Effects of carbohydrate loading and underwater exercise on circulating cortisol, insulin and urinary losses of chromium and zinc

  • Richard A. Anderson
  • Noella A. Bryden
  • Marilyn M. Polansky
  • James W. Thorp


The effects of carbohydrate loading on relative stress responses of eight male subjects performing intermittent leg exercise at 80% maximum oxygen consumption during headout immersion in 25°C water were tested. Carbohydrate loading increased the number of work cycles completed, with less physical stress compared with that completed following the control diet period. Pre-exercise serum cortisol values were similar on both diets prior to exercise but following exercise control values were greater (1152, 94 vs 858, 77 nmol l−1; mean, SEM). Chromium losses, which have been shown to correlate with stress, were lower during the carbohydrate loading period, 8.6, 1.3 vs 12.4, 2.0 ng h−1, and were correlated with post-exercise serum cortisol. Urinary zinc losses were also lower during carbohydrate loading, while urinary losses of potassium, magnesium and calcium remained constant. Insulin values decreased similarly following exercise in both groups and were not altered by carbohydrate loading. These data demonstrate that carbohydrate loading increases immersion exercise output with less stress as determined by serum cortisol and urinary chromium losses.

Key words

Trace elements Exercise capacity Trace metal losses Immersion exercise 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 1991

Authors and Affiliations

  • Richard A. Anderson
    • 1
  • Noella A. Bryden
    • 1
  • Marilyn M. Polansky
    • 1
  • James W. Thorp
    • 2
  1. 1.Vitamin and Mineral Nutrition Laboratory, Beltsville Human Nutrition Research Center, Agricultural Research ServiceU.S. Department of AgricultureBeltsvilleUSA
  2. 2.Naval Medical Research InstituteBethesdaUSA

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