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CASE REPORT   

The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness 2021 September;61(9):1309-13

DOI: 10.23736/S0022-4707.20.11682-7

Copyright © 2020 EDIZIONI MINERVA MEDICA

language: English

Case study: physical capacity and nutritional status before and after climbing two peaks with different altitude (4897-6812 m)

Giovanna GHIANI , Azzurra DONEDDU, Fabio SECHI, Gabriele MULLIRI, Silvana ROBERTO, Antonio CRISAFULLI

Department of Medical Sciences and Public Health, Sports Physiology Laboratory, University of Cagliari, Cagliari, Italy



Vinson and Ama Dablam are summits of different altitudes (4897 and 6812 m respectively). There are no published studies comparing physiological adaptations occurring after climbing both peaks yet. This case study compares changes in certain physiological parameters and body composition of a mountaineer who ascended both peaks. The athlete was a mountaineer who already climbed the 7 Summits©. Baseline body composition, physical capacity, and cerebral oxygenation during effort were measured before and after his departure. Body composition was estimated by electrical bio-impedance, while physical capacity was measured with an incremental exercise test (treadmill) conducted in normoxia and in hypoxia corresponding to about 4000 m. Hypoxia was obtained with a hypoxic gas generator. During tests, cerebral oxygenation was estimated with near infrared spectroscopy. The ascent of mount Vinson and Ama Dablam took 4 and 15 days respectively. The ascent of mount Vinson resulted in a 2.0 kg drop in body mass and a reduction in body fat (from 15.5% to 12.1%). The ascent of Ama Dablam reduced body mass by 3.7 kg, with an increase in body fat from 11.9% to 14.7%. Physical capacity was almost unchanged after both expeditions, although there was a reduction in maximum heart rate in relation to workload after Ama Dablam. Finally, after Ama Dablam there was an increase in cerebral oxygenation during effort both in normoxia and hypoxia. It was concluded that the longer duration and the higher altitude during the Ama Dablam expedition resulted in more evident physiological changes.


KEY WORDS: Diet; Hypoxia; Energy metabolism; Altitude; Body composition

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