Acute Metabolic Evaluation of Exercise and Nutrition in Women – Student Impact Scholar Hailee Wingfeld

This week we highlight the work of Hailee Wingfeld, who graduate from our masters program in Exercise Physiology.  Under the direction of his thesis committee (Dr. Abbie Smith-Ryan, Dr. Anthony Hackney and Dr. Eric Ryan), Hailee investigated the effects of exercise type (high intensity resistance; high intensity interval running; aerobic endurance) and pre-exercise nutritional supplementation (carbohydrate; protein).  Many thanks to Hailee and Dr. Smith-Ryan for contributing to this week’s EXSS Impact blog post.

interval trainingWhy did you do the study?

We did this study because we our extremely interested in women’s health. Going to an all women’s college for my undergraduate degree, I was able to work with young women on a daily basis, and I realized that many of them are unsure of the best way to eat and exercise in order to maintain a healthy lifestyle. In addition, working in multiple fitness centers, the majority of women only participate in light-intensity cardio, rather than high-intensity exercise or weight lifting. For this study, we wanted to provide women with realistic exercise and nutrition guidelines that will help with weight loss or maintenance by evaluating the effect of different exercise modalities and nutritional supplements on resting energy expenditure and respiratory exchange ratio (fuel utilization).

What did you do and what did you find?

protein-powderFor this study, we recruited 20 young women who were recreationally active. Each participant completed a total of six exercise sessions that consisted of three exercise modalities: aerobic endurance exercise (AEE), high-intensity interval running (HIIT), and high-intensity resistance training (HIRT), and two pre-exercise nutritional supplements carbohydrate (CHO) and protein (PRO). Each exercise modality was performed twice, once with 25 grams of CHO and once with 25 grams of PRO, ingested with water. Metabolic measurements were taken at baseline, immediately post, 30 minutes post, and 60 minutes post. Post exercise, HIIT elicited the largest increase in resting energy expenditure compared to AEE and HIRT. HIIT and HIRT utilized more fat as fuel than AEE post exercise. In addition, PRO intake prior to exercise significantly elevated resting energy expenditure and fat utilization to a greater extent than CHO beginning 30 minutes post exercise.

What’s the impact of these findings on the public?

These findings suggest a potential benefit of integrating HIIT and pre-exercise PRO intake into regular exercise routines. Specifically in women, this strategy may have positive implications on their health, weight, and body composition.