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Investigate the effects of altitude training on fitness.

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Introduction

ALTITUDE TRAINING INVESTIGATION The aim of this coursework was to investigate the effects of altitude training on fitness. The experiment will take place in the mountains, at 2000 meters above sea level. There will be a total of 100 athletes with roughly the same VO2 max. VO2 max is the amount of oxygen a person can consume during exercise. Half of the athletes will be training at sea level and the other half will be training at a higher altitude. The duration of their training for both sets of athletes will be 4 weeks, which is considered to be best duration for optimum performance once you return to sea level for competition. After four weeks, we would compare the VO2 max of both sets of athletes to see if there's any significant difference in the results. My variables will be the athletes training at high altitude, and my controlled athletes will be one's training at sea-level. Most of my useful research was conducted on the internet so I will have detailed knowledge on each factor affecting fitness at altitude. My experiment will also take into account the negative factors when training at altitude as well as the positive factors. ...read more.

Middle

Each hemoglobin protein can bind to four oxygen molecules - one oxygen molecule for each heme group. In order to function most efficiently, hemoglobin needs to bind to oxygen tightly in the oxygen-rich atmosphere of the lungs and be able to release oxygen rapidly in the relatively oxygen-poor environment of the tissues. A hemoglobin molecule consists of four polypeptide chains, two alpha chains each with 141 amino acids and two beta chains each with 146 amino acids. The protein portion of these chains are called the 'globin'. The ability for hemoglobin to release oxygen is affected by pH, CO2 and by the differences in the oxygen-rich environment of the lungs and the oxygen-poor environment in the muscles and tissues. The pH in the tissues is significantly lower than in the lungs. This increased acidity provides a double purpose. First, protons lower the affinity of hemoglobin for oxygen, allowing easier release into the tissues. As all four oxygen are released, hemoglobin binds to two protons. This is known as the Bohr Effect, and is vital in the removal of carbon dioxide as waste because CO2 is insoluble in the bloodstream. ...read more.

Conclusion

mitochondria to carryout the process of aerobic energy transfer.. Other roles that oxygen has in the mitochondria is that, it binds to an electron and hydrogen to produce water, so that the body will not be dehydrated. Nutrition is also important at altitude. Dehydration is a result of thirst, rapid glycogen depletion, weight and water loss. Dehydration may intensify as a result of altitude sickness and even lowers food intakes. Research shows that the best food to consume is carbohydrate. Carbohydrates replace depleted muscle glycogen stores, prevent protein from being used as energy, and require less oxygen for metabolism. A high carbohydrate diet can reduce the onset and severity of altitude sickness improves physical performance. A low carbohydrate diet can result in low blood sugar which causes disorientation and lack of coordination. These conditions can be extremely dangerous when combined with oxygen deficiency. Dehydration can be prevented by consuming 3 to 4 liters of water per day and about 200grams of carbohydrate. Athletes with average iron stores might suffer during the early days at altitude because hard training accelerates RBC production which could drain already limited iron stores. Any new red cells will have low hemoglobin content and will not function properly. ...read more.

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