Lactate Values in Endurance Horses

Can supplementing with ExcelEQ ProElite, an omega-3 rich supplement, benefit the lactate blood values in endurance horses?

Our “Lactate Value in Endurance Horses” study shows the benefits of supplementing omega-3 fatty acids, such as ExcelEQ ProElite, to their diet.

Background: The Importance of Blood Lactate

Blood lactate is a value commonly used to assess athletic condition during both clinical exercise testing and performance testing. During normal exercise, the body uses oxygen to break down glucose for energy.  When practicing intense exercise, there may not be enough oxygen available to break down glucose. If this is the case, the body can convert lactate to energy without using oxygen.

However, this can lead lactate acid to build up in the bloodstream faster than it is burned off. While an elevated blood lactate may be indicative of ischemia or hypoxemia, it may also be a “normal” response during exertion. A “good” or “trained” athlete will exhibit a lower lactate than a “poor” or “untrained” athlete at any absolute intensity above resting (Goodwin et al, 2007). Therefore, the blood value is a good marker of exercise tolerance and exertion.

Omega-3 Oil Helps Elasticity

Omega-3 fatty acids are a family of essential fatty acids with many biological activities. These fatty acids are incorporated into cell membranes, changing their structural and functional characteristics. Evidence shows that an increased concentration of omega-3 fatty acids in the muscle cell walls have many benefits.

These fatty acids can trigger higher elasticity, flexibility and lower the risk of physical damage to muscle tissue during exercise (Lembke et al, 2014). In addition, Omega-3 fatty acids also manage inflammatory responses at different levels in cellular metabolism.

Measuring Endurance Fitness with Lactate Blood Values

Excel’s pilot study, “Lactate Value in Endurance Horses”, shows the benefit of supplementing ExcelEQ ProElite camelina oil, to endurance horses. Lactate blood values are utilized throughout the study for measuring the horses fitness.

ExcelEQ ProElite, is a camelina-based omega-3 oil supplement with the addition of olive triterpenes for additional antioxidant support. Through the application of this study, we will compare the effects of ProElite oil supplementation during an endurance race.

Objective: ExcelEQ ProElite for Endurance Horses

To gather data before and after ExcelEQ ProElite oil supplementation in equine endurance athletes by comparing pre and post-race blood lactate values.

Methods and Materials: Metabolic Response Using ProElite 

Three horses of Arabian breeding were used to study the effects of ExcelEQ ProElite oil supplementation during an endurance race competition. Each horse would provide valuable insight on the metabolic response using ProElite through 2 races.

Two horses competed at a distance of 25 miles at both races and one horse competed at a distance of 50 miles at both races. While the location was the same for race 1 and race 2, some differences in the course did exist.

Blood lactate values were pulled at vet-in, approximately 12 hours prior to racing and again upon completion of the races, between 3-4 hours post finish time.

At race 1, all three horses competed without omega-3 supplementation. Following completion of race 1, the study horses were fed 2 ounces of ExcelEQ ProElite oil each day throughout a 6-week period between race 1 and race 2.

Results: Lactate Recovery Values

The result? Lactate values were positively affected by ExcelEQ ProElite supplementation. Race 1 contained higher post-lactate values than the pre-race values by an average of 0.3mmol/L. This directly indicates the increase of muscle exertion from the use of ProElite.

After 6 weeks of ProElite supplementation, post-race blood lactate values were on average 0.1mmol/L less than pre-race values. This is an excellent indication of optimal endurance health.

All in all, the improvement noted in all 3 horses’ lactate recovery values during race 2 was an impressive feat, and indicative of good conditioning and an excellent metabolic state.

Conclusion: ExcelEQ ProElite Increased Dissipation of Lactic Acid

In conclusion, the results of this study suggest that addition of ExcelEQ ProElite oil positively alters exercise metabolism in conditioned horses.

This study demonstrated that after 6 weeks of supplementation with ExcelEQ ProElite oil, endurance horses were able to speed up the dissipation of lactic acid in the bloodstream as compared to racing without prior supplementation.

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Goodwin, M. L., Harris, J. E., Hernández, A., & Gladden, L. B. (2007). Blood lactate measurements and analysis during exercise: a guide for clinicians. Journal of diabetes science and technology1(4), 558–569. doi:10.1177/193229680700100414

Lembke, P., Capodice, J., Hebert, K., & Swenson, T. (2014). Influence of omega-3 (n3) index on performance and wellbeing in young adults after heavy eccentric exercise. Journal of sports science & medicine13(1), 151–156.

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