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ePublication of Australian Fitness Network

This week: more evidence of the amazing role of the gut; could ketone supplements actually inhibit performance?; resistance training study participants wanted + more.

Healthy 90-year-olds have same gut health as those in their thirties

Research has found that extremely healthy older adults have the same gut microbiota as healthy people in their thirties.

Analysis of the bacterial composition in the guts of 1,000 healthy people of all ages showed that even those aged in their 90’s had comparable gut health to those just a third of their age. It should be noted that all those studied did not drink alcohol or smoke, and had no personal or family history of disease.

Resistance training study participants wanted

Have you ever practiced Kaatsu resistance training? Otherwise known as blood flow restriction (BFR) training, it involves performing exercise at low loads with a restrictive cuff placed around the exercising limbs, and has been shown to increase muscle size and strength.

By reducing oxygen and blood flow to the exercising muscles, metabolic by-products, such as lactate, accumulate, causing some parts of the muscle to fatigue quickly while others compensate.

Researchers at The University of Queensland School of Human Movement and Nutrition Sciences are now investigating the responses of healthy individuals to BFR training in an effort to translate the practice to clinical domains. They are looking for healthy adults aged 18 to 35 to participate in the study, which will comprise 6-weeks of free strength training supervised by a qualified exercise scientist.

To participate in the study, or find out more, contact Charlie Davids on or call 0413 541 974.

Could ketone supplements actually inhibit performance?

Ketone salts, a supplement used to enhance fat loss, may in fact impair high-intensity exercise performance, according to new research.

Although one study previously found a benefit to using the salts for long-duration endurance performance, researchers in Canada wanted to see if the effect was still evident in shorter duration and high intensity exercise, i.e. everyday workouts.

Studying 10 healthy adult males, the researchers found that those who took ketone salts performed more poorly than those who took a placebo, with power output in a cycling time trial being 7% lower.

Study co-author assistant professor Jonathan Little said ‘Often these supplements are marketed as a means of improving athletic performance but in this case, the research tells a very different story. On top of that, the long-term impacts of artificially increasing blood ketone levels – essentially tricking the body into thinking it is in a state of starvation – is completely unknown.’

Will you overeat later if you skip brekkie?

It’s often said that breakfast is the most important meal of the day and that skipping it can lead to overeating later on. A new study, however, appears to refute this school of thought.

Researchers in the UK studied the eating behaviours of 40 teenaged girls and found that they consumed around 350 fewer calories on days when they missed breakfast, compared with days that they did eat breakfast.

Due to this being one study finding that flies in the face of several previous study findings, the researchers did not interpret the findings as the green light to skip breakfast as a tactic for weight loss.

Could HIIT be sending the wrong message?

High Intensity Interval Training is not sustainable for most people who are trying to lose weight and move more, according to an Iowa State University professor of kinesiology.

Although Panteleimon Ekkekakis, an expert in exercise psychology, agrees with the oft-touted efficacy of HIIT training, he points to flaws in the research which has often used healthy young people as its subjects.

Ekkekakis and a colleague recruited inactive and obese individuals and measured their levels of pleasure and enjoyment during and following two workouts that burned the same number of calories but over different durations, one being HIIT and the other more moderate exercise.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, study participants reported greater pleasure and enjoyment with moderate-intensity exercise compared to high-intensity.

The findings prompt the question, ‘how efficient is this training if it’s not sustainable?’ and highlights the fitness industry’s problem of developing training programs that suit the ‘already fit’ population while neglecting to make any great inroads on the great percentage of those that also need our services.

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