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Natural Science Seminar: The Gut--Gatekeeper to Nutrient Availability in High Energy-Demand Endurance Events

Please mark you calendar for the upcoming Natural Science Seminar, presented by Dr. Vince Nethery:

The Gut -- Gatekeeper to Nutrient Availability in High Energy-Demand Endurance Events

Friday, Oct. 25th
4:00  (refreshments will be served at 3:50)
147 Science

Dr. Nethery, a Professor in the Department of Nutrition, Exercise, and Health Sciences (NEHS), has been a faculty member at CWU for 25 years.  He currently directs the Clinical Physiology program, teaches courses in basic and applied physiology at graduate and undergraduate levels, and was the founding Chair of the NEHS Department.  His research interests are focused on human functioning, and specific to this seminar, metabolic substrate availability and utilization in sustained, high energy-demand human endeavors.  In other words, "When the tank is drained - the engine stops!"

The "Ironman" - comprising a 2.4 mile open water swim, a 112 mile bike leg, and a 26.2 mile (marathon) run, maximally stresses the capacity of oxidative metabolic processing to maintain cellular energy concentrations sufficient to enable muscular work to continue at the level needed to succeed.  Energy expenditure over the 8.5 - 9 hour event approximates 1100 Calories per hour with ~80% derived from the oxidation of carbohydrate.  Intrinsic glycogen storage is limited at about 500 grams (2000 Calories), and the ensuing caloric "deficit" (~5500 Calories) can only be satisfied by the ingestion of carbohydrate.

Simple - right - "Just consume 6000 Calories and we are good to go!".  Well - not quite that simple.

Multiple factors govern the bioavailability of ingested substrates where mechanisms of gastrointestinal tract-splanchnic vascular translocation requires a carefully orchestrated combination of volume and concentration of specific monosaccharides in order to optimize exogenous nutrient availability.  Only then can muscle activity and central nervous system (requires euglycemia) functioning be maintained.

As an endurance athlete himself, Dr. Nethery has qualified four times for World Championship events and knows well the application of these principles and the consequences of the failure to adhere....

The CWU Natural Science Seminar Series is sponsored by the CWU Department of Biological Sciences involving bi-weekly informal presentations and discussions. 



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