2011 Al Andalus Ultra Trail: Coventry University- Sports & Exercise Science Applied Research Group
Oral-Respiratory Mucosal Immune and Cytokine Responses, Assessment of Nutrition & Hydration Status, and Illness & Infection Rates During Multi-Stage Ultra-Marathon Competition in Hot Ambient Temperatures.
The aims of the research are:
- Determine oral-respiratory mucosal immune responses during a multi-stage ultra-marathon competition in a hot ambient environment.
- Determine pro and anti-inflammatory cytokine responses during a multi-stage ultra-marathon competition in a hot ambient environment.
- Assess the rates and severity of URTS during and the month following a multi-stage ultra-marathon competition in a hot ambient environment.
- In combination with last year- Assess nutrition and hydration status of ultra-endurance runners during a multi-stage ultra-marathon competition in a hot ambient environment whilst being provided with Sport & Exercise Nutritional support.
Ultra-marathon competition is commonly accompanied by physiological stressors, such as prolonged loaded exercise, sleep disturbances, anxiety, tolerated tissue injury, and is normally conducted in extreme environmental conditions. Previous field and laboratory research have demonstrated disturbances to pro to anti-inflammatory cytokines balance, stress hormone responses and oral-respiratory mucosal immunity whilst adhering to individual and combined physiological stressors. The accumulative combinations of disturbed immune indices and physiological stressors have previously been linked to clinically significant outcomes (e.g. heat stroke, increases in upper respiratory syndrome (URS), and increases in non-URS illness and infection). Inflammatory cytokine balance and oral-respiratory mucosal immune responses to ultra-marathon competition have not been determined and warrant investigation. From research outcomes, effective counter-measures (dietary and lifestyle modification) to avoid unwanted immune profiles may be developed.
What will participants be required to do?
Participant will only be required to follow NORMAL COMPETITION STRATEGIES. In addition:
- Have your body mass taken before and after each stage.
- Provide one blood and saliva sample before and after each stage, and only a saliva sample in the evening before going to bed.
- Let the research team conduct a ~10min interview each evening between 8-10pm.
What will the participant receive from this?
- Participants will gain an insight into the scientific aspects of the study and may find it interesting to know what we are trying to achieve or how various measurements are recorded.
- Participants will gain an insight into how their immune system responds to an ultra-marathon competition in the heat. From this information the research team ca provide some individual advice on strategies to avoid unwanted immune profiles associated with the ultra-marathon competition.
- After the ultra-marathon, participants will be provided with individual feedback on the measurements made during the research. Advice will be given to help them improve their dietary habits for subsequent ultra-marathon competition.
Dr. Richard Costa