feeding on bone metabolism in the post exercise recovery period. We are recruiting endurance running athletes who meet the following criteria to take part in the study:
– Male endurance runners aged 18 – 35 years
– Consistently training > 8 hours per week
– No current injury or contradiction to physical activity
– No fracture in the past 12 months
– No known condition or use of medication known to modify bone metabolism
– No known eating disorder
Each participant will be required to attend the lab on 3 separate occasions:
Visit 1: Preliminary testing visit (2 hours)
For the assessment of VO2max, lactate thresholds and running economy. A report with valuable information such as training zones and key performance measures will be provided to help with the participants training programme.
Visit 2 & 3: Main experimental trial visits (6-7 hours each)
Participants will be required to attend the lab on two separate occasion for a single bout exercise and a different pre exercise feeding strategy will be employed on each occasion. Peripheral arm vein cannulation will be used to draw blood pre and post each session. Blood sampling will be carried out by a qualified member of the research team in designated blood sampling room.
Participation in the study is voluntary and you are under no obligation to take part. You are allowed to cease taking part in the study at any point without reason and this will be dealt with in a confidential manner. If you are considering taking part in the study or have any queries please contact Conor Raleigh (Conor.Raleigh@ul.ie).
Conor Raleigh is a PhD researcher in the Department of Physical Education and Sport Sciences, University of Limerick and a part of the Performance Physiology and Nutrition teams at the Sport Ireland Institute. Conor is studying the interaction between low carbohydrate dietary practices and bone health in elite endurance athletes.