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Effect of neuromuscular electrical stimulation frequency on postprandial glycemia, current-related discomfort, and muscle soreness. A crossover study

Guzmán-González, Benjamín, Llanos, Pablo, Calatayud, Joaquín, Maffiuletti, Nicola A., Cruz-Montecinos, Carlos
Applied physiology, nutrition and metabolism 2019 v.44 no.8 pp. 834-839
blood glucose, cross-over studies, electrical treatment, glycemic control, glycemic effect, men, muscles, nutrition, patients, women
Consensus is lacking regarding optimal neuromuscular electrical stimulation (NMES) parameters for postprandial glycemic control. Therefore, the aim of this study was to determine the NMES frequency inducing the greatest hypoglycemic effect in healthy individuals. The secondary aim was to compare current-related discomfort and muscle soreness between different frequencies. We conducted an experimental clinical study with a randomized crossover design. Sixteen healthy and sedentary participants received NMES for 20 min at 5, 10, or 50 Hz (pulse duration: 400 μs, on-off ratio: 4:12 s) following a standardized meal. Glycemia, discomfort, and muscle soreness during and after NMES were compared between conditions. Five-hertz NMES generated a significant hypoglycemic effect, contrary to 10 Hz and 50 Hz. Ten-hertz and 50-Hz NMES resulted respectively in lower current-related discomfort and greater muscle soreness compared with the other frequencies. Women reported higher discomfort than men. These findings contribute towards the possibility of more efficient long-term NMES treatments in terms of glycemic response and patient tolerance.