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Nutrients 2015, 7(1), 209-222; doi:10.3390/nu7010209

Energy Balance of Triathletes during an Ultra-Endurance Event

1
National Institute of Physical Education, University of Barcelona, Barcelona 08038, Spain
2
Departament d'Enginyeria Informàtica i Matemàtiques, Universitat Rovira i Virgili, Tarragona 43007, Spain
3
Institute of Sport, Exercise and Active Living (ISEAL), College of Sport and Exercise Science, Victoria University, Melbourne 3011, Australia
4
School of Health Professions, Faculty of Health and Human Sciences, University of Plymouth, Plymouth PL6 8BH, UK
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 28 November 2014 / Accepted: 15 December 2014 / Published: 31 December 2014
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Energy Balance)
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Abstract

The nutritional strategy during an ultra-endurance triathlon (UET) is one of the main concerns of athletes competing in such events. The purpose of this study is to provide a proper characterization of the energy and fluid intake during real competition in male triathletes during a complete UET and to estimate the energy expenditure (EE) and the fluid balance through the race. Methods: Eleven triathletes performed a UET. All food and drinks ingested during the race were weighed and recorded in order to assess the energy intake (EI) during the race. The EE was estimated from heart rate (HR) recordings during the race, using the individual HR-oxygen uptake (Vo2) regressions developed from three incremental tests on the 50-m swimming pool, cycle ergometer, and running treadmill. Additionally, body mass (BM), total body water (TBW) and intracellular (ICW) and extracellular water (ECW) were assessed before and after the race using a multifrequency bioimpedance device (BIA). Results: Mean competition time and HR was 755 ± 69 min and 137 ± 6 beats/min, respectively. Mean EI was 3643 ± 1219 kcal and the estimated EE was 11,009 ± 664 kcal. Consequently, athletes showed an energy deficit of 7365 ± 1286 kcal (66.9% ± 11.7%). BM decreased significantly after the race and significant losses of TBW were found. Such losses were more related to a reduction of extracellular fluids than intracellular fluids. Conclusions: Our results confirm the high energy demands of UET races, which are not compensated by nutrient and fluid intake, resulting in a large energy deficit. View Full-Text
Keywords: energy balance; triathlon; energy expenditure; energy intake; macronutrient consumption; endurance; body water energy balance; triathlon; energy expenditure; energy intake; macronutrient consumption; endurance; body water
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Barrero, A.; Erola, P.; Bescós, R. Energy Balance of Triathletes during an Ultra-Endurance Event. Nutrients 2015, 7, 209-222.

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