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Sigma Nutrition Radio

Jun 7, 2016

Episode 124: Brent Ruby PhD, discusses his lab's fascinating work on the upper limits of energy expenditure, markers of over-training vs. real-world performance, and the role of environment & temperature on performance and recovery.

Brent is the director of the University of Montana Center for Work Physiology and Exercise Metabolism (WPEM). The center aims to mesh the research world with the operational field environment by combining study models that integrate the control of the laboratory with the hostilities of the field.

WPEM's high tech $1.5 million facility opened it's doors in 2008 and is a 3,550 sqft. facility which includes a biochemistry lab and a climate controlled environmental chamber that researches can manipulate temperature and humidity. The funds for the facility came from a U.S. Air Force grant, however the driving force which created the vision and made this possible was a choice made by Brent Ruby, the Director of WPEM. It was the choice to combine raw, rough field data with carefully controlled laboratory results to draw conclusions.

We discuss:
Energy demands on long-duration, endurance work and insights into the "human ceiling" of energy expenditure
Assessing energy expenditure
Markers of over-training vs. actual impact on performance in "real world" settings
Balancing the need for tightly controlled trials with designing studies that better simulate real world scenarios in practice
The role of environment during the recovery phase and glycogen resynthesis
Are sports nutrition products and supplements actually any better than fast food?
Hydration, water turnover and heat/cold stress
Why performance tanks in the heat: skin temperature versus core body temperature