Cyclists needed in Study at the Anschutz Health and Wellness Center

High Frequency Ultrasound Utilization to Assess Muscle Glycogen Content

Nutrition is a key part of the training regime of all successful athletes. Not ingesting enough calories may result in a lack of important macro and micro nutrients. This is especially true when it comes to carbohydrates (CHO).

Unfortunately, there are many recreational and competitive athletes who are not aware of the importance of carbohydrates and glycogen storage levels within the liver and muscle tissue, and their effect upon proper training and performance. In a recent study done in our laboratory with 99 competitive cyclists looking at indirect parameters of glycogen depletion we found that about 30% of all cyclists had sub-optimal glycogen levels and none of them were aware.¹ It is clear, through the science, that this is especially true for athletes who restrict CHO, as the massive amount of scientific evidence clearly shows, that a good CHO diet is crucial to maintain performance. Not only is science telling us this but also the real-life experience of those athletes that perform at the highest level, where carbohydrates are of crucial importance. We can find a great example of this in Kenyan runners who are by far the best endurance runners ever in history, dominating all top events internationally for decades.

In the past, exercise physiologists relied upon muscle biopsies to examine and quantify muscular tissue glycogen storage levels to assess training effectiveness and minimize overtraining in order to provide an athlete with maximal optimization for their training. As an alternative, and for the first time, utilizing ultrasound technology co-developed by Dr. John Hill, University of Colorado Dept. of Family Medicine and Dr. Inigo San Millan, University of Colorado Anschutz Health and Wellness Center; a study is being conducted to validate a non-invasive approach to assess muscle glycogen content. The proprietary ultrasound software is designed to directly observe, within a live image, glycogen deposits with the same accuracy as the Biopsy approach.

At this time, a study is being performed at the Anschutz Health and Wellness Center, to validate the efficacy of high frequency musculoskeletal ultrasound for muscle glycogen assessment. Drs. Hill and San Millan are recruiting Male competitive road and mountain cyclists (USAC Pro/Cat1-4), between the ages of 21-40 and who are relatively healthy for this one of a kind research study, which has paid compensation for those that fulfill the requirements.

If you are interested in participating in this study and want to find out if you meet the required criteria, please contact kevin.nicol@ucdenver.edu or call 303-724-9956.

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