Aerobic Conditioning Might Protect Against Liver and Muscle Injury Caused by Short-Term Military Training

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Koury, JC, Daleprane, JB, Pitaluga-Filho, MV, de Oliveira, CF, Gonçalves, MC, and Passos, MCF. Aerobic conditioning might protect against liver and muscle injury caused by short-term military training. J Strength Cond Res 30(2): 454–460, 2016—This study aimed to compare the biochemical markers of muscle and liver injury and total antioxidant capacity in army cadets after a traditional army physical training program and to correlate these effects with aerobic conditioning. Male army cadets (n = 87; age, 20 ± 2 years) were evaluated 12 hours before the start of training (T0), 12 hours after a 30-km march (T1), and 48 hours after military training (T2). Creatine kinase (CK), aspartate aminotransferase (AST), and alanine aminotransferase (ALT) serum levels were measured using an autoanalyzer. Total antioxidant capacity was determined by 2,2-diphenyl-1-picrylhydrazyl radical scavenging activity (Sc%). Seventy-four percent of army cadets were classified as having excellent aerobic conditioning (53.9 ± 3.0 ml·kg−1·min−1 predicted V[Combining Dot Above]O2max from the Cooper test). The median serum concentration of all enzymes increased 12 hours after marching (T1: CK 675%; ALT 59%; AST 336%; AST/ALT ratio 85%; p = 0.001) and 48 hours after the end of training (T2: CK 878%; ALT 256%; AST 418%; AST/ALT ratio 180%; p = 0.001). Sc% was higher in T2 (31.1 ± 9.8%; p = 0.01) than in T0 (3.4% change). Maximal oxygen consumption (ml·kg−1·min−1) correlated negatively with CK (r = −0.25; p = 0.009) and ALT (r = −0.21; p = 0.03) serum levels, and positively with the change in Sc% (r = 0.22; p = 0.04) at T2. The results indicate that intense military training can cause liver and muscle injury and that aerobic conditioning can be considered as a protective factor for these injuries.

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