[The body muscle compartment and its relationship to food absorption and blood chemistry during an extreme endurance performance]

Z Ernahrungswiss. 1991 Dec;30(4):276-88. doi: 10.1007/BF01651957.
[Article in German]


The purpose of the study was to examine the changes of the muscle's fat-free compartment and its relation to the corresponding biochemical and nutritional parameters of 42 men and 13 women, the participants of an ultra long-distance run of 1000 km (20 days of daily running 50 km). The muscle-fractions initially increased, decreased in the middle phase, and remained stable for the rest of the run. Significant changes of the fat-free weight were registered from the 11th day on, the LBM decreasing until the middle of the distance; then the lean body mass enlarged. All the muscle-circumferences were reduced with the exception of the thigh, which grew, paralleling the CK/CKMB-concentrations, this phenomenon being due to the high mechanical stress of the lower extremities. The biochemical parameters exhibit a strain-related reaction of adaptation within the initial 6 days, the hormones and protein-concentration increasing in the beginning and falling from the third day on, uric acid and CK/CKMB-activity decreasing from the 6th day on. The consecutive parallel reduction of both uric acid, urea, and muscle measurements might be seen as a special endurance-related clearance-mechanism of potential toxicants. The negative relationship between the changes of muscle measurements and the cumulative protein intake and the catabolic constellation of the clinical-chemical values might suggest that the absolute protein intake of 1.7 g/kg body mass should be increased in order to diminish the loss of musculature during an ultra-long distance run.

Publication types

  • English Abstract

MeSH terms

  • Absorption
  • Anthropometry
  • Blood Chemical Analysis
  • Blood Proteins / analysis
  • Body Weight
  • Creatine Kinase / blood*
  • Dietary Proteins / administration & dosage
  • Dietary Proteins / metabolism*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Hydrocortisone / blood
  • Isoenzymes
  • Male
  • Muscle Development
  • Muscles / metabolism
  • Muscles / pathology*
  • Physical Exertion / physiology*
  • Running*
  • Testosterone / blood
  • Urea / blood
  • Uric Acid / blood


  • Blood Proteins
  • Dietary Proteins
  • Isoenzymes
  • Uric Acid
  • Testosterone
  • Urea
  • Creatine Kinase
  • Hydrocortisone