Children Have More Energy And Recover Faster Than Elite Endurance Athletes

haidut

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While endurance exercise is hardly the healthiest form of physical activity, triathlon runners are known for their ability to quickly clear lactate out of the blood and metabolite it back into glucose. The ability to handle lactate is good metric of metabolic health and the pyruvate/lactate ratio is commonly used in hospitals, especially in burn victims or patients with heart attacks.
The study below found that children have (surprise!) an exceptionally well functioning oxidative metabolism. The study found that children's energy levels and ability to recover after exhausting physical exertion exceeds that of elite triathlon runners. It should be kept in mind that the study was on pre-pubertal children and I suspect that the metabolic health after puberty kicks in is much poorer due to elevated estrogen and cortisol.

Metabolic and Fatigue Profiles Are Comparable Between Prepubertal Children and Well-Trained Adult Endurance Athletes
"...The Pmax-to-PVO2max ratio was not significantly different between children (1.9 ± 0.5) and endurance athletes (2.1 ± 0.2) but lower than untrained men (3.2 ± 0.3, p < 0.001 for both). The relative energy contribution derived from oxidative metabolism was also similar in children and endurance athletes but greater than untrained men over the second half of the Wingate test (p < 0.001 for both). Furthermore, the post-exercise recovery kinetics of VO2, HR, and [La] in children and endurance athletes were faster than those of untrained men. Finally, FI was comparable between children and endurance athletes (−35.2 ± 9.6 vs. −41.8 ± 9.4%, respectively) but lower than untrained men (−51.8 ± 4.1%, p < 0.01). To conclude, prepubertal children were observed to be metabolically comparable to well-trained adult endurance athletes, and were thus less fatigable during high-intensity exercise than untrained adults."

"...The aim of the present study was to determine whether, contrary to untrained adults, prepubertal children are metabolically comparable to well-trained adult endurance athletes and if this translates into similar fatigue rates during high-intensity exercise between both populations. The main results confirm our hypotheses since prepubertal children had a comparable net contribution of energy derived from aerobic metabolism to well-trained adult endurance athletes, and the rate of fatigue, as illustrated by the relative decrement in power output during the Wingate test, was similar between both populations. Furthermore, the post-exercise recovery rates of oxygen uptake and HR were respectively similar and faster in prepubertal children than well-trained adult endurance athletes. The removal ability of lactate from the blood compartment was also higher in children than well-trained adult endurance athletes."


Children have energy levels greater than endurance athletes, scientists find
"...Parents run ragged by their children may have suspected it all along. Youngsters have greater energy levels than professional endurance athletes, scientists have discovered, meaning it is virtually impossible for the average adult to keep up. And for mothers and fathers hoping that tiring out their little ones will ensure a good night’s sleep, be warned. Children also have a impressive recovery time, and will be back to their hyperactive best quicker than parents can say ‘lie in.’ “We found the children used more of their aerobic metabolism and were therefore less tired during the high-intensity physical activities," said Sebastien Ratel, Associate Professor in Exercise Physiology who completed this study at the Université Clermont Auvergne, France. “They also recovered very quickly - even faster than the well-trained adult endurance athletes - as demonstrated by their faster heart-rate recovery and ability to remove blood lactate. “This may explain why children seem to have the ability to play and play and play, long after adults have become tired.”
 

marsaday

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Ha ha, i need to quote this to family and friends when i am chasing after my 4 y/o in the park. One minute she is in front of me and then next she is 100m's away trying to hide. She ran a good long way all around the park and she wasn't out of breath at all. I am pretty fit, but she is amazing with her energy output. Sleeps really well which is good.
 
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To conclude, prepubertal children were observed to be metabolically comparable to well-trained adult endurance athletes, and were thus less fatigable during high-intensity exercise than untrained adults."

What are the factors within prepubescent metabolism vs say someone at 21 which are responsible for the superior rate of lactate clearing from the blood? Why would hormonal changes have such a profound effect on lactate, or is it something else, is this less to do with hormones and more to do with simple aging? I am in my late 30s now and feel that I am at a constant battle with lactic acid; getting extra calcium - magnesium - aiming for more akali has only made a small effect and I have been very conscientious about this for years - I wish I knew other ways to help. For example, I wake up with sore feet after days where I spent little to no time on my feet - and ate very peaty and avoided excess acid forming foods - drank extra vinegar or baking soda before bed etc.
 

haidut

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What are the factors within prepubescent metabolism vs say someone at 21 which are responsible for the superior rate of lactate clearing from the blood? Why would hormonal changes have such a profound effect on lactate, or is it something else, is this less to do with hormones and more to do with simple aging? I am in my late 30s now and feel that I am at a constant battle with lactic acid; getting extra calcium - magnesium - aiming for more akali has only made a small effect and I have been very conscientious about this for years - I wish I knew other ways to help. For example, I wake up with sore feet after days where I spent little to no time on my feet - and ate very peaty and avoided excess acid forming foods - drank extra vinegar or baking soda before bed etc.

Estrogen rises in puberty and the trend of its levels increasing continues with aging. Estrogen prevents the proper use of glucose and contributes to its wasting as lactate, and it promotes the oxidation of fat. Accumulation of PUFA also has a big role as it increases inflammation and thus coritsol and further inhibits glucose metabolism while promoting fatty acid oxidation, and inhibits the synthesis of T, DHEA, and progesterone. Peat spoke a few times about vitamin E (as an antiestrogen) having very beneficial effects on energy production and chemicals like aspirin, niacinamide, Mildronate are ways to improve sugar oxidation and thus retard the aging process. Some people have reported that higher Mildronate doses make them very difficult to tire, and there is a reason that drug is banned as doping in sports. In my experience, anti-serotonin chemicals can do something similar if one can move beyond the initial sleepiness they seem to cause.
 
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Thank you @haidut , estrogen lactate connection - this makes sense.
 

Wagner83

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Is it possible that the size of the body matters as well? In football (zoccer) smaller players usually are quicker and run much more without tiring, think defensive midfielder, wingers and full backs.
 
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Is it possible that the size of the body matters as well? In football (zoccer) smaller players usually are quicker and run much more without tiring, think defensive midfielder, wingers and full backs.

I'm guessing circulation would be more efficient in smaller bodies, heart size to body ratio must have some play here.
 

Dobbler

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I wonder if this can be achieved by "training" like children - walking, jumping over streams and rocks, and occasional spurt or two.
 

mipp

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I wonder if this can be achieved by "training" like children - walking, jumping over streams and rocks, and occasional spurt or two.
I doubt it. Children don't train. They just have abundant energy that they need to burn. You probably can't achieve that state ever again but from the study it would seem that being a well trained endurance athlete is the next best thing (?)
 

dand

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Aren't we getting a mildronate like supplement from you soon :)? Or do we already have it? I can't recall.
 

dand

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Aren't we getting a mildronate like supplement from you soon :)? Or do we already have it? I can't recall.
 
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