Got the best training program? Now maximise its results!
Earlier this month the International Society of Sports Nutrition released a position statement on nutrient timing to ‘enhance recovery and tissue repair following high-volume exercise, augmented muscle protein synthesis and improve mood states.’ They came up with eight key points, here is a summary of these points with a few Mac-Nutrition comments.
1) Maximal endogenous (inside the body) glycogen stores are best promoted by following a high-glycemic, high-carbohydrate diet and ingestion of free amino acids and protein alone or in combination with carbohydrate before resistance exercise can maximally stimulate protein synthesis.
2) During exercise, CHO should be consumed at a rate of 30-60g of CHO/hour in a 6 – 8 % CHO solution. This equates to around 250-500mls Lucozade Sport every 30mins. Adding protein (PRO) to create a CHO:PRO ratio of 3 – 4:1 may increase endurance performance and maximally promotes glycogen re-synthesis during acute and subsequent bouts of endurance exercise.
The idea that adding protein to a carbohydrate drink during exercise is perhaps still not a foregone conclusion. The research is still equivocal in this area, however, post exercise it is best advised to have both protein and carbohydrate for sports performance. Similarly, ingestion of 30-60g of CHO during exercise is only necessary where performance will be minimised by not doing so i.e. during long intense exercise sessions of greater than 1.5 – 2hours. This level can actually be increased to 60-90g/hour when multiple sources of carbohydrate are used i.e. glucose + fructose.
3) Ingesting CHO alone or in combination with PRO during resistance exercise increases muscle glycogen, offsets muscle damage, and facilitates greater training adaptations after either acute or prolonged periods of supplementation with resistance training.
Similar to the previous point, however, not to improve immediate performance but to promote adaptations to training.
4) Post-exercise (within 30 minutes) consumption of CHO at high dosages (8 – 10 g CHO/kg/day) have been shown to stimulate muscle glycogen re-synthesis, while adding PRO (0.2 g – 0.5 g PRO/kg/day) to CHO at a ratio of 3 – 4:1 (CHO: PRO) may further enhance glycogen re-synthesis.
This point is slightly misleading, it mentions consuming carbohydrates within 30minutes of exercise and then goes into carbohydrate intake over the daily period. Eating between 0.8-1.5g of carbohydrate immediately after training will take the athlete some way towards hitting these daily targets. Put into real work terms, 8 – 10 g CHO/kg/day, is 640-800g of carbohydrates for an 80kg individual, or 1.2kg of porridge oats per day. This level of CHO intake is, for most, unnecessary and often unbearable. This level is only necessary for periods of very high volume training i.e. several hours of continuous exercise every day. If you’re only training for an hour a day… this may just make you fat.
5) Post-exercise ingestion (immediately to 3h post) of amino acids, primarily essential amino acids, has been shown to stimulate robust increases in muscle protein synthesis, while the addition of CHO may stimulate even greater levels of protein synthesis. Additionally, pre-exercise consumption of a CHO + PRO supplement may result in peak levels of protein synthesis.
Most interesting here, is the mention of essential amino acids. Of particular interest is Leucine which has been shown to independently stimulate protein synthesis….
6) During consistent, prolonged resistance training, post-exercise consumption of varying doses of CHO + PRO supplements in varying dosages have been shown to stimulate improvements in strength and body composition when compared to control or placebo conditions.
Nothing new here. Most people know that they must take in at least some form of protein and carbohydrate after a training session to promote recovery. There is a stigma around consuming a ‘shake’ after training which has led to a lot of misinformation. Research supplements properly or speaking to a nutritionist is always a good idea.
7) The addition of creatine (Cr) (0.1 g Cr/kg/day) to a CHO + PRO supplement may facilitate even greater adaptations to resistance training.
This figure is at the top end of reported maintenance doses of creatine. As little as 0.03g/kg BW per day have been shown to maintain muscle levels of creatine. Creatine is without a doubt one of the most researched supplements and shows endless promise for promoting adaptations to training.
8.) Nutrient timing incorporates the use of methodical planning and eating of whole foods, nutrients extracted from food, and other sources. The timing of the energy intake and the ratio of certain ingested macronutrients are likely the attributes which allow for enhanced recovery and tissue repair following high-volume exercise, augmented muscle protein synthesis, and improved mood states when compared with unplanned or traditional strategies of nutrient intake.