ACSM Annual Meeting Recap – 2012

If you recall, I kicked off this month in San Francisco, CA at the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) Annual Meeting. It was a great experience, and like I did for the SCAN Symposium back in April, I wanted to share some highlights and session notes with you all.

I attended the GSSI (Gatorade Sports Science Institute) Sports Nutrition Pre-Conference the afternoon before ACSM officially got underway. This session opened with Asker Jeukendrup, the new global senior director of the Gatorade Sports Science Institute informing us about what GSSI has been up to (opening new labs, establishing the GSSIXP (Expert Panel), testing athletes, etc) and what to expect in the near future (such as a new website launching this summer). I plan on elaborating on this information in another post as I recently attended the Sports Fuel Expert Summit with GSSI down in their Florida lab and have lots of information I want to pass along! One of my favorite things that Dr. Jeukendrup has done so far with establishing the GSSIXP is encouraging the members to get on Twitter. You can follow the #GSSI and #GSSIXP hashtags to stay up to date on happenings and the latest research. (You can follow Dr. Jeukendrup on Twitter – @Jeukendrup.) After the opening, several GSSIXP members gave presentations about various sports nutrition topics….

Keith Baar, PhD – “Nutrition and the Adaptation to Training”

In this presentation, Dr. Baar discussed the effects of low glycogen training. His talk hit upon mechanisms involved, i.e. – exercising in a low glycogen state increases nuclear AMPK and PCG-1 alpha as well as the phosphorylation of PPARδ….but allow me to put the conclusion in non-molecular scientist terms…Occassional low glycogen w/ supplement fat increases submaximal fat oxidation, spares glycogen and may improve endurance performance in long duration endurance events. I recently wrote an article about “Train-Low, Compete-High” for the NutriKnow blog which is written by Adrian Hodsgon, a PhD student at University of Birmingham (in the UK…not Alabama).

Follow Dr. Baar – @MuscleScience ; Follow Adrian – @adrianhodgson63

Lawrence Spriet, PhD – “Benefits of High Fat Diets”

This talk was a great follow-up to the first, since low glycogen training is pretty similar to consuming a high fat diet. Dr. Spriet presented information showing that there is still a lingering effect of a high fat diet even after a day of high CHO feeding pre time trial. Research shows that while there is usually no performance benefit (despite increased fat oxidation at various levels of VO2max), there is also not a harming effect. Then he presented what I thought to be the most compelling information: most research protocols assume that endurance exercise is steady state and submaximal. However, this is not actually the case in the real world. Moments such as a surge up a hill, a breakaway, etc are potentially result-altering parts of the race, and in those moments, a high fat / low CHO diet is actually harmful.

Unfortunetly, Dr. Spiet is not on Twitter….YET.

Stuart Phillips, PhD – “Keys to Gaining Muscle Mass”

This presentation hit upon several GREAT points about protein intake and muscle protein synthesis. First being that the RDA is really just a “minimum” protein requirement. Furthermore, Nitrogen balance is difficult to assess because there is really no outcome athletes can “see”! Dr. Phillips then went on to present information about the optimal protein intake in a single bout for the max rate of muscle protein synthesis. For young people, this is 20 grams (also can be viewed as 8.6 grams of essential amino acids). However, in older individuals, 40 grams (16.8 grams of essential amino acids) is needed. Then the discussion turned to the SOURCE of protein. Several studies have found that milk promotes a greater net balance than soy protein. This is because soy protein has a lower leucine concentration and is not digested in the same manner as whey protein. Because of the information about leucine being so important, several people have suggested that a leucine supplement is all that is needed. However, post exercise, we need ALL the amino acids to get a full anabolic response, so therefore need a complete protein, not just singular amino acids.  Take away points from this talk: 1) Optimal protein intake is 1.2-1.6 g/kg/d. 2) Consume dairy proteins high in leucine. 3)Consume protein in doses of 20-25 grams. 4) Equally space protein intake throughout the day. 5) Consume protein post exercise. For a great, in depth article about this information check out Leigh Breen, PhD’s post on the NutriKnow blog.

Follow Dr. Phillips – @mackinprof ; Follow Dr. Breen – @LeighBreen

Andrew Jones, PhD – “Nitrates”

Maybe you’ve heard about the benefits of beet root juice for endurance exercise performance recently. A lot of work in this area is being performed by Dr. Jones. Essentially, supplementation with NaNO-3 or beetroot juice which is high in nitrates, has been shown to reduce the oxygen cost of exercise and increases time to exhaustion by 16% in moderate intensity exercise and by 10% in high-intensity exercise. So far beetroot juice intake has been shown to increase time trial performance over 4K, 10K, and 16K, but not yet over longer distances. Work still remains to be done in this area. For instance, will the effects be seen with elite athletes who already have higher plasma nitrate levels than the “less elite”? Is a diet high in greens enough, or is supplementation needed? Keep your eyes peeled for more information coming out soon about this!

Follow Dr. Jones – @AndyBeetroot

The rest of the conference was just as great as the pre-conference. My favorite talk, which I plan on writing about more in-depth at a later time was titled, “Marathons: Healthful or Harmful”.

Now for some pictures….I helped out my favorite organization, SCAN at their booth in the exhibit hall one afternoon. It was great to get the message out about this group and the resources it has to offer to others in the exercise science community.

Despite all of the presentations I did manage to get out and sight-see and eat some awesome food while in San Francisco. I discovered a new tea which I love.

Ate this awesome Avocado, soy appetizer at a Sushi place.

Saw the sea lions at the pier.

And Alcatraz.

The best part though was hands down what I ate for dinner my last night. A giant Berry Sundae at Ghiradelli Square.

I left early and missed the final day of the conference in an attempt to get back home for a trail race. That didn’t work out so well…Read about it here!

What is your favorite professional conference? Anyone planning on attending the ACSM Annual Meeting next year in Indianapolis? If so…hopefully I will see you there!

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13 thoughts on “ACSM Annual Meeting Recap – 2012

    • Sandy says:

      Marshall,I am a big fan of yours and loved reading your book. I am 17 years old and in trianing for my first marathon, and I plan to start moving into ultra races in the next 6 months or so. I am planning on pursuing some sort of career with endurance sports. I am a strong believer in the value and importance of serving others. I am going into the Army after college, but I am only planning on staying in for 4 or 5 years. Afterwards I have been thinking about trying to take a year or two to compete in extreme endurance events to raise money for charity. Do you have any advice or thoughts on the feasibility of that idea? Assuming I can train hard/smart enough up until that point, do you think it would be possible to take a year or more just to train and compete in endurance events, maybe while being supported by sponsorships? Or do you have any other ideas on ways to better focus my time and efforts, possibly while working with or for a particular charity? Any advice you have would be greatly appreciated.

  1. Kate says:

    I really enjoyed the bit about protein from Dr. Phillips. Protein consumption has been a huge part of my competition diet and I love learning more and more about it. Did Dr. Phillips hit on what brands are better than others by any chance? I must say the avacado soy app looked……well AMAZING!

  2. teri@managedmacros says:

    What a wealth of information this must of been! I recently wrote an article that mentioned the endurance benefits of beetroot juice to athletes…something fun to keep an eye on! Did they mention anything about creatine and building muscle mass….I love reading research on this supplement, the benefits seem to be ongoing. Great summary. GREAT pics!!!!

    • Zekie says:

      Hi Albert, it’s good to hear from you way up there in Canada. Hope your weather is allinowg you to train. At the age of 62, your max heart rate should be about 158 beats per minute. If you are getting back into shape, it is reasonable to back off of that max heart rate up to 20% or more. If it feels okay at 130 bpm, that is great as you are benefiting greatly by moderate running. It’s okay to get your heart rate up to 140 or even 150 for periods that are manageable without overdoing it. In theory you should be able to maintain the 150 bpm for extended periods of time, but over the long haul, I would advise to keep your heart rate in the 130 to 135 bpm range for ultras. Good luck, and I enjoyed reading your book, Sand in my Shoes.marsh

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