Volunteer for a Nutrition and Dietetics Research Study on Endurance Athletes

Liz Earhart, RDN, LD, a graduate student in the Department of Nutrition and Dietetics is completing her research thesis on the effects of salt supplementation on endurance performance (running/cycling) and is looking for volunteers for her study.


  • A male or female endurance athlete between the ages of 18-60 years old.
  • Free from heart, lunch or metabolic (i.e. diabetes, kidney or liver) disease and have no symptoms of these.
  • Currently run ≥30 miles each week, road-cycle ≥150 miles each week, off-road cycle ≥70 miles per week, OR a similar amount of these or another type of endurance exercise (i.e. swimming).
  • Perform two hour bouts of endurance exercise at least once every 1-2 weeks.
  • Been training for at least six months

To reduce dehydration during endurance activities many athletes take salt tablets. However, the amount of salt shown to be helpful has not been found, and the effects of salt on endurance exercise are not clear. This study aims to determine the impact of salt on sweat rate, heart rate, heat stress (how hot you feel), rating of perceived exertion (how hart the exercise is) and time to fatigue in trained, endurance athletes.

The study involves two, 2-hour exercise tests with a time trial at the end. You can choose to use a treadmill or cycle for the tests. During one test, you will take salt tablets. For the other test, you will take a placebo (cornstarch). All trials will be done at the Saint Louis University exercise lab in the Allied Health Building. You will need to come to the University for an initial meeting.

If qualified, please contact Liz at eearhart@slu.edu.

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