From Lyle McDonals's The Protein Book
Early research suggested that consuming carbohydrate immediatey prior to training hurt performance by causing blood sugar crash due to and insulin spike
This is not universal
Athletes prone to sugar crashing may want to delay the consumption of their immediate pre-workout nutrients until they are already into their warm-up.
With regards to strength/power athletes, some research has suggested a benefit of pre-workout carbohdrates and a recent study found that consuming 1.0g/kg (.45g/lb) carbohydrates before, and an additonal .5g/kg (.22 g/lb) during workout, significantly reduced the decrease in muscle glycogen from training. Limiting muscle glycogen depletion can be important from a performance standpoint, especially for athletes who train twice daily.
Using a rapidly digesting carbohydrate source such as dextrose or sucrose makes the most sense here as well, although, again susceptible athletes should watch for signs of a blood glucose crash.
Prior to power/strength training, I recommend an intake of 0.3-1.5g/kg (0.13-0.22g/lb) of carbohydrate with an equalamount of protein roughly 30 minutes before training.
This should optimize blood glucose levels and provide amino acids during the training session.
So, what does glucose do for you?
Last edited by Slim Schaedle; 03-22-2008 at 03:24 PM.
I always have my carbs a well half hour before training. Never had any food during a workout.
Of course, his recommendation includes protein or AAs, but the advantages pertaining soley to glucose are mentioned.
Advanced Workout Nutrition: Why Are You Still Drinking Gatorade?
By Dr John M Berardi
First published at www.t-nation.com, July 24, 2006.
Too Many Pucks to the Head
Standing in front of 30 NHL draft picks, I asked a no-brainer question:
“So – during practices, training sessions, and games – how many of you drink sports drink? You know, like Gatorade, Surge, Endurox, etc. How many of you drink something like that?
Only two hands go up.
Shocked, I repeat the question:
“You mean to tell me that only 2 of you drink anything other than water during training?”
“Well, uh, then how many of you drink water during training, practice, or games?”
Only twelve of the thirty hands go up. Anticipating a long day ahead, I agonized:
“Oh boy…we’ve got our work cut out for us…”
Although I’ve been around the block, working with clients at all levels – from recreational exercisers to the most elite athletes in the world – I’m sad to say that I continue to remain frightfully unprepared for the level of inattention to detail and the sheer ignorance of many of athletes when it comes to nutrition and supplements.
Only 7% (2 athletes) of these 30 NHL draft picks were using some form of energy drink! And only 40% (12 athletes) of these 30 were even drinking water!
So, what do we have left? Well, we’ve got over half of the athletes in the room (53% of these NHL draft pics) drinking NOTHING during training and competition. Unbelievable; especially considering the huge body of literature demonstrating the benefit of drinking something during training. Now, add some carbohydrate to that something and athletes can expect to see:
-Improved aerobic and anaerobic endurance during training, practices & games
-Decreased stress response to training, practices and games
-Improved immune function post training and competition
-Decreased acute phase inflammatory damage after training, practices & games
-Improved whole body rehydration
-Improved muscle and liver glycogen resythesis
That’s a pretty impressive laundry list of benefits, isn’t it? We’re now talking athletes who have better staying power, better hydration, less likelihood of overtraining, fewer colds, and more overall energy.
However, while carb drinks during and after training are good - athletes shouldn’t be stopping with carbs – they should be adding protein. Oh, I know, I know. Gatorade and Powerade have convinced you that carbs alone are the way to go. They’ve also told ya that the extra protein is either useless of will build bulky muscles.
Well, frankly, that’s nonsense.
What you’re witnessing are the attempts of companies selling carb-only drinks to justify their existence. The longer they keep the wool over your eyes, the more profits they can make from inferior carb-only drinks before their product becomes obsolete. After all, the writing is on the wall. Enlightened athletes are starting to realize that if they want to really supercharge their nutrition and recovery, they need to go the next step. And the next step is using targeted workout and post workout recovery drinks that include both carbohydrate and protein.
Why protein? Well check out this list of benefits:
-Increased muscle protein synthesis
-Better and faster recovery from endurance, strength, & interval training
-Reduced muscle soreness and perception of fatigue
-Decreased muscle protein breakdown
-Further enhanced glycogen resynthesis vs carbohydrate alone
-Further enhanced immune function vs carbohydrate alone
-Increased use of fat for energy at rest as well as during training and competition
Now, at this point, we’re talking about athletes with more muscle strength, less body fat, an even stronger immune system, and the ability to train at higher intensities, more frequently. If you can’t see the benefits associated with this approach, you’d better get your head examined.
Getting back to our hockey players, the hockey-specific benefits of carb-protein drinks taken during training and practice have already been documented. Research presented at the 2004 ACSM (American College of Sports Medicine) annual conference demonstrated that liquid protein/carb supplements taken during practice can acutely produce the following results:
-Decreased reaction time for goal tenders
-Increased skating speed during timed shift-simulation exercises
-Increased shot and scoring accuracy
As these data are more than 2 years old, it leads me to ask the question – where the heck have these NHL athletes have been? Maybe all those hours in sub-zero arenas have frozen parts of their brains? Maybe they’ve taken too many slap shots to the noggin? Or maybe their coaches, trainers, and therapists aren’t sharing the right information with them.
Either way, it’s high time that athletes graduated from the primitive nutritional practices of the past and started moving into modern-day nutrition.
Not Just For Hockey Players
Of course, although I started this article off discussion hockey players, the huge list of benefits associated with carb-protein nutrition doesn’t extend only to these stick wielding athletes. In fact, real, measurable benefits associated with carbohydrate-protein nutrition have also been demonstrated in the following:
-Marine Recruits during basic training
The amazing thing is that most of these sports are suffering from the same ignorance (or brain injury) that plagues my NHL draft picks.
To illustrate this point, just a few weeks after my NHL presentation, I had the opportunity to visit with two other elite teams – one group of elite triathletes and one group of elite track cyclists. Guess what happened when I asked the same questions as above…
Although these athletes averaged a little better on the “you’d better be drinking something” scale, there were still athletes skipping the workout nutrition. About 95% of the triathletes were taking in at least water during all training sessions. And 50% were taking in at least a glucose/electrolyte drink like Gatorade. Yet less than 20% of them were taking in carbohydrate and protein nutrition, as discussed above. That’s absolute madness considering the research discussed above.
So if you’re an athlete, let me pose this question to you – what are you drinking during and after training?
And coaches, the same question applies – what are your athletes drinking during and after training?
If it’s either water-only or water plus carbs, let me ask the next question – how long is going to take before you realize that the addition of protein to your traditional carb drink can absolutely supercharge performance while improving recovery and training adaptation curves?
3rd Grade vs PhD Level Sports Nutrition
Although I’ve got a PhD in the area of Exercise and Nutritional Biochemistry and am a faculty member at the University of Texas at Austin, I also happen to direct the sports nutrition programs for the following elite sports teams:
-The Canadian National Cross Country Ski Team (Cross Country Canada)
-The Canadian National Alpine Ski Team (Alpine Canada)
-The Canadian National Canoe/Kayak Team (Canoe/Kayak Canada)
-The Canadian National Bobsleigh/Skeleton Team (Bobsleigh Canada Skeleton)
-The Spike Professional Racing Team (USA Track Cycling)
In addition to these teams, I also consult with the Toronto Maple Leafs, the University of Texas athletic department, the Canadian National Speed Skating Team (Speed Skating Canada), a host of individual high performance athletes in the NHL, NFL, CFL, and more.
Now I don’t list these credentials to brag. (Well, maybe a little.) Rather, I list them to demonstrate that the combination of academic knowledge and real-world experience has enabled me to see the differences between what scientists think athletes should be doing and what they’re actually doing. It also enables me to see the differences between what athletes are actually doing and what I think they should be doing. Sometimes these gaps are quite large.
Sure, there are a lot of both strength/power and endurance athletes out there that know the recommendations – they know that they should be taking in some carbohydrate during and/or after training. However, even the ones diligent enough to take their carbs are often using the wrong ones, in the wrong amounts, and at the wrong times.
For example, when I talk to my athletes about workout nutrition, the ones who actually do use glucose electrolyte drinks often have absolutely no idea how much carbohydrate or how many calories they’re taking in per drink or per training session. All they know is that they drink a bottle of Gatorade or similar drink during training. Whether that Gatorade has 10g of carbohydrate or 100g, they don’t know.
They also don’t know the following:
-Whether that Gatorade has any protein in it
-Whether to drink the Gatorade before, during, or after training
-How many grams of carbohydrate and protein they’re getting/hour of training
-How to adjust their carbohydrate and protein intake based on body type
-How to adjust their carbohydrate and protein intake based on duration or intensity of effort
And, truth be told, these are all huge problems – especially for elite athletes – both of the endurance and the strength/power persuasion.
After all, knowing to drink some energy during training isn’t advanced nutritional knowledge – it’s primitive nutrition; what I’d call 3rd grade level nutrition. (And just because an athlete’s peers are at the kindergarten level doesn’t mean their 3rd grade nutrition is advanced.) I can’t state it any more clearly than this - if an athlete wants to compete at an elite level, they’d better strive for more than the 3rd grade practice of nutrition. Seriously, imagine if more athletes graduated from the 3rd grade nutrition level and ended up with the equivalent of a Masters or PhD-level nutritional intake. I tell you, the entire culture of sport would be transformed.
But hell, maybe it’s actually better if most of the athletes out there ignored this information. If they did, the gap between them and my athletes would grow even wider, bringing my athletes more even more Gold Medals, National Championships, Super Bowls, and Stanley Cups!
Practical Workout Nutrition
At this point, I’d like to share with you some of the workout nutrition protocols I use and find most effective with my strength/power and endurance athletes. (Remember, when I use athlete in this context, I’m talking about competitive athletes who train a few hours per day). That’s right, here’s where it gets really practical.
Workout Nutrition - Baseline
As a baseline, start by ingesting 30g carbohydrate and 15g protein (in 500ml water) per hour of training. This means if you’re training for one total hour, you’re sipping your 30g carb and 15g protein drink during that hour. And if you’re training for two hours, you’re sipping your first 30g carb and 15g protein drink during the first hour and your second 30g carb and 15g protein drink during the second hour. And so on…
Then, once your workout is done, you’ll have a whole food meal within an hour or two of training.
Workout Nutrition - Customization
For most athletes, the baseline recommendations above should do the trick. However, there are a few situations that may require special attention:
First, if you’re an athlete who naturally has a very ectomorphic body type and tends to have a very difficult time maintaining body mass during high volume and/or high intensity training blocks or during competition periods (World Cups, etc), follow the strategy above and then, immediately after your workout, add another drink containing 30g of carbohydrate and 15g protein. After this drink, within 1-2 hours post exercise, have a whole food meal.
Further, if you’re this type of athlete and you still need more recovery power and total dietary energy (after trying the above strategy), add an additional 15g of carbohydrate per training hour. This means each of your drinks would contain 45g carbohydrate and 15g protein per hour of training.
Second, if you’re an athlete who naturally has more of an endomorphic body type and tends to gain weight easily or tends to gain fat during competition periods (World Cups, etc) when eating a higher carbohydrate diet, you’ll want to half the recommendation above by ingesting 30g carbohydrate and 15g protein for every 2 hours of training. Therefore you’d be averaging 15g carbohydrate and 7.5g protein for every hour of training.
In addition to this, you’d add BCAA(branched chain amino acids) into your workout drink at a rate of 5g BCAA per hour of training. Therefore you’d end up with 15g carbohydrate, 7.5g protein, and 5g BCAA for every hour of training.
Of course, all of these strategies work best as part of an all-round good nutritional plan. So don’t take these suggestions in isolation and think they alone are going to revolutionize your recovery. Sure, they’ll help. But you’ve gotta make sure you’re feeding well during the other 20+ hours of the day. And for more info on how you can do this, check out the Precision Nutrition program here.
At this point, one question I’m often asked is this:
“Can’t we just have a big post-exercise recovery drink? Why recommend a certain amount of workout drink per hour of training?”
The answer to the first question is no. The answer to the second is below.
First of all, having high blood concentrations of glucose (from the carbohydrate) and amino acids (from protein) during exercise is advantageous as the blood flow to working muscles is highest at this time. So, with a lot of nutrient-rich blood flowing to your working muscles, those nutrients will be best used for performance enhancement and recovery. Simply put, carbohydrate protein drinks are more effective when ingested during exercise vs after exercise.
In addition to the physiological reasons above, there’s a very practical reason for recommending a certain amount of workout nutrition per hour of training – this recommendation helps you easily and efficiently regulate your daily energy intake such that it mirrors your training volume.
For example, if you’re training 1 hour per day, you’ll need less total dietary energy than if you’re training 4 hours per day – but more dietary energy than if you didn’t train at all. So rather than trying to tinker around with your staple meals on a day-by-day basis, trying to eat “bigger” meals when you’re training more and “smaller” meals when you’re training less (these strategies being imprecise and difficult to objectively apply), all you have to do is have a few more or a few less workout drinks and your daily calorie intake upregulates or downregulates. Watch how this works:
Energy From Workout Drinks**
0 hours of training (day off)
Baseline intake + 0 extra calories
1 hour of training
Baseline intake + 180 extra calories
2 hours of training
Baseline intake + 360 extra calories
3 hours of training
Baseline intake + 540 extra calories
4 hours of training
Baseline intake + 720 extra calories
*Of course, intensity of training can also be taken into account, however this is beyond the scope of this article and, to be honest, this level of detail isn’t necessary for a large percentage of my athletes.
**These calorie calculations assume the athlete is using the baseline recommendation of 30g carbs and 15g protein per hour of training.
Finally, another question I’m often asked is this:
“This applies only to strength and power athletes, right? After all, everyone knows endurance athletes shouldn’t eat all that protein.”
Once again, nonsense. This information is applicable to all types of hard training high performance athletes. In fact, these recommendations were derived from a combination of a) my PhD studies, done with endurance cyclists and triathletes, b) my early coaching work with the Canadian National Cross Country Ski Team, and c) my early coaching work with the US National Bobsled Team. And these recommendations continue to work with all my athletes – from short burst, speed/power athletes (the Spike Cycling Team and Bobsleigh Canada Skeleton) to intermittent, anaerobic athletes (The Toronto Maple Leafs), to long duration cyclists and skiers (Cross Country Canada).
Last edited by Slim Schaedle; 03-24-2008 at 09:38 AM.
Retrieved from Dave Tate's training log.
Question and Answer by Justin Harris.
Justin Q and A
Here are some of the questions I have asked Justin since the last update.
Exactly how soon before training should I drink the pre-training
drink and why?
I drink it on the way to the gym. The nutrients in the pre-workout drink are designed around the low osmolality of waxy maize. What this means is that all the nutrients are pulled through the stomach to the small intestine very rapidly. There is no stomach distention or bloating. You can drink it DURING your first set and have no troubles. That's the beauty of Anatrop and waxy maize. There are no stomach problems, so instead of slamming a post workout drink hoping to REPLACE nutrients after your workout, you're actually already providing the correct nutrients for after the workout...BEFORE the workout.
How soon after training should I have the post-training drink? I do cardio after I train. Should I drink it between the two?
Take the drink immediately after cardio. You want to replenish nutrient levels in the muscle as soon as possible after training. Your body is low in muscle glycogen and most of the circulating blood aminos are going to be converted to glucose. This means that your body is craving nutrients. If there is little glycogen, and lowered levels of blood sugar and blood aminos, the body begins breaking down muscle tissue to provide those needs. Ingesting the drink as soon as possible after the workout provides as little lag time as possible when this is going on.
This is more important in the offseason. In the dieting phase, our nutrition is designed not to load blood nutrient levels, but to keep them steady. So, the low GI carbs, essential fatty acids, and whole food protein from the meals before your training will be broken down slowly. This means that you SHOULDN'T be overly deficient in blood aminos and blood sugar after your workout.
Wait until after cardio, though. The post-workout drink will flood your body with nutrients and raise insulin levels. Insulin blunts fat loss via an enzyme that shuttles fat to the mitochondria. When insulin is bound to a receptor, it tells that cell NOT to burn fat. We don't want that while doing cardio.
In simple English, what is the waxy maize doing?
Preventing muscle loss and fueling muscle growth. In plain terms, it gets to the muscles faster. It doesn't sit in the stomach. Instead, it goes directly to the bloodstream and directly to the muscles.
It’s a lower GI carb. People don't understand why this is good. People know dextrose spikes insulin, and know that WAS good. The problem is that dextrose - or any sugar - DOES spike insulin WHEN it gets to the blood. But if it's sitting in the stomach for twenty minutes before it gets to the bloodstream, what good is that? By that time, waxy maize has reached the blood, combined with water and sodium, and has been taken up to the muscle.
The body produces roughly the same amount of insulin for the amount of carbs you eat. If you have 100g of waxy maize, or 100g of dextrose, it doesn’t matter. The body produces the SAME amount of insulin. The dextrose insulin spike is higher, but that’s because it all rushes to the blood at the same time - well after the waxy maize has already been trickling into the blood stream for some time.
Can I replace the pre-training drink with a Monster drink on days where I
need a pick-me-up?
You can combine the pre-training drink with a SUGAR FREE Monster drink. Pre-workout energy drinks contain stimulants. They're actually GOOD for fat burning, IF THEY HAVE NO SUGAR OR CARBS.
Caffeine works by blocking adenosine receptors. Adenosine is the body's "sleepy" receptors. By blocking those, the body can't create the "sleep." So, there are more "wake wake" receptors active compared to "sleep sleep."
Caffeine breaks down to about 85% paraxanthine. The xanthines are stimulants in their own right and have some unique properties. Additionally, one of the metabolites of caffeine is one of the "feel good" products of chocolate. All of this increases lipolysis, which in plain terms means that caffeine burns fat. It's good when dieting.
But again, the energy drink has to be SUGAR FREE.
What about Gatorade on high days? It seems to fit the profile of
high carb, low fat and tons of sodium, correct?
The carbs are all monosaccharides, which are simple sugars. On pre-contest high days, I prefer complex carbs - mostly for hunger reasons. In the offseason, however, the goal is to eat carbs, minimize fat, and raise insulin. Insulin is raised all day so there really isn't a major need to distinguish between simple carbs and complex carbs.
How can I cook Chicken so it doesn’t taste like hell?
Poach it. Cut it up, coat a pan with soy sauce and any other spices you like. Put the chicken in, then fill the pan with water until the chicken is covered. Cook on medium heat until the water is mostly cooked off. The chicken will be very moist.
Can I replace my post-training shake with the same amount of carbs
from sources like papaya, pineapple, oranges, grapes or Dr. Pepper?
This would not be all the time but could be used as a break from sucking on the shaker cup with the pink liquid. I wouldn’t do this if you want to be at your best. These aren't bad, but they all contain fructose - and in the case of Dr. Pepper, high fructose corn syrup. I won't go too in-depth about fructose, but it isn't the most efficient carb source for restoring glycogen in the muscles.
Fructose can be stored as muscle glycogen, but it tends to go to restore liver glycogen first. There's a reason waxy maize and certain carbs are used. It’s because they work better.
When you're near 300 lbs in the offseason, it's tough to maintain that muscle mass. At that point, the little things become more and more important to continue making gains. If you're 135 lbs and 6'2”, the focus isn't on the little things - it's on getting some f-ing nutrients down.
What's the deal with Metabotrop? You get me addicted and then pull
it away from me! Just kidding. I stocked up. When is the best time to take it, and why?
The loss of Metabotrop will be worth the wait. We’re bringing back the Metabotrop with the addition of another ingredient. We’re also coming out with a stimulant-free fat burner that you can take any time of the day, and as many times during the day as you want. We also have a VERY strong stimulant product coming out, and a neuro-enhancement stimulant as well.
So, the wait will be worth it.
The ingredients in the new product are designed to stimulate the release of fatty acids into the bloodstream while minimizing appetite. The best times to take it are first thing in the morning and either early afternoon or pre-workout later in the day. This provides a steady stream of thermogenesis and helps burn fat through the fatty acid release the product causes.
Should I take Anatrop before, during and after cardio on the days
I’m not training (cardio-only days)?
You can take it before and after cardio on any day. It is VERY anti-catabolic and will help prevent muscle loss during the cardio session. It does contain calories, though, and these need to be accounted for, but they’re calories specific to the mechanisms of muscle building/sparing. So yes, it will be quite beneficial to take it with cardio. I wouldn't take it during cardio, as I like the cardio to be 100% about burning fat. Because of this, I would leave out any calorie sources during the cardio.
What exactly do you mean by “cheat meal?” Is this a healthy cheat? Is there a time limit to this?
If you're eating junk, you're shutting down fat burning. Even a mild "cheat" meal is going to be hypercaloric and switch the body from fat burning to nutrient storing, so you might as well go all the way. Load up on whatever you want. I've considered a whole large pizza an appetizer when close to a show.
The huge influx of calories will restore muscle glycogen (you may already be as much as 1,000 calories depleted there – that’s 1,000 calories worth of glucose you can almost eat freely), aid in shutting off hunger hormones (reducing appetite), restore any vitamin/mineral/nutrient deficiencies the limited food options may create, and boost your metabolism. The metabolic boost from the huge calorie intake will make the following day especially effective for fat burning.
Also remember that all the neurotransmitters in the brain that are derived from dietary nutrients (the mono-amines, dopamine, serotonin, nor-epinephrine and epinephrine) are all derived from L-tyrosine and L-tryptophan (for serotonin). Imbalances in these can cause forms of depression, fatigue, malaise, reduction in "predatory behavior," and other things that you don't want to deal with when dieting. The mega-influx of calories and protein offers the potential for better production of these neurotransmitters.
Last edited by Slim Schaedle; 03-24-2008 at 05:21 PM.
From Paper to Iron Mike: Mike Stuchiner’s Journey to Elite
By Myles Kantor
Mike Stuchiner is a paragon of tenacity. In 1991, the native of Long Island, New York entered his first powerlifting meet. On August 18, 2007, he earned his first elite total at the Cincinnati Pro Am with a 775-lb squat, a 555-lb bench press, and a 620-lb deadlift in the 275-lb weight class. Mike owns Tuck’s Nutrition in Plantation, Florida and is a member of Southside Barbell in Lake Worth, Florida.MK: Do you follow a certain nutritional program in terms of macro-nutrient percentages, meal timing, etc.?
MS: In terms of percentages, no, but pre- and post-training meals are very important to me as well as a meal at bedtime. My pre-workout meal is higher in carbohydrates, and my post-training meal is really rich in protein and carbohydrates. As far as the foods that I eat, I’m a believer in a whole food diet, and my food choices tend to be calorie-dense and nutritionally rich. For example, I eat eggs, nuts, fruits and veggies, meats like bison, avocados, and oats. All of these food are rich in calories, EFAs, carbohydrates, and protein.
MK: You have clearly spent much time studying nutrition. When did you become interested in this subject?
MS: I became interested in alternative medicine about the time I was 17 years old.
MK: What does your meet day nutrition look like?
MS: My pre-meet meal is something light like eggs and oatmeal or grits. Throughout the meet, I will eat bars, nuts, and fruit. I also keep my fluid levels up.
A Powerlifter’s Guide to Making Weight
By Matthew Gary
Immediately after weigh-ins, start drinking water again. Drink at least 16 ounces of water. Then eat some high energy foods. Focus on quality carbohydrates like oatmeal, apples, apple sauce, or bananas on meet day. Include foods that you enjoy because they are easier to get down if you’re nervous. I love peanut butter and jelly sandwiches on wheat bread. They taste delicious and they’re jam packed with calories including carbohydrates and fats for energy. Avoid sugar-filled and high glycemic carbohydrates like grapes, watermelon, candy, and fruit juices. This will spike insulin levels and lead to a crash. You want carbohydrates that will provide sustained energy.
You can eat a candy bar when you get ready to deadlift if your energy levels have dipped and you need a quick boost. There’s no need to concern yourself with protein on meet day. It takes too long to digest and can slow you down. Lastly, it’s important not to change too much on contest day. If you’re not used to eating pancakes with syrup, then don’t all of the sudden eat a short stack before you lift. This could potentially wreak havoc on your stomach. Eat foods that are familiar.
By C.J. Murphy, MFS
“Sports Specific” is a term that you always hear and seems to be the catch phrase amongst all coaches. If you aren’t sport specific, you are wrong. But what is it? Is it inventing exercises to do that mimic the athlete’s sport? Or is it using ridiculous contraptions that resemble a hockey stick or tennis racket with rubber bands attached to them?
Well, sadly, this can be found in today’s commercial gyms. Go to any commercial gym and look at who is training some of our athletes and see what they are doing. It amazes me to see what people will pay some buffoon for ‘professional services’.
Team Darkside discusses topics like this all the time and we seem to agree that the job of a strength and conditioning coach is two fold: (1) to make your athlete stronger and (2) to get them in proper condition for their sport.
It sounds simple but it goes over the head of so many people. Nowhere did you see in the above job description to have an athlete stand on a stability ball while doing one-legged squats while swinging a tennis racket that is anchored to a doorway with a piece of rubber tubing!
So if we only focus on the simple (get strong, get into shape), what can we expect?
Getting stronger will do several things. It will make you more resistant to injury, it will give you the ability to develop more force that can be used as your sport requires, and it can make you faster when trained appropriately.
Getting in shape will do one major thing for you – it will allow you to finish the game and if you did your job in the gym, you’ll win!
Here is where many people miss the boat so I’m going to explain it in English (which should be the official language of this country but I have to press #6 to get it on the phone) not Guru Techno Speak. Anyone who has read articles by me in the past has probably heard this: You need to train the correct energy pathway. If some of you are saying to yourselves “What is he talking about?” STOP training athletes NOW until you understand - because you are who I am writing this about and for!
We use three energy pathways when living, training and competing. They are ATP/CP, Glycolitic and Oxidative. I’ll explain.
ATP/CP: ATP is Adenisone Tri Phosphate and CP is Creatine Phosphate. This is the first fuel used for muscle contractions and is used primarily in explosive movements. ATP/CP runs out, in the average person, in a little over a second and a half. ATP/CP will be regenerated by the body during rest where it can begin to be restored in as little as 30 seconds.
Glycolitic: The Glycolitic energy pathway picks up where ATP/CP leaves off. It’s time frame is activities lasting roughly 2 minutes to 20 minutes. This energy system is fueled by glycogen, or sugar. Your body breaks down carbohydrates and stores them as fuel (glycogen) in the muscles and the liver. This is the most common energy pathway.
Oxidative: The Oxidative pathway is aerobic while the other two are anaerobic. This means that the Oxidative pathway uses oxygen for fuel. This pathway kicks in after about 20 minutes of sustained activity.
So where am I going with this?
It’s pretty simple. As strength and conditioning coaches, we need to determine our athletes’ strengths and weaknesses then take steps to maximize their strengths and eliminate their weaknesses. We then need to determine what kind of shape they need to be in and why.
A boxer does not need to run for hours because that’s how they did it in the old days. A marathon runner doesn’t need to get all jacked up in a double-ply metal suit and do heavy max effort doubles either. If your athlete’s sport is 1 minute of play with 2 minutes of rest, train them that way. Train them to bring their heart rate down to its normal resting level during the rest period. If you athlete competes for 25 minutes with no rest, train them that way! Get the idea?
All athletes need to strength train and we need to determine how to design effective, safe programs for them. Our program design needs to incorporate all of the energy pathways to some degree with the most attention devoted to the energy pathway that is dominant in the athlete’s sport.
A powerlifter uses primarily the ATP/CP pathway and so the majority of his training needs to be done this way. Does this mean that they should not do any work in the other pathways? The success of the Westside program proves that they should.
G.P.P., or General Physical Preparedness, is a very important part of this type of training. Sled dragging is one of the most common types of G.P.P. that Westside followers use and for good reason. Increasing G.P.P. (work tolerance) allows the athletes to perform better. It raises the amount of work the body can handle in a manner that doesn’t place unneeded stress on already stressed athletes.
Simply walking forwards and backwards with a weighted sled builds the athletes conditioning in an acceptable way. A side benefit of sled dragging is that it also helps speed recovery. This adds up to a stronger powerlifter.
In the same vein, if you look at training tapes and journals of Eastern Block Olympic powerlifters from the 60’s, you will see they did a lot of non-stressful GPP such as calisthenics and pick-up basketball. Who today would think that playing hoops for fun would build a bigger clean and jerk?
Marathon runners, on the other hand, are a totally opposite type of athlete and for many years their coaches shied away from weight training because they felt it was unnecessary. As we all know, weight training benefits all athletes. It’s how you train them that makes all of the difference. Though a distance runner definitely needs to spend the bulk of their time pounding the pavement, they also need to spend some time in the weight room as well.
So, I’ll put it all together for you in plain English:
Determine athletes needs:
How much/what type GPP or conditioning do they need?
Primary energy pathway used and how long is each rest/play period?
How fast/explosive does the athlete need to be?
How “strong” do they need to be?
Train them according to what you have determined.
It’s as simple as that! Now go throw your Bosu balls away and do some REAL sports specific training work!
Lift heavy stuff!
C.J. Murphy, MFS
Copyright© 2005 Elite Fitness Systems. All rights reserved.
You may reproduce this article by including this copyright
and, if reproducing it electronically, including a link to
Last edited by Slim Schaedle; 03-24-2008 at 05:20 PM.
Bodybuilder Nutrition Roundtable
By Josh Beaty
Alan Aragon has over 13 years of success in the fitness field. He earned his bachelors and masters of science in nutrition with top honors. Alan is a continuing education provider for the Commission on Dietetic Registration, the National Academy of Sports Medicine, the American Council on Exercise, and the National Strength and Conditioning Association.A. Aragon: The bodybuilding population as a whole is carbophobic. And I’m talking about carbs in all forms. Don’t get me wrong. In the event that calories must be reduced or reduced to a heightened degree such as pre-contest, it is plain stupid to incur a protein deficiency. But in general, bodybuilders are just plain afraid of carbs. Hell, only a small percentage of bodybuilders are up on the science of the matter so the rest are victims of the asinine mass media just like every other layperson. Would it alarm you to know that the majority of “serious” recreational and competitive bodybuilders are literally afraid to have carbs in their final meal? Imagine that. They’re mortally afraid of muscle loss while simultaneously being afraid of a key tactic that can enhance lean mass preservation. True story.
On those same lines, you have the carbophobes who have a mortal fear of insulin, yet megadose on highly insulinogenic branched chain amino acids (BCAA) during training. Oh, no glucose generated there. None at all, ha ha… What many folks don’t realize is that BCAA is approximately twice as insulinogenic as a solution of pure glucose.
Copyright© 2006 Elite Fitness Systems. All rights reserved.
You may reproduce this article by including this copyright
and, if reproducing it electronically, including a link to
Last edited by Slim Schaedle; 03-24-2008 at 05:34 PM.
Elements Challenging the Validity of the Glycemic Index
By Alan Aragon © 2006
Another Magic Bullet is Bound to Ricochet
To this day, many bodybuilding, health, & fitness enthusiasts stake their entire moral judgment of carbohydrate foods based on their glycemic index (GI). A considerable set of confounders challenges its validity & strict application. Becoming blindly enamored with something that may enhance our physiques &/or health is natural, and something we've all been guilty of. But alas, the GI data is neither perfect nor consistent, nor is it free of bugs. Consider the following facts, and re-think the dogma surrounding GI, & reassess what you think you know about GI.
A Possible Definition Shift
The simplistic definition of GI is a food's ability to raise blood sugar, which almost automatically is regarded in terms of glucose entry into the blood. However, recent eye-opening research by Schenk & colleagues clearly showed that the rate of disappearance of glucose from systemic circulation is an important determinant of GI - not just glucose's rate of entry into circulation . They found that the lower GI of bran cereal was due to a quicker/sooner surge of insulin sweeping glucose out of circulation - not a slower appearance/entrance of glucose as once assumed. Although strictly speculative at this point, this phenomenon may have possible performance detriment implications (ie, rebound hypoglycemia) in sensitive individuals if meals of this nature are mistimed relative to training.
Determination Vs. Applicability
GI values are determined in an overnight-fasted state using isolated foods. This is not a reflection of real life, where the digestion/absorption of previous meals, as well as the context of the carbohydrate food can drastically alter GI.
The interplay of many variables can either raise or lower GI, and are often difficult to control. Increased acidity, the presence of fiber, fat, and certain protein foods can lower glycemic response. Reduced particle size, greater ripeness, and heat in cooking can raise glycemic response.
Glycemic Load Disparity
Glycemic load (GL), which is the amount of carbohydrate per serving or unit of volume, is not always directly proportional to GI. For example, watermelon has a GI of 72, which is considered high. Low-GI advocates have vilified watermelon without realizing the fact that it has a relatively low glycemic load, approximately 6g carbohydrate per 4oz serving. The same disparity of GI & GL applies to carrots, potatoes, and even sports drinks such as Gatorade.
Satiety Index Disparity
Lower-GI foods have been associated with greater satiety, but most of this data comes from single-meal experimental designs. Longer-term studies on GI & satiety are conflicting, and not always controlled for energy intake and energy density of the test meal . In the longest study to date on GI & satiety is an ad libitium 30d crossover design where Kiens & Richter observe no difference in amount of consumption . In this metabolic study, a LOWER resistance to insulin was seen in the high-GI group at the end of the trial. GI does not reliably correspond with satiety index (SI). White rice, wheat bread, and potatoes all have high GIs, but rank among the top of the list for delaying the onset of hunger. In fact, Holt's team found that potatoes had by far the highest SI of all the foods tested .
As a classic example of chaos physics, the typical rules that predict GI do not necessarily help in predicting insulin response. Unfortunately for GI-conscious people, insulin is usually what they are trying to control. Despite having a very low GI of 15-36, milk and yogurt have a high insulin index equivalent to that of the high-GI white bread . Baked beans, another low-GI food, have a very high insulin index of 120. Cheese, beef, and fish have II's that are comparable to many carbohydrate foods.
Coingestion of fat with carbohydrate slows gastric emptying and thus the release of glucose into the blood, ultimately lowering GI. While this is usually true for GI, the degree of insulin response evoked by this combination is determined by the degree of the fat's saturation. For example, Collier & others observed that butter coingested with potato not only fails to lower postprandial insulinemia, it actually causes a synergistically heightened insulin response, even in healthy subjects [6,7].
Foods that should have a low GI due to their high fat content do not always have a low GI. Examples are fries, cookies, croissants, and doughnuts. Incidentally, these foods also have a high insulin index, presumably because their fat is mostly saturated. As of this writing, full-fat ice cream (low GI of appx 37) has not been tested for II, but it's safe to assume that it probably has disparate GI & II values.
Rasmussen & colleagues observed no increased insulin response with the addition of 40g or 80g olive oil, but saw a significant increase with 50g & 100g butter . Joannic's team observed a coingestion of carbohydrate with fats of increasing degree of unsaturation having a corresponding decrease in insulin response . A more recent study by Robertson & colleagues compared the effect of MUFA, PUFA, & SFA coingestion with carbohydrate and observed SFA's superior ability to raise postprandial insulin levels .
Coingestion of protein with carbohydrate is often recommended to lower GI. However, this doesn't necessarily lower insulin response. Carbs combined with protein in solution can pretty reliably raise insulin response synergistically. Gannon & Nutall's research on type-2 diabetics showed that coingested cottage cheese & glucose raised insulin levels beyond either food separately, indicating a synergistic effect . Van Loon & colleagues saw a similar phenomenon when comparing the insulin effect of various carb-protein/amino acid and carb-only solutions in normal subjects . Those containing free leucine, phenylalanine, & arginine, and the drinks with free leucine, phenylalanine, & wheat protein hydrolysate were followed by the largest insulin response (101% and 103% greater, respectively, than with the carb-only solution). These are only a few examples of many.
GI & Obesity - Slim Chance For Correlation
A systematic review of human intervention studies comparing the effects of high and low-GI foods or diets arrived at the following results :
• In a total of 31 short-term studies, low-GI foods were associated with greater satiety or reduced hunger in 15 studies, whereas reduced satiety or no differences were seen in 16 other studies.
• Low-GI foods reduced ad libitum food intake in 7 studies, but not in 8 other studies. In 20 longer-term studies (<6 months), weight loss on a low-GI diet was seen in 4 and on a high-GI diet in 2, with no difference recorded in 14 studies.
• An exhaustive assessment of these human intervention trials found no significant difference in the average weight loss between low & high GI diets. in conclusion, the current body of research evidence does not indicate that low-GI foods are superior to high-GI foods in regard to treating obesity.
More recently, Raatz & colleagues conducted a parallel-design, randomized 12-week controlled feeding trial, testing the effect of GI and GL on weight loss . The controlled period was followed by a 24-week "free living" phase, in which subjects were instructed to continue their respective dietary treatments outside of lab-supervised conditions. Manipulation of GI & GL failed to make a dent in both experimental phases. As a result of the 36-week trial, the researchers conclude: "In summary, lowering the glycemic load and glycemic index of weight reduction diets does not provide any added benefit to energy restriction in promoting weight loss in obese subjects."
Conclusions (For Now)
GI is gives us clues to the behavior of certain foods, but that's exactly the main point of this article. Clues; mere hints are all we get from our current knowledge of GI. Successful application of GI is most consistent when we use higher GI sources to enhance the speed of postworkout glycogenesis, and that's about it. Carb foods are better judged on the basis of degree processing, refinement, or alteration/removal of micronutrition -- NOT on the basis of GI, or even GL. This is as good a time as any to crush the folly of what I call "food discrimination". A prime example of this is cutting out potatoes on the basis of GI. This happens all the time, & the dieter takes pride in thinking he/she is being prudent. Well, the critical thing to realize here is that all food species in nature have unique nutrient profiles. Therefore, unique nutritional benefit can be derived from each species. The natural matrix of plant &/or animal tissue cannot be duplicated in the lab, & hence there are many unidentified beneficial agents in, say, the humble potato. As a matter of trivia, it surpasses bananas in potassium & vitamin C concentration. Not to mention, it provides default hydration, and of course is a great whole-food source of starch. The list goes on & on.
Satiety, micronutrient density, insulin response, & surrounding factors altering glucose kinetics are all much like a roll of the dice in terms of bottom-line certainty & reliability of GI. Like all things in science - especially the deep bubbly cauldron that is applied nutritional science - it ain't all that simple. All avenues in this area are winding & complex.
Schenk S, et al. Different glycemic indexes of breakfast cereals are not due to glucose entry into blood but to glucose removal by tissue. Am J Clin Nutr 2003;78(4):742-8.
Pi-Sunyer FX. Glycemic index and disease. Am J Clin Nutr 2002 Jul;76(1):290S-8S.
Kiens B, Richter EA. Types of carbohydrate in an ordinary diet affect insulin action and muscle substrates in humans. Am J Clin Nutr 1996;63:47-53.
Holt SH, Miller JC. A satiety index of common foods. Eur J Clin Nutr 1995 Sep;49(9):675-90.
Ostman EM, et al. Inconsistency between glycemic and insulinemic responses to regular and fermented milk products. Am J Clin Nutr 2001; 74(1):96-100.
Collier G, et al. The effect of coingestion of fat on the glucose, insulin, and gastric inhibitory polypeptide responses to carbohydrate and protein. Am J Clin Nutr 1983;37(6):941-4.
Collier G, et al. The acute effect of fat on insulin secretion. J Clin Endocrinol Metab 1988;66(2):323-6.
Rasmussen O, et al. Differential effects of saturated and monounsaturated fat on blood glucose and insulin responses in subjects with non-insulin-dependent diabetes mellitus. Am J Clin Nutr 1996 Feb;63(2):249-53.
Joannic JL, et al. How the degree of unsaturation of dietary fatty acids influences the glucose and insulin responses to different carbohydrates in mixed meals. Am J Clin Nutr 1997 May;65(5):1427-33.
Robertson MD, et al. Acute effects of meal fatty acid composition on insulin sensitivity in healthy post-menopausal women. Br J Nutr 2002;88(6):635-40.
Gannon MC, et al. Metabolic response to cottage cheese or egg white protein, with or without glucose, in type II diabetic subjects. Metabolism 1992;41(10):1137-45.
van Loon LJ, et al. Plasma insulin responses after ingestion of different amino acid or protein mixtures with carbohydrate. Am J Clin Nutr 2000;72(1):96-105.
Raben A. Should obese patients be counselled to follow a low-glycaemic index diet? No. Obes Rev. 2002 Nov;3(4):245-56.
Raatz SK, et al. Reduced glycemic index and glycemic load diets do not increase the effects of energy restriction on weight loss and insulin sensitivity in obese men and women. J Nutr. 2005 Oct;135(10):2387-91.
I've read these.
Tell me, in your own words, your take on the matter. Encourage some discussion if it's warranted.
Squats work better than supplements.
"You know, if I thought like that, I'd never put more than one plate on the bar for anything, I'd never use bands or chains, I'd never squat to parallel or below, and I'd never let out the slightest grunt when I lift. At some point in your lifting career (assuming you're planning on getting reasonably strong and big), you're going to have to accept that most people think you are some kind of freak." -Sensei
"You're wrong, and I have a completely irrelevant pubmed abstract that may or may not say so." - Belial
I has a blog.
I has a facebook.
I also want to encourage others to provide their first hand experience.
As far as my personal opinion, beliefs, and knowledge of fact....
I have utilized many pre and post workout supplement and meal protocols.
For a considerable amount of time, my practice was an immense amount of dextrose and some protein before and after training.
The amount commonly consisted of in upwards of 150g for both, while including several other meals consisting of anywhere from 70-100g carbs. This practice dates back to 2003.
The pre-meal certainly provided benefit for myself, and many others who I have helped (not for pay).
As far as post-sugar lethargy or tiredness, we know this is a fact for some people due to the rise and fall of insulin. I have experienced this first hand, although it may not occur every time. I certainly combat this with caffeine and have done so since the inclusion of pre-wo dex drinks.
I have avoided posting studies because of recent study-war that has begun, and the many weaknesses they have, can have, or have been accused of having.
We can examine pre-wo carbohydrate supplementation from many angles.
- substrate-level phosphorylation vs. oxidative phosphorylation
- Put more energy into a system and what happens?
- basic nutriton and biochemistry including the above energy systems outlined in the articles and under what cicrumstances they occur
- glycolysis (and let's not forget, there are aerobic and anaerobic pathways for this)- the immense capacity for glycogen storage in muscle
- the liver's limited glycogen storage and the fact that it is depleted throughout the day due to an imense requirement to synthesize numerous enzymes and substrates for basic functions, pathways, etc.
- the fact that mainatining maxed glycogen stores is extremely hard to do and takes in excess of ~1,000g carb/day for the everage athlete.
- pre-dex (or similar carb polymer drink) acts to top off liver glycogen and contribute to muscle glycogen even after periods of extreme carbohydrate loading. (even Lyle recomends to supplement with pre-wo carbs directly before the power workout after achieving 2 days worth of glycogen supercomposition.)
- morning workouts in which liver glycogen will be very low and muscle glycogen will have been slowy used throughout the night for various purposes (glycogen is not ONLY used during exercise)
- evening workouts after several hours in which a person works a day job, possibly being very strenuous, utlizing much of the stored glycogen.
- The amount of carbohydrate included in the diet on a day by day basis vs. the amount included in the pre-wo drink.
Basically, using the term "normal diet" does not mean anything.
To really determine if a pre-wo carb drink will be beneficial, one has to look at the details of their diet, to include macros, their amounts, timing, use of pre-wo stimulants, etc.
One could include many carbs in their diet, but let's say they wait a few hours until after their last meal to train, and their blood glucose has fallen. Their head gets fuzzy, they feel like ****, and even picking up the 45lb plates to add to the bar starts to get a little hard. Add some pre-wo dex, and at the very least, your brain feels better since it has some glucose to feed it. The brain certainly does not pull glucose from the muscle to feed itself.
As I said before, exercise is not the sole way of depleting glycogen. The major means of forming ATP from ADP is oxidative phosphorylation. All we have to do is look at the importance of ATP (very basic biology) (aside from exercise), starting with its importance as the major supplier of energy in metabolism. And then trace ATP formation through the electron transport chain, etc. etc. etc. etc. etc. (obviously, if dieting, the primary goal is to utlize fatty acids for these functions. However, the argument strictly pertains to glucose and its role and benefit for energy, strength, etc....not alternative methods of ATP production)
Advantages of carbohydrate in the diet, and supplementing that amount, is in no way limited to endurance training.
Obviously different people will feel and "handle" carbohydrates differently due to insulin sensitivity, etc. etc.
So, this is what this thread is for.
Last edited by Slim Schaedle; 03-25-2008 at 03:35 AM.
Ok, I changed my mind about not using a study
Well, actually a review article. Not to be used as proof, but to reinforce discussion.
Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research, 2003, 17(1), 187–196
q 2003 National Strength & Conditioning Association
Carbohydrate Supplementation and
G. GREGORY HAFF,1 MARK J. LEHMKUHL,2 LORA B. MCCOY,2 AND
MICHAEL H. STONE3
1Human Performance Laboratory, Midwestern State University, Wichita Falls, Texas 76308; 2Exercise Physiology
Laboratory, Appalachian State University, Boone, North Carolina 28607; 3Sport Science, United States Olympic
Committee, Colorado Springs, Colorado 80909.
There is a growing body of evidence suggesting that the
performance of resistance-training exercises can elicit a significant
glycogenolytic effect that potentially could result in
performance decrements. These decrements may result in
less than optimal physiological adaptations to training. Currently
some scientific evidence suggests that carbohydrate
supplementation prior to and during high-volume resistance
training results in the maintenance of muscle glycogen concentration,
which potentially could result in the maintenance
or increase of performance during a training bout. Some researchers
suggest that ingesting carbohydrate supplements
prior to and during resistance training may improve resistance-
training performance. Additionally, the ingestion of
carbohydrates following resistance exercise enhances the resynthesis
of muscle glycogen, which may result in a faster
time of recovery from resistance training, thus possibly allowing
for a greater training volume. On the basis of the
current scientific literature, it may be advisable for athletes
who are performing high-volume resistance training to ingest
carbohydrate supplements before, during, and immediately
after resistance training.
Key Words: resistance training, glycogen, glucose, glycogenolytic,
Reference Data: Haff, G.G., M.J. Lehmkuhl, L.B. Mc-
Coy, and M.H. Stone. Carbohydrate supplementation
and resistance training. J. Strength Cond. Res. 17(1):187–
Resistance training has become an integral part of
the training practices of most athletes. With the
increasing popularity of resistance training, many ergogenic
aids and nutritional strategies have been employed
in an attempt to improve performance or increase
muscle growth. Many of these potential aids
have not demonstrated any ergogenic effects.
supplementation is one ergogenic aid that is
not often associated with resistance-training performance
and muscle growth. Traditionally, carbohydrate
supplementation is associated with aerobic exercise
performance. In this context, carbohydrate supplementation
has been shown to increase the amount of work
that can be performed (37, 61, 79) as well as increase
the duration of aerobic exercise (20, 80). The elevation
of blood glucose (BG) associated with supplementation
is suggested to improve aerobic performance
through reduction of muscle glycogen use (3, 5, 80) or
through the use of BG as a predominant fuel source
as glycogen becomes depleted (14, 35, 61).
Evidence presented in the scientific literature suggests
that intermittent activities can stimulate signifi-
cant glycogenolytic effects (6, 70, 78). Because typical
resistance training is intermittent in nature, a similar
effect on muscle glycogen concentration might be expected.
Recently, several studies have reported that resistance-
training bouts can significantly decrease muscle
glycogen stores (25, 54, 67, 72, 73). These investigations
suggest that muscle glycogen is an important
fuel source during resistance-training activities. In
fact, reductions in muscle glycogen concentration have
resulted in accentuated exercise-induced muscle weakness
(80), decreased isokinetic force production (40),
and reduced isometric strength (36). Theoretically, the
implementation of a carbohydrate supplementation regime
may prevent decreases in performance and stimulate
an increase in muscle glycogen resynthesis (65).
This may allow athletes who are performing resistance
exercises to train at higher intensities or perform more
work, thus potentially enhancing the physiological adaptations
that are associated with resistance training.
The purpose of this review is to explore the physiological
and ergogenic effects of carbohydrate supplementation
on resistance-training exercise and identify
future areas of investigation.
Resistance Training and Glycogenolysis
Traditionally, it has been thought that short-duration
high-intensity exercise is primarily supplied with energy
from the muscular stores of phosphagens (adenosine-
triphosphate phosphocreatine system), with glycogenolysis
and glycolysis supplying minimal
amounts of energy (55). Recently, glycogenolysis has
been demonstrated to be an important energy supplier
during high-intensity intermittent exercises, such as
resistance training (54, 67, 72, 73).
Recently, Haff et al.
(26) reported that 3 sets of isokinetic leg extensions
performed at 1208·s21 can reduce the muscle glycogen
content of the vastus lateralis by 17%. Additionally, in
the same investigation a multiple-set resistance-training
session (back squats, speed squats, 1-leg squats)
performed at 65, 45, and 10% of 1 repetition maximum
(1RM) back squat resulted in a 26.7% decrease in muscle
glycogen of the vastus lateralis. Tesch et al. (73)
have also reported a 40% reduction in muscle glycogen
in response to the performance of 5 sets of 10 repetitions
of concentric knee extensions performed at 60%
of 1RM. A 30% decrease in the muscle glycogen content
of type IIab and IIb fibers in response to this protocol
was also reported (73). Muscle glycogen concentration
was also reported to decrease by ;20% in response
to the performance of 5 sets of 10 repetitions
at 45% of 1RM. Similarly, Robergs et al. (67) have
shown that 6 sets of 6 repetitions of leg extensions
performed at 70 and 35% of 1RM can elicit a signifi-
cant glycogenolytic effect resulting in 39 and 38% reductions
in glycogen, respectively. Type II fibers were
also demonstrated to have a greater glycogen loss
when compared with type I fibers (67).
Tesch et al. (72)
also reported that a 26% decrease in the muscle glycogen
content of the vastus lateralis can occur in response
to a resistance-training regimen consisting of
5 sets of front squats, back squats, leg presses, and
knee extensions. One set of 10 repetitions of biceps
curls can also reduce muscle glycogen by 13%, whereas
3 sets of 10 can result in a 25% reduction in muscle
glycogen (54). Pascoe et al. (65) have reported a 31%
reduction in muscle glycogen content in response to
leg extensions performed to muscular failure (sets: 8.0
6 0.7). The results of these studies indicate that muscle
glycogen is an important fuel source during resistance
training and suggest that glycogen depletion is dependent
upon the total amount of work accomplished.
Resistance-training sessions that center on higher
repetition schemes (8–12 repetitions) and moderate
loads such as those utilized during the hypertrophy
phase of many athletes and bodybuilders may have a
greater effect on muscle glycogen concentration than
those of lower repetition schemes. However, very little
research has been conducted examining the glycogenolytic
effect of low-volume, heavy-load resistancetraining
Typical high-volume resistance training,
which involves moderate to heavy loads,
seems to preferentially deplete type II fibers. Because
type II fibers usually express higher glycolytic enzyme
activity than do type I fibers, a preferential depletion
of muscle glycogen may not be totally unexpected (23).
The preferential depletion of type II fibers during
high-intensity exercise (24, 78), such as resistance
training, may compromise the performance of highintensity
exercise and ultimately lead to a decrease in
Muscle Glycogen and Carbohydrate Consumption
Reduction in muscle glycogen can potentially result in
reductions in performance. Decreased isokinetic force
production (40), reduced isometric strength (36), and
accentuated muscle weakness (80) have been reported
in the scientific literature in response to reductions in
muscle glycogen. The implementation of a carbohydrate
supplementation regimen may reduce the muscle
glycogen loss associated with resistance-training
bouts. Only 1 published investigation to date has explored
the effects of carbohydrate supplementation on
muscle glycogen loss during a typical resistance-training
bout (26). Haff et al. (26) report that the consumption
of a carbohydrate beverage prior to and during
an acute resistance training bout can attenuate muscle
glycogen loss. In this investigation a carbohydrate beverage
was ingested prior to and every 10 minutes
throughout a free-weight resistance-training bout that
took ;39 minutes. The training bout consisted of 3
sets of 10 repetitions of back squats (65% of 1RM),
speed squats (45% of 1RM), and 1-leg squats (10% of
1RM) and elicited a 26.7% decrease in the muscle glycogen
content of the vastus lateralis with the placebo
treatment. However, the training bout only elicited a
13.7% decrease in muscle glycogen content when a
carbohydrate supplementation regimen was employed.
This decreased rate of glycogenolysis seen with the
carbohydrate treatment may be related to an increased
glycogen synthesis during the rest intervals of intermittent
exercise (52). The results of the study by Haff
et al. (26) suggest that carbohydrate supplementation
prior to and during resistance training can maintain
muscle glycogen stores. Additionally, the inclusion of
a carbohydrate supplementation regimen of the type
used by Haff et al. (26) may be beneficial in the maintenance
of daily glycogen levels, which could potentially
accentuate the benefits of training.The daily maintenance of glycogen stores appears
to be directly related to the carbohydrates in the diet
(12, 13, 39). The consumption of carbohydrates during
and after exercise will increase the glycogen synthesis
rates following exercise.
Costill et al. (13) have reported
that minimal glycogen synthesis occurs after exercise
when no carbohydrates are consumed. The
amount of muscle glycogen synthesis in the 24-hour
period postexercise is also directly correlated
(r=0.84) to the amount of carbohydrate ingested and the
timing of that ingestion. During the 6 hours postexercise,
a diet consisting primarily of simple carbohydrates
appears to induce a greater glycogen resynthesis
rate. In fact, relatively little glycogen resynthesis
occurs when no carbohydrates are consumed after exercise
(38, 39, 56). When carbohydrates are given immediately
after and 1 hour after resistance exercise, the
muscle glycogen content of the vastus lateralis is returned
to 91% of resting values compared with 75%
of pre-exercise values in 6 hours when only water is
given (65). Thus, delaying the ingestion of carbohydrates
after exercise by as little as 2 hours can significantly
decrease the amount of glycogen resynthesis.
This decrease may be of particular interest to athletes
who perform multiple training sessions on one day. If
the athlete can increase the amount of resynthesis between
exercise bouts, an increase in performance may
occur during the second bout of exercise on a given
Resistance Training and Blood Glucose
A reduction in blood glucose concentration is not normally
experienced during a typical resistance-training
session (26, 28, 43, 58, 67, 75). Keul et al. (43) investigated
the metabolic response of 15 resistance-trained
subjects to a 1-hour training session consisting of the
bench press, deadlift, and squats. No significant
changes in blood glucose levels were noted in response
to the training bout. Similarly, Haff et al. (26) have
reported no significant alterations in blood glucose
levels in response to a 40-minutes free-weight resistance-
training session. Additionally, Haff et al. (28) report
no alterations in blood glucose levels in response
to 57 minutes of isokinetic leg exercise.
Conversely, Vanhelder et al. (75) found that blood
glucose concentration increased in response to 7 sets
of full squats performed at 80% of a 10RM. Haff et al.
(27) have also reported that blood glucose concentrations
increase in response to a resistance-training session
lasting approximately 1 hour. Robergs et al. (67)
examined the metabolic effects of 8 male subjects performing
6 sets of knee extensions at 35 and 70% of
their 1RM. It was determined that following the sixth
set, blood glucose concentration was significantly elevated
when compared with resting values. Two hours
after exercise, blood glucose returned to resting values.
However, blood glucose concentrations at rest, after
the sixth set, and 2 hours after exercise were found to
be similar when accounting for the plasma volume
shift. Additionally, McMillan et al. (58) have reported
that blood glucose concentrations increase as a result
of a resistance-training bout. Similarly, Conley et al.
(11) suggest that blood glucose concentrations were
significantly (p 5 0.001) elevated immediately after exercise,
in response to a resistance-training session. The
blood glucose increases found in these resistance training
studies were similar to those reported for
high-intensity aerobic exercise (80–100% V˙ O2max) (19,
22) and anaerobic cycling (44).
Blood Glucose Response to Carbohydrate Supplementation
There is substantial evidence in the literature to suggest
that the consumption of carbohydrate beverage
before and during resistance training results in elevations
in blood glucose levels during and after the
training bout (11, 26, 28, 29, 51). Haff et al. (28) investigated
the effects of carbohydrate ingestion on 16 sets
of 10 repetitions of isokinetic leg extensions and flexions.
Significantly higher blood glucose levels were
seen at set 8 and immediately after the resistancetraining
bout when subjects consumed a carbohydrate
supplement (20% maltodextrin and dextrose solution)
10 minutes before and after sets 1, 6, and 11 of exercise.
Similarly in another investigation Haff et al. (26)
observed higher blood glucose levels pre-exercise and
immediately after exercises when subjects consumed a
carbohydrate solution (20% maltodextrin and dextrose
solution) 10 minutes before and every 10 minutes during
a resistance-training session. Additionally, Haff et
al. (29) report significantly higher blood glucose concentrations
immediately postexercise, 1 hour postexercise,
and 2 hours postexercise when subjects consumed
a carbohydrate solution (20% maltodextrin and
dextrose solution) before and after every other set during
the performance of back squats at 55% of their
1RM until voluntary failure.
Conley et al. (11) examined the effect of carbohydrate
ingestion on the performance of multiple bouts
of back squats at 65% of 1RM to voluntary failure.
Blood glucose was found to be significantly higher
during the carbohydrate supplementation (20% maltodextrin
and dextrose solution) trials for the pre-exercise
(p 5 0.036), immediately after (p 5 0.031), and
2 hours after exercise (p 5 0.026) when compared with
the placebo trials.
Lambert et al. (51) examined the effect of carbohydrate
ingestion on the performance of multiple
bouts of leg extensions at 80% of the subject’s 10RM.
Blood glucose was significantly higher (p , 0.05) in
the carbohydrate supplemented (10% glucose polymer)
trials after the seventh set and at failure, when
compared with the placebo trials (51).
It is likely that the elevations in blood glucose seen
with the varying supplementation protocols in the literature
result in either a reduction in muscle glycogen
utilization (3, 5, 80) during the exercise bout or a faster
glycogen resynthesis rate after exercise. When the carbohydrate
supplement is consumed prior to and during
the resistance-training bout, it appears that BG
plays a critical role in fueling glycolysis (51). Additionally,
it is likely that elevations in blood glucose directly
affect the hormonal response to resistance training
Hormonal Responses to Carbohydrate Ingestion
The hormonal responses that occur in response to
acute and chronic resistance training are currently being
investigated (7, 30–34, 50, 58). The addition of a
carbohydrate supplementation regimen to a resistance-
training program may result in an enhanced anabolic
environment. The enhancement of the anabolic
environment could potentially increase muscle hypertrophy
and ultimately increase resistance-training performance.
Insulin. Insulin is a polypeptide hormone that is
produced in the b-cells of the islets of Langerhans in
the pancreas. This hormone functions to (a) lower
blood glucose level by enhancing cellular uptake, (b)
enhance the storage of glycogen, (c) enhance fat storage,
(d) enhance cellular uptake of amino acids, (e)
increase the synthesis of proteins, and (f) suppress the
catabolism of proteins (48, 49, 66).
in the concentration of plasma insulin occur in response
to elevations in glucose, amino acids, and fatty
acids (57). Thus, the consumption of a carbohydrate
supplement before and during resistance exercise
might be expected to significantly increase insulin
concentrations. Fahey et al. (18) have demonstrated
that the ingestion of a liquid meal (13 g protein, 32 g
carbohydrate, and 2.6 g of fat) 30 minutes before and
during exercise can significantly increase insulin levels.
Chandler et al. (8) have also reported that the ingestion
of a carbohydrate beverage immediately before
and 2 hours after a resistance-training bout resulted
in significantly higher insulin concentrations when
compared with a placebo beverage. These rises in insulin
theoretically should result in increases in muscle
glycogen stores, protein anabolism, and muscle hypertrophy.
Increases in postexercise insulin levels in
response to carbohydrate ingestion may result in enhanced
glycogen synthesis and an anabolic hormonal
state that potentially could result in an ergogenic effect.
Currently, very few studies have investigated this
potential ergogenic effect, and further research is warranted.
Research exploring postexercise carbohydrate supplementation
has suggested that myofibrillar protein
breakdown can be decreased (69). In one investigation
subjects consumed 1 g glucose per kilogram of body
mass immediately after and 1 hour after exercise. The
addition of the carbohydrate supplement resulted in a
significant increase in plasma insulin and glucose concentrations
when compared with a placebo. This finding
was associated with the carbohydrate treatment
eliciting significantly less 3-methylhistidine and urea
nitrogen excretion, which suggests less amino acid
transamination and oxidative deamination occurred.
Additionally, the carbohydrate treatment resulted in a
slightly increased fractional protein synthetic rate. Increases
in insulin are often associated with increases
in amino acid delivery that potentially stimulate increases
in fractional muscle protein synthetic rate and
whole body protein synthesis rate (4). In the study by
Roy et al. (69) the combination of increases in insulin
concentration and fractional protein synthetic rate and
decreases in 3-methylhistidine and urea nitrogen excretion
suggest that carbohydrate supplementation can
result in a reduction of muscle protein degradation after
Recently, Tipton et al. (74) have reported that the
timing of the consumption of a carbohydrate plus amino
acid beverage (CAB) can significantly alter insulin
levels and muscle protein synthesis rates. When the
CAB was ingested prior to the resistance training bout,
significantly greater net protein synthesis and higher
insulin levels were seen when compared with postexercise-
only consumption. This suggests it is possible
that limiting carbohydrate supplementation to the
postexercise period slows net protein synthesis. It is
possible that this effect on net protein synthesis will
be magnified if carbohydrate supplementation is undertaken
before and during the resistance-training
bout. However, no research to date has explored this
On the basis of this limited research it appears that
the inclusion of a carbohydrate supplementation regime
may enhance protein synthesis or decrease muscle
breakdown and ultimately enhance the effects of
resistance training. This may be of particular importance
to the strength athlete who is attempting to promote
muscle growth and possibly enhance overall
muscular strength. Additional research is necessary to
develop a complete understanding of the effects of carbohydrate-
induced insulin increases on muscle hypertrophy
and resistance-training performance.
Growth Hormone. Growth hormone is a polypeptide
hormone that is involved with the growth process of
skeletal muscle and other tissues (49). Increases in
amino acid transport and protein synthesis have been
reported as being stimulated by elevations in growth
hormone (46, 47). Artificial elevations of growth hormone
levels coupled with heavy resistance training are
often associated with increases in lean body mass and
decreases in fat mass (15). Additionally, elevations in
growth hormone levels can be stimulated through the
induction of hypoglycemia by insulin (68). Therefore,
carbohydrate-induced insulin spikes may potentially
lead to increases in growth hormone that may enhance
hypertrophy induced by resistance training.
et al. (8) have reported that supplements that promote
the greatest insulin spike postexercise lead to signifi-
cantly higher growth hormone levels 5–6 hours postexercise.
These higher levels of growth hormone only
occurred in carbohydrate and protein-carbohydrate
treatment groups. Additionally, Kraemer et al. (50)
have also reported that growth hormone and insulin
were significantly elevated after day 1 of a 3-day carbohydrate
supplementation and heavy resistancetraining
regime. The combined data of these investigations
lend some support to the concept that insulin
may induce elevations in growth hormone postexercise.
The elevations in growth hormone stimulated by
carbohydrate supplementation may ultimately lead to
increases in muscle hypertrophy and enhanced resistance-
training performance. In order to fully understand
these potential ergogenic effects, additional research
exploring the interactions of carbohydrate supplementation,
insulin, and testosterone are warranted.
The steroid hormone cortisol is classified
as a glucocorticoid. This specific glucocorticoid is considered
a catabolic hormone in skeletal muscle (49). As
a catabolic hormone, cortisol stimulates muscle protein
degradation and inhibits protein synthesis in both
type I and type II muscle fibers (41). Cortisol appears
to be highly catabolic in type II fibers and less catabolic
in type I fibers (42). Chronically elevated levels
of cortisol can lead to muscle atrophy and loss of contractile
proteins, which ultimately could reduce
strength levels (21). These negative effects on muscle
fibers may predominate in athletes who perform explosive
strength-training exercises (i.e., power snatch,
power clean, etc.) or participate in sports that require
strength, power, and speed because there is a reliance
on type II fibers (71) in these activities.
Generally, it is believed that the myriad of catabolic
effects stimulated by cortisol occur in order to stimulate
gluconeogenesis (57). The inclusion of a carbohydrate
supplementation regimen may result in a decreased
demand for gluconeogenesis and a concomitant
decrease in cortisol levels. Additionally, it has
been demonstrated that the lowering of cortisol levels
enhances the release of growth hormone in response
to growth hormone–releasing hormone (17). As stated
earlier, increases in growth hormone may lead to increases
in muscle hypertrophy and resistance-training
performance. Despite these potential benefits, very few
studies have attempted to elucidate the effects of carbohydrate
supplementation on postexercise cortisol
levels. Several studies have demonstrated that the consumption
of carbohydrates during aerobic exercise reduces
postexercise cortisol levels (2, 16, 59). Similar
cortisol responses to carbohydrate supplementation
and resistance training may also be expected. Kraemer
et al. (50) have reported suppressed cortisol levels in
response to 3 days of carbohydrate supplementation
and a heavy resistance-training regime. Additionally,
increases in growth hormone were reported in conjunction
with these suppressed cortisol levels. This
suggests that insulin-mediated suppression of cortisol
may result in increases in growth hormone concentration
and thus lead to an ergogenic effect.
The effects of glucose ingestion during prolonged
endurance exercise on cortisol levels have also been
shown to counteract negative immune changes (63).
Elevations in cortisol levels stimulated by exhaustive
endurance exercise appear to suppress the functioning
of the immune system through a cytotoxic effect on its
cells. Lymphocytes have been shown to be degraded
in the presence of cortisol (10). Additionally, cortisol
has been shown to decrease nucleic acid and protein
synthesis in thymocytes (10). A similar effect might be
expected with high-intensity resistance exercise. In
fact, Nieman et al. (64) have reported that back squats
performed to muscular failure can result in an immune
response that is very similar to that seen with
endurance exercise. Recently, Koch et al. (45) have reported
that the ingestion of a carbohydrate beverage
during a 20-minute resistance-training bout stimulates
a minimal influence on immune response and no effect
on cortisol response when compared with a placebo
treatment. These authors suggest that the short duration
of the training bout induced a stimulus that was
insufficient to significantly elevate cortisol and thus
impact the immune system’s functioning. When contrasting
the cortisol and immune responses of the
studies by Koch et al. (45) and Nieman et al. (64), it is
clear that longer-duration resistance protocols (.35
minutes), such as those that are typically undertaken
in an attempt to induce hypertrophy and are marked
by large training volumes, are needed to significantly
affect cortisol levels and thus the immune system.
The suppression of the immune system may be a
critical issue in the body’s response to muscle damage.
Typically, muscle damage is accentuated by exercises
that have large eccentric muscle action components,
such as resistance training (62). The suppression of the
immune system may increase the recovery time as a
result of an increased time needed to repair muscle
damage. Therefore, the negative effect of cortisol on
the immune system blunted by carbohydrate supplementation
may reduce the time needed to recover
from a typical resistance-training bout. Currently, no
research exists exploring this hypothesis, and further
investigation is needed to fully understand the effects
of carbohydrate supplementation on cortisol and its
relationship to the immune system during resistance
Carbohydrates and Resistance-Training Performance
Research examining the effects of carbohydrate supplementation
on resistance-training performance is
limited and presents conflicting results. Recently, Haff
et al. (26) have reported that carbohydrate supplementation
does not enhance or maintain isokinetic leg exercise
performance. In this investigation, 3 sets of 10
repetitions were performed at 1208·s21 prior to and after
a free-weight resistance-training bout and were
used as a marker of performance. Even though significant
resistance-training regime, the addition of a carbohydrate
supplementation (prior to and every 10 minutes
during the resistance-training bout) did not elicit an
ergogenic effect. However, this result may potentially
be a product of the performance test selected. Recently,
Leveritt and Abernethy (53) have reported that low
levels of glycogen seem to impair the performance of
back squats but have no effects on isokinetic leg exercise.
Thus, it is possible that the maintenance of muscle
glycogen reported by Haff et al. (26) with carbohydrate
supplementation would have resulted in an enhancement
of performance if a different performance
test had been employed.
Increases in resistance-training performance with
carbohydrate supplementation have been reported in
3 investigations presented in the literature. Lambert et
al. (51) have reported that carbohydrate supplementation
prior to and during resistance training can enhance
the performance of sets of 10 repetitions of leg
extensions performed at 80% of 10RM to muscular failure.
In their study each subject participated in 2 testing
trials where they consumed either a placebo or carbohydrate.
The carbohydrate treatment elicited an increased
number of sets (12.7) and repetitions (120).
Similarly, Haff et al. (28) have reported that carbohydrate
supplementation can increase the amount of
work that can be performed during 16 sets of 10 repetitions
of isokinetic leg extensions performed at
Additionally, it was reported that significantly
greater torque was generated by the quadriceps when
the carbohydrate supplement was consumed.
significant increases in resistance-training performance
after carbohydrates are consumed during and
between multiple training sessions in one day have
also been reported (29). Two treatment sessions were
conducted in this investigation, in which a carbohydrate
or placebo beverage was consumed. Subjects ingested
these treatments during a 1-hour morning
training session, 4-hour recovery period, and an afternoon
performance test consisting of sets of 10 back
squat repetitions performed at 55% of the 1RM to volitional
failure. The carbohydrate supplementation protocol
used in this investigation resulted in significantly
more repetitions (167.7) and sets (17.4) and greater
exercise duration (131.6 minutes) during the afternoon
performance test. The results of these 3 investigations
seem to support the hypothesis that carbohydrate
supplementation enhances resistance-training
performance. However, it is important to note that all
these studies required the subjects to perform a resistance-
training session that required the performance
of high volumes of work similar to those performed
during the hypertrophy phase of a periodized program
or the typical training of many body builders.
Contrarily, 2 additional investigations have reported
that carbohydrate supplementation does not elicit
an ergogenic effect during resistance training. The first
study, by Conley et al. (11), explored the effects of carbohydrate
supplementation on the performance of sets
of 10 repetitions at 65% of 1RM to volitional failure. A
carbohydrate beverage was consumed 15 minutes before
and after every successful set during testing.
There were no significant differences in the number of
sets or repetitions or total work observed between the
2 treatments. Similarly, it has been reported that carbohydrate
supplementation immediately before a freeweight
resistance-training session consisting of 8 exercises
does not result in an enhanced performance of
isokinetic leg exercise after exercise (76).
The discrepancy between these investigations is
presently unclear. Several distinct possibilities exist for
these differences. The most notable difference between
the studies is the duration of exercise activity. The
studies by Lambert et al. (51), Haff et al. (29), and Haff
et al. (28) showed ergogenic effects when the exercise
bout lasted 56 minutes, 77 minutes, and 57 minutes,
respectively. In contrast, the studies that failed to demonstrate
an ergogenic effect lasted 35 (11) and 39 minutes
(26). Thus it is possible that the duration of the
activity influenced the ergogenic effectiveness of the
Anantaraman et al. (1) have
reported that exercise bouts lasting less than 40 minutes
primarily rely on muscle glycogen as a fuel
source. Thus, as the duration of activity increased, a
greater reduction in muscle glycogen and a greater reliance
on exogenous blood glucose may have occurred.
Secondly, the volume of work performed may be a significant
factor mediating the ergogenic effect of the
carbohydrate supplementation. It is possible that high
volumes of work performed for a duration greater than
40 minutes stimulate a greater stress on the glycogenolytic
system. The 3 studies that demonstrated an ergogenic
effect of carbohydrate supplementation all
lasted longer than 55 minutes and required the subjects
to perform high-volume work with moderate
loads over that time frame. The consumption of a carbohydrate
supplement during this scenario could possibly
spare muscle glycogen (3, 5, 80) or result in BG
becoming the predominant fuel source as glycogen becomes
depleted (14, 35, 61). Thirdly, the exercise test
selected may have resulted in the lack of an ergogenic
effect. Two of the studies that reported no ergogenic
effect utilized an isokinetic performance test. The
study by Vincent et al. (76) utilized a protocol that
required the subjects to perform 3 sets of 15 repetitions
of isokinetic leg exercise at 758·s21 before and after a
free-weight training program. Similarly, Haff et al. (26)
used a testing protocol that required subjects to perform
3 sets of 10 repetitions at 1208·s21 before and after
a free-weight training program. It is possible that the
potential ergogenic effect of carbohydrates would have
been clearer if a different testing protocol had been
Evidence of a lack of impairment in isokinetic
leg exercise performance has been reported in
response to decreased levels of muscle glycogen (53).
Impairments in exercise performance were also seen
in the performance of back squats in the same study.
The only other study to employ an isokinetic testing
bout did, however, exhibit an ergogenic effect (28).
Therefore, the major difference between this study and
those that did not demonstrate an ergogenic effect is
that the study lasted ;59 minutes and employed a
protocol that required ;130 more repetitions. Thus the
increased duration of activity and volume of work may
have mediated the occurrence of an ergogenic effect.
Another explanation for the lack of an ergogenic effect
during isokinetic testing bouts may be that this is a
result of less work being performed during the isokinetic
bout. This may occur because isokinetic devices
are not really isokinetic and force is only applied during
a relatively small range of motion (9, 60). This potentially
could decrease the amount of work performed
and result in a masking of the ergogenic benefit
of carbohydrate supplementation. Additionally,
large-mass exercise may stimulate a greater amount of
glycogen loss in a number of muscles (not just the
prime movers), allowing for an increased ergogenic
benefit from carbohydrate supplementation.
There is limited research exploring the effects of
carbohydrate supplementation on resistance-training
performance. To our knowledge, these are the only investigations
that have attempted to explore the relationship
between carbohydrate supplementation and
resistance-training performance. The data in the literature
seem to suggest that carbohydrate supplementation
has some ergogenic benefits for athletes who are
using high-volume resistance-training protocols similar
to those typically used in the hypertrophy phase
of a periodized training program. However, due to the
limited number of investigations in the literature, this
relationship is still unclear. Further research is necessary
to establish a clearer understanding of this relationship.
Additionally, more research is needed to elucidate
the effect of carbohydrate supplementation on
different types of resistance exercise (i.e., large mass,
small mass, isokinetic, isometric, and isoinertial).
Directions for Future Research
The present body of scientific knowledge suggests that
carbohydrate supplementation can generate several
potential ergogenic benefits for resistance exercise and
training. At present there exist only a few empirical
studies supporting the use of carbohydrate supplementation
in conjunction with resistance training.
There are several areas related to carbohydrate ingestion
and resistance training that merit further investigation:
1. What is the effect of carbohydrate supplementation
on ability to perform work at different intensities?
Under what conditions will increases in work be
2. What is the relationship between different program
variables (sets, repetitions, and rest intervals) and
modes of resistance training (isotonic, isokinetic, eccentric,
concentric, and isometric)?
3. What are the effects of acute and chronic carbohydrate
supplementation on hypertrophy, body composition,
and athletic performance?
4. What is the effect of carbohydrate-induced insulin
increases on muscle hypertrophy and resistancetraining
5. What are the relationships between carbohydrate
supplementation and the anabolic hormonal environment?
6. What is the potential mechanism for the ergogenic
effects of carbohydrate supplementation during resistance
7. What is the relationship of high-glycemic carbohydrate
supplements to the occurrence of obesity and
8. What are the effects of high-glycemic carbohydrates
supplements on glucose sensitivity of athletes?
Current research strongly suggests that resistance
training, especially using large–muscle mass freeweight
exercises performed with high training volumes
with moderate loads, is partially dependent
upon muscle glycogen stores. The amount of glycogen
used in these exercises also appears to be related to
the total amount of work accomplished and the duration
of the resistance-training bout. The ingestion of
liquid carbohydrates prior to, during, and after exercise
may serve to promote a faster recovery, which may
enhance subsequent exercise and training sessions.
Additionally, the implementation of carbohydrate supplementation
prior to and during a resistance-training
session appears to offer some ergogenic benefit,
through increasing work output when the athlete is
performing high-volume training with moderate
loads. The ingestion of a carbohydrate beverage prior
to and during a resistance-training bout may ultimately
effect the overall net protein synthesis rate
postexercise, which could magnify the hypertrophic
response to training. These potential ergogenic effects
may ultimately result in improved performance during
daily training sessions, which could ultimately enhance
performance in power sports such as football
The literature reviewed suggests that muscle glycogen
plays an important role as a substrate in high-intensity
anaerobic exercise bouts such as resistance training.This role may be magnified when multiple high-volume
bouts of anaerobic exercise are performed in the
same training day or athletes are participating in a
comprehensive conditioning program that requires intense
exercise on multiple days. The daily maintenance
of glycogen stores may be of crucial importance for
maximizing the performance gains associated with resistance
training or conditioning programs. One potential
mechanism for maintaining daily glycogen
stores is the implementation of a carbohydrate supplementation
regimen. The consumption of a liquid carbohydrate
supplement immediately prior to, during,
and immediately after daily training sessions may offer
some ergogenic benefits to athletes who perform
resistance-training exercises or multiple anaerobic
bouts in the same training day (i.e., morning resistance
training and evening football practice) or over a training
week. These benefits may include increases in
work output during training, increases in rates of recovery
between training sessions, increases in protein
synthesis rates, maintenance of muscle glycogen
stores, and creation of an anabolic hormonal environment.
All of these benefits could ultimately result in
enhanced muscular strength and hypertrophy, which
are of particular importance to athletes who compete
in sports that require enhanced strength and size, such
as American football. Additionally, the effects of a carbohydrate
supplement’s ability to decrease stress on
the immune system may be of additional benefit to
anaerobic athletes. Therefore it may be advisable for
athletes who are participating in resistance-training
programs for high school, collegiate, and professional
sports to implement a carbohydrate supplementation
program on a daily basis in conjunction with a healthy
diet. This supplementation program should center on
consuming liquid carbohydrates prior to, during, and
immediately after the resistance-training session,
whereas the remainder of the carbohydrate consumption,
from the healthy diet, should focus on low-glycemic
carbohydrate sources (fruits, vegetables, and
grains) (77). It is important to make sure that athletes
do not consume the majority of their carbohydrates in
their diet from high-glycemic sources (sugars, candy,
soda, sports drinks, etc.) because this practice may
have some adverse effects on health such as increased
risk of obesity and diabetes mellitus (77). Ultimately,
the implementation of a carbohydrate supplementation
regimen in conjunction with a healthy balanced diet
may result in the enhancement of competition performance
as a result of daily improvements in work output
during training sessions.
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Address correspondence to Dr. G. Gregory Haff,
Last edited by Slim Schaedle; 03-25-2008 at 11:01 AM.
Damn, I've gotta admit I never really knew pre-workout carbs were *that* important! I typically 'try' to make sure I'm going through a solid gatorade/whey shake maybe half an hour out, but it's never a very high dose of gatorade, and gatorade's not pure dextrose/malto anyways.
I'm def gonna have to grab some malto and start tracking training responses!
Go now, run along and tell your xerxes he faces free men here, not slaves
Obviously, we see concrete physiological benefit and importance.
Just like we know the importance and roles that adequate fats play, some people do better with low fat.
One could certainly avoid eating several hours prior and pound the caffeine and any other powerful CNS stimulant and they could be on cloud 9 for their entire workout.
If someone knows their body and realizes that they do well using fats for daily energy, and their body conserves glycogen well, then they might not take particular notice to a pre-wo carb supplement.
I know for a fact (and have worked with others) that my body utilizes glycogen very efficiently throughout the day so the benefits are like a slap in the face.
Last edited by Slim Schaedle; 03-25-2008 at 12:54 PM.
Would it be better to eat oatmeal or dextrose before working out?
Slim, with all this research you could write your own paper! You definately have enough references to list. I'm saving this and reading it bit by bit, there's a lot of stuff to read here.
"Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education alone will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan "press on" has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race." - John Calvin Coolidge
9 months-20lb gains! (2005 Newbie gains)-A bit of motivation for beginners
August 2008 Progress Pics
I did alot for various college courses too.
I had begun taking immense pre and post shakes back in 2003 before actually starting school after the air force.
It wasn't until getting into the nitty gritty biochemsitry stuff after I had started school that I began to look at what I was doing and realize the sense in it.
So, sort of like reverse research, haha.
For me, because my appetite outstrips my needs (which explains my former weight problem) I don't like to drink my calories - I prefer to chew them.
I almost always eat one of my oatmeal/cottage cheese/egg white waffles as a pre-workout meal. Now the carb source IS oats, but ground so it digests fairly quickly, and the waffle is very low in fat so there's nothing but a little bit of fibre to slow down the carbs.
If I have this half an hour before I train, I'll drizzle honey or put a bit of jam on it, maybe eat a half and apple with it or something.
If I have it an hour before, I slow it down with a little peanut butter along with the honey, maybe eat a little cottage cheese along with the chunk of apple.
See, it's just a logistics problem - making sure you have an available pool of amino acids along with glucose to stimulate insulin so you can take advantage of the preferential insulin sensitivity you'll have post-workout and shuttle nutrients into the newly-damaged tissue.
It doesn't need to be a SPIKE - not unless you messed up and didn't get in your pre-workout carbs. In that case, the faster you get the insulin going, the faster you initiate repair to the microtrauma from your workout, so the old standby of "whey and dextrose" is indeed prudent.
Go now, run along and tell your xerxes he faces free men here, not slaves
The Top 10 Post Workout Nutrition Myths
by Dave Barr
2. Pre workout Nutrition will divert blood flow away from muscles during the workout.
One of a plethora of excuses made in an attempt to resist preworkout nutrition; this myth actually makes a lot of sense…until you become familiar with the physiology of hormones. Looking deeper, we can find that the insulin stimulated by food intake, actually enhances blood flow and subsequent nutrient delivery to muscles (Coggins et al., 2001).
Applying this principle, liquid pre workout meal consumption dramatically increases muscle blood flow and protein synthesis (Tipton et al., 2001). This elevation in muscle growth is at least twice that observed with the same drink taken post workout (Tipton et al., 2001)! In fact, this effect even lasts for an hour after the workout, so it’s like having 2 drinks for the price of 1! If you want more detail on this topic check out the article on Arginine blood flow stimulators.
Fortunately, early resistance to this research is falling by the wayside, and people are finally starting to reap the benefits that this practice has to offer. While "pre workout nutrition" just doesn’t sound as sexy as "post workout nutrition," actually doubling our muscle growth should seem pretty damn sexy to everyone!3. The post workout meal is the most important meal of the day.
I have to admit that with all the hype on post-workout meals over the past few years, I got tangled up in this myth, too. Realistically though, as great as they are, a single post-workout meal will have minimal impact compared to what can happen if your nutrition is completely optimized. Of course it’s heresy to say that these days, but that’s a result of the myth building on itself more than any factual data. For example, as discussed in the myth #2, pre-workout meals can be 200% more effective for stimulating muscle growth compared to post-workout (Tipton et al., 2001).
Perhaps even more important than the pre-workout meal is the old standard: breakfast. No this article isn’t part of a conspiracy by MABB (Mom’s Against Bad Breakfasts) to promote the importance of this meal. Just think about it: being essentially fasted for 8-10 hours is incredibly destructive for muscle -yes even if you eat cottage cheese before bed.
This is especially true in trained individuals like us, because we have higher rates of muscle breakdown (Phillips et al. 2002) The faster we can stop this catabolism once we wake up, the better. In fact, one could even argue that the amount of muscle protein spared from this first meal would be equal to, or even greater, than that gained by a post workout meal.
Also, consuming a high quality slow protein before bed, like Low-Carb Grow! with micellar casein, will largely mitigate the catabolic effect induced by nocturnal fasting. Taking this one step further, nighttime eating will actually put your muscle into anabolic overdrive, by supplying even more amino acids to stimulate this metabolic process.
Finally, a second post workout meal can be even better for protein synthesis than the first, but I’ll get to that one in a bit.
Mini-Summary: Nocturnal feedings, breakfast, preworkout meals, and multiple post workout meals can be more beneficial for muscle growth than a single post workout meal.
When I started this it worked so well for me and others, I almost got stuck in the 1980's carb craze, lol.
Not to mention, it was this very site that introduced me to dextrose and maltodextrin and EVERYONE was promoting it when I first joined.
Since then I have really opened up my mind and examines different methods and tricks.
Right now I leave plenty of room for my stims to do their job because I started to find that food (even straight dex) will impair their effect.....well, I should say the actual stimulatory effect your can literally feel.
Last edited by Slim Schaedle; 03-25-2008 at 04:33 PM.
From personal experience, I believe proper pre-workout nutrition can make a good training session an excellent one. Some of my best gains and workouts were when I had a solid meal 3-4 hours prior, a small protein/dextrose drink 30 minutes prior and then sipped on a diluted version during my training.
Now, it is hard to separate the placebo type effect but once I stopped being aware of my pre-w/o nutrition and didn't sip on something throughout my sessions I noticed my lifts did suffer, especially towards the end. As I am sure someone might ask why I stopped it is because my gym kind of cracked down on their 'no gatorade/protein shakes' policy.
I've been tempted to go to another gym when I am not dieting so I can sip on something. I suppose getting a non-clear water bottle would be the easier solution though
Last edited by TopCat; 03-25-2008 at 05:15 PM.
My Journal - Taking Back What is Mine
5'11" 204 lbs
Recovering from 2 fractured vertebrae and thyroid cancer