Everett, L., Smith, D., Fiddler, R., Jacobson, B., Fedick, J., Kline, C., Andrews, M., Warren, A., O'Brien, M., & Boolani, A. (2009). The effect of energy patches on substrate utilization in college female cross country runners. ACSM 56th Annual Meeting, Seattle, Washington. Presentation number 2586.

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"Energy patches have been recently developed to give users significant improvements in performance by utilizing bioelectric stimulation produced by electrical frequencies in the body's magnetic field. These energy patches incorporate organic nanoscale biomolecular antennas into two separate patches that resonate at frequencies in unison with biomolecules in the cells and signal specific metabolic pathways to beta oxidation, using fat as a primary fuel source. Substrate utilization is an important factor for endurance athletes. Utilizing lipids for longer periods of time could improve performance by sparing carbohydrate during endurance activities."

This study examined the effects of energy patches on substrate utilization during graded exercise testing. Division I female collegiate cross country runners (N = 12) participated in the study. Age, height, body weight and respiratory exchange ratio (RER) were recorded during a pre-test (without patch) and then in a post-test (with patch). The post-test included a placebo patch group (N = 5) and an active patch group (N = 7). The Bruce Protocol (six stages) was used to achieve maximal exertion, while respiratory exchange ratio was recorded using a TrueMax 2400 Metabolic Measurement System.

There were no changes in the placebo group for respiratory exchange ratio at any of the assessment stages. There was a significant decrease in lipid metabolism at stage 1 vs. the baseline level for the active patch group; however, there were no further differences at any of the remaining stages.

Implication. Energy patches do not increase lipid metabolism

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