Article: article from journal or magazin.
Body composition and maximum alactic anaerobic performance during a one month stay at high altitude.
International Journal of Sports Medicine
Prolonged altitude exposure usually leads to considerable weight loss of which a large part is from muscle tissue. This loss reduces maximum alactic anaerobic muscle power. It was hypothesized that most of the weight loss may simply be the result of malnutrition due to lack of palatable food in an uncomfortable environment. To test this hypothesis eight healthy male subjects (age 33.7 +/- 4.6 S.C. yr), well acclimatized to prevent symptoms of acute mountain sickness, were exposed for 4 weeks to an altitude of 5050 m with access to a large choice of palatable food in comfortable conditions. Body weight (with a scale), body composition (from skinfolds), arm muscle plus bone cross-sectional area (Am + b) and muscle plus bone leg volume (Vm+b) (from skinfolds and circumferences), maximum voluntary contraction force of the elbow flexors (MVC, with a load cell) and maximum jumping height (Hmax, on a platform) were measured before departure (SL) and in the first (ALT1), second (ALT2) and fourth week (ALT4) of their altitude sojourn. Three-day dietary records were obtained at SL and at ALT4. Body mass had decreased significantly at ALT2 (-3.8%) and at ALT4 (-4.6%) likely reflecting changes in body water homeostasis. No changes were found in %fat, Am+b, Vm+b, MVC or Hmax. Average dietary intake at SL was 8.96 +/- 1.45 MJ and had increased to 13.59 +/- 3.07 MJ at ALT4. In conclusion, up to an altitude of 5050 m loss of body mass from fat and muscle tissue, and hence impairment of maximum anaerobic muscle power (alactic) appears to be avoidable by food intake matched to energy expenditure. The latter may be achieved simply by proper acclimatization, sufficient comfort and availability of palatable food.
Adipose Tissue/anatomy & histology, Adult, Altitude, Anthropometry, Body Composition/physiology, Body Water/metabolism, Diet, Hemostasis, Humans, Male, Muscles/physiology, Weight Loss/physiology
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