Differentiated assessment of metabolic processes at mid-altitude acclimatization of skilled middle distance runners


Associate Professor, PhD V.V. Erlikh
Honoured Worker of Science of the RF, Professor, Dr.Biol. A.P. Isaev
Professor, Dr.Biol. Yu.N. Romanov
Associate Professor, PhD V.V. Epishev
Postgraduate J.B. Korableva
Institute of Sport, Tourism and Service, South Ural State University, Chelyabinsk

Keywords: adaptation, benchmark levels, correction, chemicals, hormones, body integrative activity.

Introduction. Owing to establishment of the Sport Science Research Center researchers can conduct multifunctional monitoring and identify the criteria that determine athletic performance using the methods of mathematical analysis. Exchange processes of various levels (functional, metabolic) are involved in the regulation of homeostasis of the subjects. In case of dysregulation there is an opportunity to correct, prevent disease, which accounts for the social importance of the research.  

Objective of the study is to substantiate experimentally the activation of enzyme functions in middle-distance runners.    

Methods and structure of the study. Runners, males and females, aged 18-23, qualified Candidates for Master of Sport (CMS) and Master of Sport (MC) were examined while in the process of urgent adaptation (autumn-winter) and long-term adaptation (spring-summer). The athletes were subject to purposeful development of the local-muscle group endurance (LMGE) in autumn - 50%/50% (other training means), in winter - 40% and 60%, in spring – 30% and 70%, in summer – 20% and 80%.

Results and discussion. Results of physical state monitoring in the annual cycle are shown in Table 1.

Table 1. Indicators of electrolyte, water and hormonal metabolism during urgent and long-term adaptation to hypoxia in middle-distance runners


Benchmark levels,


Urgent adaptation (stages)

Long-term adaptation (stages)





Ca concentration, mmol/l




90.45 %


91.22 %


88.17 %


94.27 %

Mg concentration, mmol/l




37.65 %


105.88 %


114.12 %


100 %

K concentration, mmol/l




94.53 %


97.50 %


99.09 %


94.30 %

Na concentration, mmol/l




98.67 %


97.86 %


97.47 %


97.66 %

Cellular water, %




103.00 %


102.00 %


101.11 %


101.28 %

Total water, %




97.70 %


100.42 %


108.15 %


90.46 %

Extracellular water, %




103.00 %


101.41 %


102.00 %


93.82 %

Urine testosterone, mcmol/24 hours




120.68 %


104.37 %


122.24 %


117.38 %

Tyrosine 1 hour, mmol/l




88.80 %


81.11 %


89.85 %


89.41 %

Tyrosine acid, mg %




98.12 %


89.00 %


90.62 %


96.25 %

Acetylcholine, ug/ml




105.49 %


94.33 %


93.87 %


91.42 %

Note: the percent of deviation from the benchmark values of the indicators

As seen from Table 1, metabolism of biological elements of female runners was within benchmark levels. There is a relatively low level of sodium as well as magnesium during the exploratory phase, which determines the glucose and urea levels, metabolism indicators, neuromuscular conductibility, energy supply and fatigue of the runners. The average observed correlation between the levels of urea and magnesium (r=0.51, р<0.05), testosterone and hemoglobin (r=0.72, р<0.01), cortisol (r=0.34, р<0.05). In the multiple model tyrosine and erythrocyte acetylcholinesterase were part of the equation along with the basal pressure of the sphincter of Oddi, ALT, bilirubin, hemoglobin, plasma protein and lactic acid. The model is significant at the confidence level of 93%. The coefficient of determination is 47.75%.   

A decrease in intramuscular glycogen and blood glucose utilization is observed in hypoxic conditions [1]. The study found low levels of β-lipoproteins, high density and low density lipoproteins as well as triglycerides in runners [3]. Water metabolism of the athletes is represented by extracellular water (21-23% being the norm), cellular water (the benchmark levels being 39-42%) and total water (the norm being 53-60%).

The body sodium, calcium and water in the athletes are reduced in case of urgent adaptation to hypoxia in mid-altitude compared with the plain conditions (1.71-9.17%). The concentration of electrolytes was below the benchmark levels: calcium – 2.75±0.10 mmol/l; magnesium – 0.91±0.01 mmol/l; potassium – 4.55±0.06 mmol/l; sodium – 141.95±0.65 mmol/l. Calcium regulation of complex metabolic systems allows blood coagulation and thrombus formation [4]. Regulation of the content of potassium, calcium and phosphates by the kidneys is associated with the processes of regulation of the volume of extracellular fluid circulating blood [2]. 

The hormone testosterone plays a significant role in metabolic processes and enzymatic activity, particularly in masculinization of the body. Testosterone increases protein formation and promotes muscle development, affects electrolyte and water balance as well as red blood cells. Testosterone level significantly decreased at the developmental stage of the adaptation (р<0.05) compared with the rest. Elevated levels of the hormone were observed in runners. Concentration of the thyroid hormone tyrosine that increases the rate of metabolic processes in the body. Tyrosine level was significantly low at the developmental adaptation stage, when demand for energy processes increases dramatically. The percentage of tyrosine acid was symbate to tyrosine changes.  

A decrease in tyrosine amino acid by means of thyroxine and triiodothyronine should be noted as well as a tendency of a decreasing percentage of tyrosine acid level which is regulatory. Table 1 shows the reduction of tyrosine level by adaptation stages, by 13% (р<0.01) and 26.12% (р<0.01) in the exploratory and developmental stages of urgent adaptation, respectively. Thyroid hormones stimulate fat metabolism as evidenced by the low values of fat content in the body of runners (6-8%). An increase in the level of free fatty acids in the plasma and a sharp acceleration of the process of fatigue in the cells against the background of increased appetite of the subjects are the consequences of these adaptive-compensatory processes.

Neuromediator acetylcholine (A) is synthesized in the tissues with the participation of choline acetylase and is a neurotransmitter. Acetylcholine reacts with T-lymphocytes of thymic epithelium. Acetylcholine anions influence thymocyte allostasis by means of the impact of nitrogen oxide on the epithelial cells, and lymphocytes are formed in the thymus [7]. Acetylcholine is in cholinergic synapses, the postsynaptic membrane of which contains both receptors and acetylcholinesterase that destroys acetylcholine. Adrenergic synapses lack any mediator degrading enzymes [2].

In the adrenal glands, brain tissues and the peripheral nervous system tyrosine hydroxylates into 3.4-dihydroxyphenylalanine (DOPA) by the action of specific hydroxylase, that is transformed into dopamine under the action of decarboxylase. The latter is converted into noradrenaline with the involvement of dopamine hydroxylase and then into adrenaline involving specific methyltransferase. Adrenaline selectively stimulates hypoglycemia. Adrenaline increases cardiac output, glycemia and lactataemia 3 times more than noradrenaline. Both hormones increase the level of free fatty acids in the blood to the same extent. In case of hypoxia excessive lactate from other organs is transferred to the liver. It is intensively generated in the liver by means of glycogenolysis activation under the influence of adrenaline [6].

Modernization of the athletic performance training system of middle distance runners in the conditions of annual monitoring of urgent and long-term adaptation stages revealed that the adaptation increases tolerance to recurrent hypoxia and, despite the multifactorial mechanisms of regulation and symbatic complexes of biochemical changes, leads to integrity of body characteristics.   

The emergence of urgent and long-term body reactions of the runners is accounted for by deviations of the reactions of primary responses at the exploratory and developmental stages of adaptation and assessment of the range of metabolic capabilities of homeostasis regulation. It was found that motivation excitement is activated by either a metabolic demand or socially important stimuli.     Representatives of the genetic trend signified the 21st century by molecular genetics development [5]. We carried out correlation between genetic criteria and indicators of motor abilities in speed and strength sports and strength endurance, respectively, and set high correlation with PAARCCIB (13), №93 (18), CNB3 (17) and temporary DD (0.72, 0.73; 0.83, р<0.001). Genetic markers PPARD (9), CALCR (14), PPRC (15), VE CFA (18) had connections of a medium level (0.44-0.55, р<0.05). In strength endurance sports the correlation ratio was as follows: PPARCLIB (4) (r=0.61, p<0.01), PPARCCIA (11) (r=0.52, p<0.05), PPARD (19) (r=0.58, p<0.05), VRD (1) (r=0.46, p<0.01). Obviously, the values of assessment of other components of athletic performance are in closer connection with performance results.

Conclusion. Incorporation in muscle contractile activity of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine, calcium in the forming phase, tyrosine and tyrosine acid, calcium in the stable adaptation phase was observed. Dehydration of the body was manifested in the sustainable adaptation phase. The total amount of cellular and extracellular water in relation to the adaptation phases did not vary much. pH in the blood of the athletes ranged from 7.31 to 7.33 c.u., which provides an indication of the compensation by the bicarbonate buffer system, by hemoglobin.

It is ATP-Cp system and glycolysis that are used by the body during urgent adaptation to oxygen deficiency. In case of adaptation to hypoxia activation of adrenergic and pituitary-adrenal systems develops, resulting in an increased testosterone level and a decreased by 19% (р<0.01) tyrosine level. We obtained significant differences with the benchmark levels of the respiratory system adaptation (р<0.01):  VC, respiratory rates, the operating level of O2 consumption, O2 consumption by the cardiac muscle, O2 tissue extraction index.

The study was performed with support from the Ministry of Education and Science of the RF pursuant to the principal part of the State Order, Project Code 1696.


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