Send to

Choose Destination
Med Sci Sports Exerc. 1988 Feb;20(1):34-43.

Exercise capacity and nitrogen loss during a high or low carbohydrate diet.

Author information

Laboratory for Exercise, Sport, and Work Physiology, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg 24061.


Twelve obese women completed a maximal and an endurance exercise test (70% peak VO2) during a weight maintenance week. For the next 4 wk, the women consumed either a high (71%) carbohydrate (HC) or a low (33%) carbohydrate (LC), isonitrogenous very-low-calorie diet (VLCD) of 2,219 kJ (530 kcal).d-1. A supervised exercise session at 60% peak VO2 took place 3 times.wk-1 for 30 to 45 min. Peak VO2 and exercise endurance tests were repeated during the fourth week of the VLCD. One week of a 4,186 kJ (1000 kcal) diet followed the VLCD. The average weekly weight loss was 1.7 +/- 0.1 kg for the HC group and 2.0 +/- 0.2 kg for the LC group. Urinary nitrogen loss was greater for the LC group early in the VLCD but not different than HC over the entire experimental period. Serum cholesterol and high-density lipoprotein-cholesterol decreased in both groups but the ratio of these lipids improved over the treatment. Serum beta-hydroxybutyrate and uric acid increased significantly more for the LC than the HC group. Although absolute peak VO2 decreased, VO2 relative to body weight was maintained. Time to exhaustion improved by 36% for both groups in the endurance exercise tests. The endurance exercise R ratio was significantly more depressed by the LC than the HC treatment. In summary, both supervised treatments were effective in causing substantial weight reduction and improved blood lipid profiles in healthy young women but caused a net loss of body protein. Neither treatment compromised ability to participate in a thrice weekly exercise program. Although peak aerobic capacity did not increase, aerobic endurance at a fixed sub-maximal exercise load was improved.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Full text links

Icon for Wolters Kluwer
Loading ...
Support Center