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Exertional heat stress-induced gastrointestinal perturbations: prevention and management strategies
  1. Rhiannon M J Snipe1,2
  1. 1 Department of Nutrition, Dietetics and Food, Monash University, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
  2. 2 Centre for Sport Research (CSR), School of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences, Deakin University, Burwood, Victoria, Australia
  1. Correspondence to Dr Rhiannon M J Snipe, Centre for Sport Research, School of Exercise and Nutrition Sciences, Deakin University, Burwood VIC 3125, Australia; r.snipe{at}

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What did I do?

I investigated the effects of heat stress and nutrition strategies on gastrointestinal and associated systemic disturbances during endurance running. I aimed to identify the effect of heat stress on gastrointestinal perturbations during prolonged running and subsequently explore the effectiveness of nutrition prevention strategies.

Why did I do it?

Gastrointestinal disturbances are common during endurance running events affecting ≥60% of athletes and may contribute to impaired nutrition intake, poor performance and withdrawal from competition.1 2 The greatest prevalence of gastrointestinal and associated systemic disturbances (eg, endotoxaemia and cytokinaemia) has been reported during endurance running (≥2 hours of running at ≥60% maximal oxygen uptake (VO2max)) events held in the heat.1 No studies had previously explored the effects of heat exposure during endurance running on gastrointestinal symptoms and/or in conjunction with gastrointestinal integrity, systemic endotoxaemia and cytokinaemia. Further, research on prevention strategies targeting the underlying primary mechanisms, such as hyperthermia …

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  • Contributors RMJS developed the manuscript based on research from her PhD which was conducted under the supervision of Dr Ricardo Costa.

  • Funding These studies were supported by a Monash University, Faculty of Medicine, Nursing and Health Sciences, Faculty Strategic Grant Scheme SGS15-0128 and a 2015 Sports Medicine Australia Research Foundation Grant.

  • Patient consent Obtained.

  • Ethics approval Monash University Human Ethics Research Committee.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; internally peer reviewed.

  • Author note All food and fluid provided in these studies were formulated in-house to produce equivalent solutions that only varied in macronutrient content (hydrolysed whey protein vs glucose-based carbohydrate).