Which energy sources are used during exercise by children with CF?
Why is this important?
Children with CF are encouraged to exercise on a regular basis. This is because exercise helps to clear mucus from their lungs, and also helps to increase fitness. This is important because it has been shown that children with CF who have good fitness are likely to have a better quality of life and preserve lung function for longer than those with low fitness. Regular exercise requires energy, and we know that patients with CF have special nutritional needs. So, we need to understand how patients with CF use energy during exercise so we can make appropriate recommendations.
What did you do?
We took six boys with CF and six boys who did not have CF but were of the same age, and we asked them to ride an exercise bike for 30 minutes, rest for 6 min, and then ride again for another 30 minutes. We measured how much energy they used during exercise.
What did you find?
We found that the boys with CF used more carbohydrate and less fat during exercise compared to the boys without CF.
What does this mean and reasons for caution?
Our results mean that children with CF may not be able to use fat for energy during exercise as well as children without CF. Patients should make sure they consume carbohydrates after they exercise to replenish energy stores.
We would like to study why children with CF are not able to use fat for energy during exercise.