Acute effects of an oral calcium load on markers of bone metabolism during endurance cycling exercise in male athletes

Calcif Tissue Int. 2004 May;74(5):407-14. doi: 10.1007/s00223-003-0070-0. Epub 2004 Jan 23.


Although sport and physical activity are generally considered as positive factors for bone metabolism some endurance trainings such as running and bicycling have few or no beneficial or even deleterious effects on bone mineral density. The present study was designed to investigate the acute effect of an intensive endurance cycling exercise on biochemical bone markers. Furthermore, the effect of the oral intake of 1 g calcium load, by drinking high-calcium mineral water, just prior to and during the exercise was checked. Twelve well-trained elite male triathletes aged 23-37 years were explored. The serum concentrations of calcium, phosphate, PTH, bone alkaline phosphatase (BALP) and C-terminal cross-linking telopeptide of type 1 collagen (CTX) were measured before, during and after a 60 min 80% VO2max cycle ergometer exercise. Since cycling exercise was accompanied by a reduction in plasma volume the total amount of biochemical bone markers was calculated. When the exercise was performed without calcium load both serum concentrations and total amount of CTX began to increase progressively 30 min after the start of the exercise and were still significantly elevated, by 45-50%, 2h after the end of the exercise. Ingestion of high-calcium mineral water completely suppressed the CTX response. By contrast serum concentrations and total amount of BALP fluctuated and showed no significant difference with or without calcium load. The present study demonstrates that the burst of osteoclastic activity acutely induced by an endurance cycling exercise can be suppressed by the previous intake of a calcium load afforded by drinking high-calcium mineral water.

MeSH terms

  • Administration, Oral
  • Adult
  • Alkaline Phosphatase / blood
  • Bicycling / physiology*
  • Bone Density / drug effects*
  • Bone Density / physiology
  • Bone and Bones / drug effects
  • Bone and Bones / metabolism
  • Calcium / administration & dosage*
  • Calcium / metabolism
  • Collagen / blood
  • Collagen Type I
  • Exercise / physiology
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Parathyroid Hormone / blood
  • Peptides / blood
  • Phosphates / blood
  • Physical Endurance / drug effects*
  • Physical Endurance / physiology


  • Collagen Type I
  • Parathyroid Hormone
  • Peptides
  • Phosphates
  • collagen type I trimeric cross-linked peptide
  • Collagen
  • Alkaline Phosphatase
  • Calcium