Nutrient Timing and Delivering Nutrients During Your Workout
Research & Development
By Chad Kerksick, PhD
Nov 6, 2012
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Nobody likes spinning their wheels.
Time is money after all and when research
findings are available that allow you to be smarter and get more out of your
training and nutrition efforts you should pay attention.
In the last ten years,
our knowledge base of nutrition and exercise has expanded much beyond what it
used to be. Studies tell us time and time again that isolate versions of the
milk proteins, whey and casein, are indeed superior sources of protein and
recent hydrolysate formulations may offer some added benefits.
Another critical area of information
gathering has focused on nutrient timing.
Hopefully it is common knowledge to you that when you eat
holds a great deal of importance and specifically the one hour time period
after your resistance training workout is a critical time period where you
better feed the body something.
And by "something", science tells us it should be around 20 to 25 grams of a
post-exercise window has been aggressively researched, other time periods
including the time period before and during a bout of resistance exercise have
not been investigated as greatly.
The strategy of ingesting key nutrients during a resistance
workout was completed by Beelen and colleagues where they had participants
complete a brief bout of sprint cycling and resistance exercise while consuming
either carbohydrate or a combination of protein and carbohydrate
Beelen, Koopman et al. 2008
To accomplish this task, ten healthy males completed
a two hour resistance training workout and every 15 minutes throughout the
workout they ingested one of two beverages.
Blood and muscle samples were collected and the investigators concluded
that the consumption of carbohydrates + protein reduced protein breakdown by
8.4% and improved protein synthesis rates by 33%.
Importantly, improvements were made in both
protein breakdown and protein synthesis which resulted in net protein balance
improving from an overall negative balance (more protein was broken down that
what was built = not a good thing) when just carbohydrate was ingested to an
overall positive balance when protein was added to the carbohydrate.
Most importantly changes in muscle protein
synthesis revealed a 49% increase in the carbohydrate + protein group (which
also was significantly greater than changes seen when just carbohydrate was
In closing, the timing of nutrients is important.
Multiple studies have indicated that post-exercise
ingestion is a primary consideration for athletes wishing to optimize
adaptations to their training, but a small group of studies continues to reveal
that delivering protein and carbohydrates during resistance exercise is also
Beelen, M., R.
Koopman, et al. (2008). "Protein coingestion stimulates muscle protein
synthesis during resistance-type exercise."
Am J Physiol Endocrinol
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