PROTEIN SUPPLEMENTATION AT HIGH ALTITUDE LEADS TO A REDUCTION IN BODY MEASUREMENTS WHILE BODY MASS IS MAINTAINED
Carnauba, R. A., Marques, N., Baptistella, A. B., Naves, A., Paschoal, V., & Nicastro, H. (2014). Effects of protein supplementation on body composition and metabolic markers after mountain ascent - A pilot study. Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, 46(5), Supplement abstract number 384.
This study evaluated the effects of protein supplementation on body composition and some metabolic plasmatic markers in humans (N = 9) after mountain ascent. Before and after 20 days of mountain ascent (>5,000 m), Ss of both genders performed blood sample collection and body composition assessments. Blood samples were collected after overnight fasting and body composition was performed by anthropometry (waist and hip circumferences; biceps, triceps, subscapular, supra-iliac, and abdominal skinfolds) and electrical bioimpedance. During the expedition, Ss received a blend of concentrated, isolate, and hydrolyzate whey protein supplement that also contained zinc chelate, magnesium chelate, thiamine, riboflavin, pyridoxine, nicotinamide. Ss were instructed to consume 25 g of the supplement twice a day and to maintain habitual food intake.
There was a significant increase in plasma hematocrit and a tendency plasma iron as a result of the altitude. There was a significant reduction in the sum of five skinfolds, waist, and hip circumference. No significant changes were observed in body mass, body mass index, and total body water.
Implication. Protein supplementation at high altitude is effective in maintaining body weight that can be partially attributed to lean body mass, since there is a reduction in the sum of skinfolds. Protein supplementation also significantly increases plasmatic levels of hematocrit and iron.
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