Sucec, A. A., Hodgson, J. A., Hazard, A. A., & Roy, B. A. (2006). Body mass and lean body mass loss during residence at moderate altitude (2450 m) in female and male runners. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 38(5), Supplement abstract 2727.

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The effects of 10 weeks of exposure to moderate altitude (2-3,000 m) on body mass, lean body mass, and body composition on female and male distance runners were measured. Runners continued competitive training following their track season; 7 females and 12 males trained and resided at 2,450 m, while 9 males remained at sea-level. Training occurred six days per week with similar mean distances [66 to 89 km/wk] and relative intensities [70 to 90% of HRmax] for all groups.

The sea-level control group revealed no mean changes in pre-post measures. No significant pre-post changes were found for body composition in the altitude groups. There were significant mean losses in body mass and lean body mass for the altitude groups.

Implication. Ten weeks of exposure to moderate altitude in fit athletes while training reduces lean body mass.

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