Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Maintaining energy balance during races may protect cyclists' bones, researcher says

Date:
May 12, 2010
Source:
University of Missouri-Columbia
Summary:
The reasons for the reduced bone mass in elite cyclists are not fully understood, but one explanation is an imbalance between bone formation and bone breakdown due to the high-energy cost of stage racing. However, a new study reveals that proper nutrition during multi-day stage races might prevent harmful changes in bone turnover.

A new MU study reveals that proper nutrition during multi-day stage races might prevent harmful changes in bone turnover in cyclists.
Credit: Photo by James F. Perry

The recent start of the North American cycling season marks the beginning of a physically demanding time for elite and professional bicycle racers who participate in multi-day stage races. Previous research has found that competitive cyclists have significantly lower bone mineral density (BMD) than other endurance athletes, making them more susceptible to fractures.

The reasons for the reduced bone mass in elite cyclists are not fully understood, but one explanation is an imbalance between bone formation and bone breakdown due to the high-energy cost of stage racing. However, a new University of Missouri study reveals that proper nutrition during multi-day stage races might prevent harmful changes in bone turnover.

MU researchers found that athletes who maintained energy balance by matching their energy intake to their energy expenditure showed increased markers of bone turnover -- the process of breaking down old bone and forming new bone. Because the increase in bone formation was greater than the increase in bone breakdown, the researchers concluded that these changes were not likely to negatively affect bone mass in the long-term.

"The findings suggest that participation in stage races might not have negative effects on bone turnover if energy intake matches the energy cost of high-intensity racing over several days," said Pam Hinton, associate professor in the Department of Nutrition and Exercise Physiology. "The results are consistent with the practical recommendation that elite cyclists should match their energy intake to the high energy demands of stage racing."

In the study, Hinton examined markers of bone formation and bone breakdown in the blood of elite cyclists who participated in the Tour of Southland, a six-day, 10-stage cycling race. Hinton found significant increases in markers of bone formation and bone breakdown among the athletes whose energy intake matched their energy expenditure throughout the race.

Disrupted bone turnover, that is, reduced bone formation and increased bone breakdown, due to inadequate energy intake relative to expenditure is just one possible cause of low BMD among cyclists. Other factors include low-body weight, increased loss of calcium through sweat and significant time spent cycling, which exerts only minimal mechanical loading on the skeleton.

"This study measured only the short-term effects of stage racing on bone turnover; future studies should assess the long-term effects," Hinton said.

The study, "Bone formation is increased to a greater extent than bone resorption during a cycling stage race," will be published in Applied Physiology Nutrition and Metabolism. This is the first study to examine bone turnover during a cycling stage race.


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by University of Missouri-Columbia. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

University of Missouri-Columbia. "Maintaining energy balance during races may protect cyclists' bones, researcher says." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 12 May 2010. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/05/100505113245.htm>.
University of Missouri-Columbia. (2010, May 12). Maintaining energy balance during races may protect cyclists' bones, researcher says. ScienceDaily. Retrieved July 29, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/05/100505113245.htm
University of Missouri-Columbia. "Maintaining energy balance during races may protect cyclists' bones, researcher says." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2010/05/100505113245.htm (accessed July 29, 2014).

Share This




More Health & Medicine News

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Deadly Ebola Virus Threatens West Africa

Deadly Ebola Virus Threatens West Africa

AP (July 28, 2014) West African nations and international health organizations are working to contain the largest Ebola outbreak in history. It's one of the deadliest diseases known to man, but the CDC says it's unlikely to spread in the U.S. (July 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
$15B Deal on Vets' Health Care Reached

$15B Deal on Vets' Health Care Reached

AP (July 28, 2014) A bipartisan deal to improve veterans health care would authorize at least $15 billion in emergency spending to fix a veterans program scandalized by long patient wait times and falsified records. (July 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com
Two Americans Contract Ebola in Liberia

Two Americans Contract Ebola in Liberia

Reuters - US Online Video (July 28, 2014) Two American aid workers in Liberia test positive for Ebola while working to combat the deadliest outbreak of the virus ever. Linda So reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating

Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating

AP (July 28, 2014) Classes are being offered nationwide to encourage African Americans to learn about cooking fresh foods based on traditional African cuisine. The program is trying to combat obesity, heart disease and other ailments often linked to diet. (July 28) Video provided by AP
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins