The Effect of Impact Loading on Bone Biomarkers in Energy-Restricted Female Runners

  • End date
    Dec 18, 2024
  • participants needed
  • sponsor
    Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
Updated on 18 September 2022
Accepts healthy volunteers


This study is a randomized, cross-over intervention study that will evaluate the effect of brief, high-impact loading exercises on biomarkers of bone metabolism in energy-restricted, eumenorrheic female runners. Volunteers will complete two, 5-day experimental conditions in a randomized order separated by one menstrual cycle (approximately 3 weeks). Experimental conditions will include a dietary intervention of energy intake equal to 30 kcal/kg of fat-free mass/d using controlled diets and an exercise intervention of daily treadmill running with or without an additional 50 impact loading exercises.


Many long-distance runners struggle to consume enough calories each day to match the number of calories they are burning during exercise and as part of daily living. Undereating for long periods of time is a serious concern because it can have negative effects on general health and sports performance. One of these long-term consequences is related to bone health. With undereating, bone can start to be broken down faster than it can be rebuilt. Even though it can take months, and even years, for bone to be seriously affected, this may lead to weak and brittle bones later in life, if it is left untreated. Typically, athletes are recommended to increase the number of calories they eat to prevent negative health concerns. However, not all athletes may be willing or able to increase their calories based on their performance goals, nutrition knowledge, or concerns with food security. This means that alternative strategies need to be investigated to counteract the negative effects of undereating on bone health. This study proposes to evaluate the effect of adding short bouts of high-impact jumping exercises to typical endurance training to promote healthy bone metabolism. This will specifically involve completing two phases of a supervised treadmill run and consuming a reduced-calorie diet (provided by the research team) on 5 consecutive days. In addition, one of the phases will include performing 5 sets of 10 jumping exercises on 5 consecutive days in addition to the treadmill run. Results of the study will serve as an important first step in helping exercise and medical professionals understand more about how to protect and manage the bone health of female long-distance runners.

Condition Relative Energy Deficiency in Sport
Treatment Impact Load Exercises, No Impact Load Exercises
Clinical Study IdentifierNCT05341700
SponsorVirginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
Last Modified on18 September 2022


Yes No Not Sure

Inclusion Criteria

Females runners with regular menstrual cycles, not using contraceptives
Body Mass Index between 18.5-25.0 kg/m2
Weight stable (+/- 2 kg) for 6 months
Running volume of ≥30 miles per week, frequency of at least 5 days per week
VO2max of ≥45 ml/kg/min
Willing to consume provided meals and snacks

Exclusion Criteria

Low Energy Availability in Females Questionnaire (LEAF-Q) score ≥8
Menstrual disturbances measured by progesterone and self-report
Using contraceptives (oral contraceptives, injections, intrauterine device, etc.)
Low Bone Mineral Density (z-score < -1)
Routine engagement in mechanical loading exercises
History of fracture in the previous 6 months
Recent recovery (within the last 12 months) or still in recovery after eating disorder diagnosis
Medication use that could affect bone metabolism (e.g., corticosteroids, anticonvulsants, heparin, gonadotropin-releasing hormone agonists)
Pregnancy or lactation
Abnormal thyroid-stimulating hormone levels
Clear my responses

How to participate?

Step 1 Connect with a study center
What happens next?
  • You can expect the study team to contact you via email or phone in the next few days.
  • Sign up as volunteer to help accelerate the development of new treatments and to get notified about similar trials.

You are contacting

Investigator Avatar

Primary Contact



Additional screening procedures may be conducted by the study team before you can be confirmed eligible to participate.

Learn more

If you are confirmed eligible after full screening, you will be required to understand and sign the informed consent if you decide to enroll in the study. Once enrolled you may be asked to make scheduled visits over a period of time.

Learn more

Complete your scheduled study participation activities and then you are done. You may receive summary of study results if provided by the sponsor.

Learn more

Similar trials to consider


Browse trials for

Not finding what you're looking for?

Every year hundreds of thousands of volunteers step forward to participate in research. Sign up as a volunteer and receive email notifications when clinical trials are posted in the medical category of interest to you.

Sign up as volunteer

user name

Added by • 



Reply by • Private

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet consectetur, adipisicing elit. Ipsa vel nobis alias. Quae eveniet velit voluptate quo doloribus maxime et dicta in sequi, corporis quod. Ea, dolor eius? Dolore, vel!

  The passcode will expire in None.

No annotations made yet

Add a private note
  • abc Select a piece of text from the left.
  • Add notes visible only to you.
  • Send it to people through a passcode protected link.
Add a private note