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Effect of a low-carbohydrate diet on plasma and sweat ammonia concentrations during prolonged nonexhausting exercise.

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Department of Physiology, Medical Academy of Białystok, Poland.


The purpose of this investigation was to examine the effect of low body glycogen stores on plasma ammonia concentration and sweat ammonia excretion during prolonged, nonexhausting exercise of moderate intensity. On two occasions seven healthy untrained men pedalled on a cycle ergometer for 60 min at 50% of their predetermined maximal O2 uptakes (VO2max) firstly, following 3 days on a normal mixed diet (N-diet) (60% carbohydrates, 25% fat and 15% protein) and secondly, following 3 days on a low-carbohydrate diet (LC-diet) (less than 5% carbohydrates, 50% fat and 45% protein) of equal energy content. Blood was collected from the antecubital vein immediately before, at 30th and at 60th min of exercise. Sweat was collected from the hypogastric region using gauze pads. It was shown that plasma ammonia concentrations after the LC-diet were higher than after the N-diet at both the 30th and 60th min of exercise. Sweat ammonia concentration and total ammonia loss through the sweat were also higher after the LC-diet. The higher ammonia concentrations in plasma and sweat after the LC-diet would seem to indicate an increased ammonia production, which may be related to reduced initial carbohydrate stores.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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