Title page for ETD etd-11112009-034424

Type of Document Master's Thesis
Author Whysong, Christan
URN etd-11112009-034424
Title Chemosensory Evaluation of Training and Oxidative Stress in Long Distance Runners
Degree Master of Science
Department Biological Systems Engineering
Advisory Committee
Advisor Name Title
Parameswarakumar Mallikarjunan Committee Chair
Jenny Lo Committee Member
Per Gunnar Brolinson Committee Member
Robert Grisso Committee Member
  • electronic nose
  • overtraining
  • long distance runners
  • oxidative stress
  • noninvasive testing
Date of Defense 2009-10-28
Availability unrestricted
Athletic performance is improved by increasing training loads but it is difficult to determine an athlete’s response to a training load and the amount of stress incurred. This makes athletes susceptible to overtraining, leading to decreased performance levels, due to physical exhaustion and oxidative stress. Past studies have observed a myriad of biomarkers without conclusively identifying a clinically specific marker for overtraining due to oxidative stress. These methods require invasive testing and lengthy result times, making real-time adjustments of training programs to prevent overtraining difficult. The use of an electronic nose (enose) as a non-invasive evaluation tool will provide immediate feedback on training stress, allowing for real-time training adjustments for performance optimization.

Two long distance runners (one male and one female) completed a pilot study. Both performed a short run and the female performed a long run. Blood samples were collected from each athlete before and after each run and analyzed for catalase and GPx activity. Breath samples were also collected before and after each run and analyzed by an enose. Multivariate analyses of combined blood data yielded better results than individual analyses. Although data was limited for this pilot study, canonical discriminant analyses (CDA) showed separation between before and after run and between short and long run breath samples. Cross validations also found up to a 77.8 percent prediction accuracy for the enose. Results indicate an enose is feasible for detecting changes in the breath occurring after physically demanding exercise perhaps due to oxidative stress incurred during the exercise.

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