Background: Substrate utilization during exercise in persons with spinal cord injury (SCI) remains poorly defined. Purpose: To investigate effects of circuit resistance training (CRT) and timing of protein supplementation (PS) on fuel utilization in persons with tetraplegia. Methods: Eleven individuals with chronic tetraplegia underwent 6 months of CRT 3 times weekly. Five randomly assigned participants received immediate PS (iPS) administered in split doses prior to and following all exercise sessions. Other participants consumed a matched dose of PS that was delayed until 24 hours post-exercise (dPS). Participants underwent a maximal graded exercise test (GXT) to volitional exhaustion at 4 conditioning time points: 3 months before (-3mo), at the beginning of (0mo), 3 months into (3mo), and 6 months following (6mo) the CRT conditioning program. Respiratory measures were continuously obtained throughout the GXT via open-circuit spirometry. Fuel utilization and energy expenditure were computed from the respiratory data. Results: The differences in changes in substrate utilization between the PS groups were not significant as determined by the interaction of PS group and conditioning time point, F(3, 27) = 2.32, P = .098, η2P = .205. Maximal absolute fat oxidation did not change significantly from 0 to 6mo (mean difference, 0.014 ± 0.031 g/min; P = .170), and fat oxidation remained low never exceeding an average of 0.10 ± 0.09 g/min for any given exercise intensity. Conclusion: Maximum fat utilization during exercise and fat utilization at matched exercise intensities were not increased in persons with tetraplegia, independent of PS, and levels of fat oxidation remained low after training.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Clinical Neurology
- Physical Therapy, Sports Therapy and Rehabilitation