A video produced by the UW-Madison Athletic Department has highlighted the football team’s continuing trial of “Energy Balance,” a test that may lead to better ways to optimize athletes’ training. The video describes how ‘Energy Balance’ is being used to monitor individualized performance by about 30 members of the football team.
According to researchers at Madison-based Isomark LLC, the technology can provide immediate feedback for weight gain or loss as well as other health-related uses by measuring the carbon in exhaled breath.
“From a performance team standpoint, this information is vital, because ultimately we want to put (players) in a position to succeed on and off the field,” said Jamil Walker, the Wisconsin football team’s assistant strength and condition coach.
“We can look at what their body is using for energy at any given time, and by doing that we can help them to optimize their workout training,” said Dan Butz, chief scientific officer for Isomark. “Our non-invasive breath technology enables immediate bio-feedback for weight management, which is a vast improvement over current methods of weight monitoring.”
Isomark researchers believe target markets for Energy Balance include athletes, people concerned with weight management, as well as tube-fed patients. The users of such a device would be able to track weight gains or losses while managing their caloric intake.
“In sports training, the technology monitors metabolism of macronutrients, such as protein, fat and carbohydrates,” Butz said. “When you’re training, you try to reach peak performance. By tracking macronutrient oxidation, which is burning of different types of metabolic fuel, you can maximize the effectiveness of the workout.”
Additionally, the technology can assist with tracking caloric intake for tube-fed patients in long-term care. Many patients struggle with unwanted weight-loss while in care. Energy Balance could assist in maintaining optimal nutrition for such patients, Butz said.
The UW football team test is projected to continue throughout the team’s regular season. Isomark is working with strategic clinical partners to design and launch further studies with the goal of delivering a commercial product within the next year.
About Isomark LLC
Isomark has developed a platform technology capable of detecting metabolic change using an individual’s exhaled breath. The technology is licensed through the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation. Current usage includes detecting infections and energy balance. The company has three clinical studies underway focused on early detection of infection in neonates and adults and a clinical study focused on human energy-balance. The company has received two federal Small Business Innovation Research grants, other grants and loans and has attracted private investor dollars.
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