Contribute to Science! Dr. Hearris is Recruiting Cyclists and Triathletes

Hey Everyone!

Dr. Mark Hearris, a previous podcast guest, is recruiting cyclists and triathletes to participate in a study!

They will be investigating the optimal nutritional strategy to enhance recovery in cyclists and triathletes.

Below, I have attached the details and how to note interest. He will share more information with you after you have expressed interest!

Cheers, Sarah :blush:


Too bad this is limited to 18 - 40 year old males. The “males” part seems very old school, and the 40<= on a personal level makes me sad. With so many “masters” athletes, I would think understanding how to use nutrition to improve recovery in older athletes would be of great interest / importance.


What inevitably will happen is that any recommendations based on this study will be applied to female athletes. And master’s athletes. :woozy_face:


As always we female and masters athletes are happy for the scraps….


They are just “little” or “old” males, so it will be fine. :man_shrugging:

(Not saying this will happen for this study, but it is certainly a trend in research)


I’m not a research scientist of any sort, so possible I’m way off on my understanding of this but…

Isn’t one of the significant appealing factors of a remote trial like this that you can get into larger sample sizes, if at the expense of control over the subjects? As such I’d think limiting the population up front would be counterproductive

Specifically, wasn’t the prior trial conducted with TR limited on size due to compliance and up front cohort restrictions? I vaguely recall one of those researcher’s regrets being limiting participants too strictly up front


All of the above. The exclusion of female athletes is particularly striking, and I’m sorry that TR is associating itself with a study that does exclude female athletes.

If the rationale for excluding masters 40+ athletes was around issues with IRB approval, I could understand that - it would still gall me, but that wouldn’t be on the study authors. But I can’t understand excluding female athletes and saying you are investigating optimal nutrition strategy to enhance recovery and leave off the “in male athletes”


Snark aside I do understand the physiology behind recruiting just men in an age range. If you’re studying a potentially small effect (marginal gain that you can sell….) in a population then you may need less variation between subjects. What frustrates me is the constant drumbeat of almost always having to extrapolate from these types of studies for the rest of us.


I wouldn’t go that far….and I think it is great they are offering up the opportunity to participate to their customer base.

I think the discussion re: athlete inclusion has clouded over the opportunity to participate. They are really separate issues.

If I fell into the age bracket, I would definitely have submitted a request to participate.

I think we differ on the importance of including females in studies like this, especially given the history of excluding females (and diverse communities) from studies like this. One can argue that this should be focused on females and should exclude males, as we know less on this topic for females


This, tbh ^^


That and the optimal bit. WTF.

I’m going to pile on.

Yes, please study optimal nutrition for all cyclists by studying only certain male cyclists. :roll_eyes:

If you’re reducing variation between subjects, why is it cyclists and triathletes? They are assumed to need the same optimized nutrition? What about people with wildly different weights or w/kg? Hours per week of training? Climate you’re training in? Historical nutrition habits (vegans welcome)? But I’m sure participants’ estrogen levels are what will ruin everything. /s

(I’m not a scientist. But I’ve also never heard one give a good explanation for why women are almost always automatically excluded from studies by default. If someone has a good explanation, I’m all ears.)

Womens cycling is awesome and on the rise. Include them.


Hi everyone,

It’s great to see so much discussion around this topic, hopefully I can go some way to answering some of your questions.

I completely agree that we should do more to study the female athlete. In fact, this is probably one of the “hottest topics of study” amongst exercise scientists right now where one of my colleagues is performing a separate study that is solely focused on females. One of the main reasons we typically do not include females in these types of studies is that we don’t yet know whether factors such as the menstrual cycle or contraceptive use impacts upon metabolism. For this type of study, that would mean testing at the same point each month to avoid this potential variation and result in the data collection period taking 5-6 months to complete and bringing in other errors that may change over such a large time period (e.g. getting fitter).

I also appreciate that the restrictions on age can be frustrating. The main reason for this is that the way we metabolise nutrients is likely to differ between younger and older individuals and increase the variation in your results. This does not mean that the older/masters athlete is not important but likely requires a separate study to understand their responses.


Of course this is the main reason. This is always the main reason.

If you included women, had them track their cycles/contraception, and sex-disaggregated your data, wouldn’t you still be able to draw conclusions about male athletes even if ye olde ovaries were too noisy for any conclusions about female athletes? Anything you find will be treated like it applies to women regardless, and who knows, maybe you get an effect that’s big enough to punch through all that estrogen!


All of your reasons for excluding athletes read: we are excluding athletes who are hard to figure out. We just want easy athletes so we can get a result we can publish.

I’m sorry if I come across as harsh, but if you are going to exclude athletes for all of the reasons you stated, then please be honest in the study title so you are explicitly limiting what you are finding to a specific sub-group of endurance athletes and not endurance athletes generally


Please change the title of this post to “Dr. Hearris is Recruiting Young Male Cyclists and Triathletes”

Unreal that TR is boosting this, makes me glad I cancelled my subscription.

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You want to include women and then study them separately? Okay. Now you have doubled the sample size and likely the cost of the study. Or, alternatively, you have halved the number of participants in each sub group - males and females - limiting the power of the analysis.

I know everyone has opinions on this but how about give someone the benefit of the doubt. There are real constraints to research that people face. Moreover, it appears this research is being funded by SIS. Take your issues to them.


Indeed. I am a bit shocked & saddened by the backlash and near shaming taking place here.

It’s easy to criticize but doing any/all of the alternatives suggested add complexity at the least, cost and time at the worst. Sure, we’d all like as many subsets include as possible (including whichever we happen to fall within), but that is not practical in all cases.

No study is perfect or all-inclusive, so we take what we can from them as a stepping stone. Hopefully this can also lead to more studies with additional and/or different groups to expand the direct learnings (vs interpretation) in the future.

I just think the criticism is a bit harsh, IMO.


The comments might seem harsh, but Dr. Hearris’ stated reasons for not including women / 40+ athletes are an omission that the results won’t be generalizable to the excluded groups, and isn’t even trying to be generalizable. If the study title was clear ala Donna’s proposed title, then while sad that women / 40+ were excluded, it would be clear from the study that the study is limited to a subset of endurance athletes and isn’t trying to be extensible to all endurance athletes