skip to main content

Profiles Of Scientists And Engineers: Exercise Scientist

6 minutes

I decided to become an exercise scientist basically because I love sports.

My name is Beth Mooradian. I'm a senior scientist at the Gatorade Sports Science Institute.

[laughs]

Science is very cool. I love it.

(Beth Mooradian) Honestly, in high school I didn't know I wanted to be a scientist. As I took classes in exercise physiology and anatomy, I became fascinated with how the body works. A scientist must have a mind that's always questioning, so it's neat to have questions and then do an experiment to solve it.

(male narrator) Beth and the other Gatorade scientists study how the human body fuels and cools itself.

(Mooradian) What I do to help amateur and professional athletes is to develop hydration strategies that are specific to that individual to really help them optimize their hydration and nutrition, which ultimately optimizes their health and performance.

Typically, we have an athlete come in. They bring their own bike. You can see Nick setting up their bike on the CompuTrainer. This CompuTrainer is connected to a computer that projects the riding course up on a screen. The computer will control the bike so that when it's going uphill, it puts resistance on the bike tire, and the athlete must shift gears to climb the hill.

(narrator) During test product performance trials, Beth and her colleagues draw blood and measure oxygen intake from subjects to determine how certain ingredients are performing in the body.

(Mooradian) I love the people. I love being able to work with human subjects, meeting new people, and having some new experiences. With my job, I've traveled a lot. I've done some studies out in the Sahara Desert in Africa. I've traveled to London and Italy for conferences. And it's just been a great experience meeting many well-known scientists in the field.

(Mooradian) After this blood draw, we'll get your body weight, then we'll have you start exercise. We'll cycle at the intensity we set during your orientation, and once you start to sweat, we'll put the sweat patches on you.

(narrator) The sweat patch test helps measure the amount of electrolytes we sweat out as the body cools itself. Knowing how many electrolytes we lose during different levels of exercise helps the scientists figure out how much should go into various formulas of their products in order to help athletes rehydrate.

(Mooradian) Some of the hurdles I face in my job is, when you do human subject research, nothing ever happens the way you plan. People get sick, equipment might break down, so your timeline you've developed to finish your study might get pushed back a month, even six months. That can be a bit frustrating, especially when you're excited to discover what the result is.

(Mooradian) This is our exercise sensory lab. When a subject arrives, we provide them with a sample of their test beverage. We ask subjects to rate the beverage using a form similar to this one.

(narrator) Rating the taste is another big factor. If it doesn't taste good, athletes might find another way to rehydrate. I think more women are becoming scientists. I want to say because they're cool. I think the stereotype is being shattered. I think many women have been interested in science for some time, and now they feel they have the opportunity to go into the field and become brilliant scientists.

You can make a good living doing this type of work. In my leisure time, I like to spend time with my family and friends. We're having a Mexican fiesta. Mexican's my favorite food. Are you gonna get it?

(Mooradian) I have a Boston Terrier. His name is Chomper, and Chomper is my baby. I love working out, so I do a lot of different exercises and activities. I take karate, which has spun off into mixed martial arts. It makes me feel strong, safe, and that I can pretty much take on anyone.

[man shouts] [Beth shouts]

[man shouts]

Sweaty. The most rewarding part of being an exercise scientist is being able to help people. When an athlete comes in, maybe with cystic fibrosis, they're losing a lot of salt in their sweat, and this athlete might want to do an Ironman triathlon. I can develop a hydration plan for them and a fuel nutrition plan that can help them complete that race and help them achieve their dream. Nothing's impossible. If you have a dream, you should go for it, because it's worth it. Go get it!

[shouts]

Transcript Options


Now Playing As: Captioned (English) (change)

Report a Problem

Exercise Scientist Beth Mooradian spends her time studying how the body works and researching methods to help athletes improve performance and endurance.

Media Details

Runtime: 6 minutes

Profiles Of Scientists And Engineers
Episode 1
10 minutes
Grade Level: 9 - 12
Profiles Of Scientists And Engineers
Episode 2
6 minutes
Grade Level: 9 - 12
Profiles Of Scientists And Engineers
Episode 3
7 minutes
Grade Level: 9 - 12
Profiles Of Scientists And Engineers
Episode 4
6 minutes
Grade Level: 9 - 12
Profiles Of Scientists And Engineers
Episode 5
8 minutes
Grade Level: 9 - 12
Profiles Of Scientists And Engineers
Episode 6
6 minutes
Grade Level: 9 - 12
Profiles Of Scientists And Engineers
Episode 7
8 minutes
Grade Level: 9 - 12
Profiles Of Scientists And Engineers
Episode 8
7 minutes
Grade Level: 9 - 12
Profiles Of Scientists And Engineers
Episode 9
8 minutes
Grade Level: 9 - 12
Profiles Of Scientists And Engineers
Episode 10
7 minutes
Grade Level: 9 - 12