Appalachian State

ASU Recruiting for Pistachio/Cycling Study

March 18, 2013


The Appalachian State University (ASU) Human Performance Laboratory at the NC Research Campus (NCRC) is conducting a study on the influence of pistachio nuts on performance and recovery. Lab director David C. Nieman, DrPH, and his research team are recruiting 20 male cyclists between the ages of 18 and 55 to participate.

What is the purpose of this research? There is growing interest in providing athletes with healthy alternatives to sugar-laden sports drinks.  Pistachios are nutrient-dense nuts that contain a unique nutrient profile that may help the athlete better cope with the stress associated with intense and prolonged exercise. The purpose of this study is to determine if consuming three ounces of pistachio nuts per day for two weeks before and during a 75-km cycling time trial will provide the fuel to improve performance compared to water alone as well as lessen inflammation, immune changes and oxidative stress during recovery.

Who can take part in this research? The study requires 20 male cyclists between the ages of 18 and 55 who compete in long distance road races and can cycle 75-km at race pace on a CompuTrainer in a laboratory setting (approximately 2 to 3 hours). All testing will be conducted at the ASU-NCRC Human Performance Lab in Kannapolis, NC.

What will the study involve? Approximately two weeks prior to the first 75-km cycling trial, volunteers will report to the ASU-NCRC Human Performance Lab for baseline testing in the morning that will include VO2max testing using the Lodi cycle ergometer, body composition and giving a blood sample. Volunteers will complete two 75-km cycling time trials (morning sessions) after two weeks of ingesting pistachio nuts or no pistachio nuts (randomized order), with a two-week period between supplementation periods for your body to “washout” from the pistachio nuts.  For each 75-km cycling session, volunteers will report to the lab at 6:45 am in an overnight fasted and rested state. After a blood sample, they will cycle for 75 km on a mountainous course as fast as possible using their own bicycles on CompuTrainers.  Additional blood samples will be taken immediately post-exercise, and 1.5-h post-exercise. You will return in an overnight fasted state the next morning (~7:00 am) to provide a blood sample.  The blood samples will be analyzed for indicators of inflammation, oxidative stress, immune function and metabolism.

Is there financial compensation for taking part in this research? Volunteers are paid $500 for being in this study.


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