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The effect of 1,000 km nonstop cycling on fat mass and skeletal muscle mass

Taylor & Francis
Publication Date
  • Institute Of General Practice
  • 610 Medicine & Health
  • Medicine


We evaluated the change in body mass including fat mass and skeletal muscle mass in one ultracyclist whilst cycling 1,000 km in 48 hours at a constant intensity of ∼48% VO(2)max, corresponding to a heart rate frequency of ∼105 ± 5 bpm. A 1 kg fat mass decrease resulted, with the largest decrease occurring between the 12th and the 24th hour. No steady state in metabolism was observed and no regular decrease of subcutaneous adipose tissue resulted. This result is backed up by the nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) urine analysis. Body water increase with simultaneous dehydration is possibly due to endocrine-induced renal water retention, in order to maintain metabolism processes that are required for energy supply and blood flow during very prolonged exercise. Both applied methods, the anthropometric and the bioelectrical impedance analysis, analyse fluid accumulation-especially in the skinfolds of the lower extremities-apparently incorrectly as an increase in body mass and not as an increase in fluids.

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