Pre and Post Workout Nutrition
Here is a recent article underlining the importace of a pre-workout nutrition plan.
For those of us who already have a sound plan, I thought you might like to see some science.
For those of you who don't, harken.
Timing of amino acid-carbohydrate ingestion alters anabolic response of muscle to resistance exercise.
Tipton KD, Rasmussen BB, Miller SL, Wolf SE, Owens-Stovall SK, Petrini BE, Wolfe RR.
Department of Surgery, University of Texas Medical Branch, Galveston, Texas 77550, USA. firstname.lastname@example.org
The present study was designed to determine whether consumption of an oral essential amino acid-carbohydrate supplement (EAC) before exercise results in a greater anabolic response than supplementation after resistance exercise. Six healthy human subjects participated in two trials in random order, PRE (EAC consumed immediately before exercise), and POST (EAC consumed immediately after exercise). A primed, continuous infusion of L-[ring-(2)H(5)]phenylalanine, femoral arteriovenous catheterization, and muscle biopsies from the vastus lateralis were used to determine phenylalanine concentrations, enrichments, and net uptake across the leg. Blood and muscle phenylalanine concentrations were increased by approximately 130% after drink consumption in both trials. Amino acid delivery to the leg was increased during exercise and remained elevated for the 2 h after exercise in both trials. Delivery of amino acids (amino acid concentration times blood flow) was significantly greater in PRE than in POST during the exercise bout and in the 1st h after exercise (P < 0.05). Total net phenylalanine uptake across the leg was greater (P = 0.0002) during PRE (209 +/- 42 mg) than during POST (81 +/- 19). Phenylalanine disappearance rate, an indicator of muscle protein synthesis from blood amino acids, increased after EAC consumption in both trials. These results indicate that the response of net muscle protein synthesis to consumption of an EAC solution immediately before resistance exercise is greater than that when the solution is consumed after exercise, primarily because of an increase in muscle protein synthesis as a result of increased delivery of amino acids to the leg.
Now, I didn't post this to say I think that a pre-workout shake is more important than a post. I think everyone should do both. But a pre may be just a little bit more important, especially if you are going to be going over an hour.
But remember, this study was done on FASTED subjects. The post subjects were working out after fasting overnight. I would say that working out after starving yourself is cetainly gonna make the pre shake more important, so to me it doesn't definitively prove anything, but it does illustrate that there is a good reason to be having both a pre and post workout shake with protein and carbohydrates.
Edit* Also see http://www.bodybuilding.net/32436-5-post.html
Yeah, I've seen that study before over at hypertrophy-research. A lot of these studies conducted aren't exactly definitive, but it at least shows that there is some advantages of intaking a preworkout shake before exercise.
IMO it will increase protein synthesis, provide a anti-catabolic environment for your body while training, and provide energy during resistance training. I swear by using around 10 grams of BCAA's, 1 scoop of whey isolate, and some dextrose preworkout. Those are my set in stone supplements taken preworkout. Of course, a welcome addition IMO is 3 grams citrulline malate. I can certainly tell a big difference the few times I missed my pre shake.
Research has demonstrated the effectiveness of a pre-workout protein drink.
Delivery of amino acids has been shown to be significantly greater during the exercise bout when consumed pre-workout than after exercise (Tipton, 2001). There is also a significant difference in amino acid delivery in the 1st hour after exercise, with the pre-exercise protein drink providing a significant advantage. Net amino acid uptake across the muscle is twice as high with a pre-workout protein drink as compared to consuming it after. Phenylalanine disappearance rate, an indicator of muscle protein synthesis from blood amino acids, was significantly higher when amino acids were taken pre-workout. These results indicate that the response of net muscle protein synthesis to consumption of a protein solution immediately before resistance exercise is greater than that when the solution is consumed after exercise, primarily because of an increase in muscle protein synthesis as a result of increased delivery of amino acids to the leg.
Nice find Eric.
I don't currently consume any dextrose or malto before hand as I am trying to cut down a little, but after reading this and some other articles it seems that the carbs provide more than just a simple energy source. Guess I will have to toss in a scoop from now on.
The more the merrier. Poliquin recommends upwards of 40 grams BCAA's taken while working out. I love the Xtend, but BN's brand hasn't given me any problems like everyone bitches about. I really never go over 40 grams of dextrose because I don't want to crash in the middle of working out.
Pre-workout nutritional strategies are based on providing alternative energy substrates (mainly carbohydrate) to preserve energy stores, and taking advantage of increased blood flow to muscle tissue.
High intensity exercise places great demand on glycogen stores. Glycogen is the sugar stored in the liver and muscles. Because high intensity exercise burns energy at such a high rate, the body is unable to supply sufficient oxygen to be able to use fat for fuel. Instead, it must use sugar both stored in the muscle and brought in from the blood.
Consuming simple sugars right before training can reduce the amount of glycogen used during exercise. This can prolong performance. More importantly, higher blood sugar and insulin levels appear to create a hormonal milieu favorable to anabolism (growth).
During exercise, cortisol accelerates lipolysis, ketogenesis, and proteolysis (protein breakdown). This happens in order to provide additional fuel substrates for continued exercise. The effects of cortisol may also be necessary to provide an amino acid pool from which the muscle can rebuild new contractile proteins if there are insufficient amino acids delivered from the blood. This ensures that some degree of adaptation can occur regardless of the availability of dietary protein. Over time however, if this process is not balanced with additional dietary protein, the net effect will be only maintenance or even a decrease in functional muscle tissue, as is evident during periods of starvation or prolonged dieting. Fortunately, there is only a non-significant rise in cortisol levels when carbohydrates were consumed during exercise. (Tarpenning, 1998) The net effect is a more rapid increase in the cross sectional area of the muscle fibers with the greatest effect seen in type-II fibers.
This may be a less expensive option for those who were thinking of using phosphatidylserine. In this case, carbohydrate administration appears to down regulate the hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal axis, probably through insulin or perhaps through the presence of carbohydrate itself. This would, in effect, greatly reduce the body's catabolic response to exercise stress. All good news for bodybuilders.
I was hoping you guys would discuss this. I've been surprised at how many people lately don't have a good pre/post workout nutrition plan.
I agree that TOO much pure dextrose can be problematic, though. I believe in using dextrose and malto. Also, for people who's digestion can handle it, people may not be aware that the instant oatmeal, the very thinly rolled kind, has a moderately high GI, much higher than regular oatmeal and along with dextrose, that can be a good stategy for some people, when convenient.
Lyle MacDonald (UD2.0)
Speaking of carbs and glycogen replenishment--what would you say is the best post-workout method for enhancing muscle recovery and promoting protein synthesis?
Lyle M: It really depends on which part of recovery you're focusing on. Unfortunately, most authorities only focus on one part of the big picture.
In simplistic terms, you need to be worried about two recovery factors in terms of optimizing growth (this assumes that your workout stimulated it which is a separate issue: local and systemic recovery. The first is local glycogen recovery, along with the provision of amino acids. Part of this ties into refilling muscular glycogen stores as quickly as possible (as per the question above), so that protein synthesis can take place. You get the most rapid rate of glycogen storage right after the workout so this is the best time to do it. Additionally, study after study after study show that raising insulin (via carbs) along with amino acid levels (via protein intake) improves post workout protein synthesis.
A recent study actually showed that pre-workout carbs/protein (and we're not talking large amount: it was like 30 grams carbs, 6 grams essential amino acids) improved post-workout protein synthesis better than post-workout carbs. The reasons is likely one of timing: even if you slug a shake immediately after your workout: it's still 30 minutes before it gets to your muscle. Take a drink right before training, and it's there as soon as the workout ends. Of course, I'd suggest people do both.
But muscular recovery is only part of the picture; you're only dealing with local factors. There is also a systemic factor to consider, in terms of the body's overall metabolism (anabolic or catabolic to be simplistic). This is being controlled mainly by liver metabolism. Now, liver metabolism doesn't get talked about very much, it's not a very 'sexy' topic. But it is important to overall growth. Keeping the liver in a fed state (by maintaining levels of liver glycogen) keeps the body in a more anabolic state. You maintain insulin levels better, which means better IGF-1 levels (although blood borne IGF-1 really isn't that important to muscular growth, contrary to what most people believe), you get better thyroid conversion, the higher insulin also helps unbind testosterone from SHBG (sex hormone binding globulin) and keeps cortisol down. etc. etc.
In your opinion, what would be an approximate ratio for pre/middle/post workout nutrition?
Take a small shake of say 20-30 grams carbs (glucose/maltodextrin) with some protein (maybe 12-15 grams since we don't have access to essential AAs by themselves) in as little water as you can mix it (this is to avoid getting sick) right before your workout starts.
If your workout were particularly long (more than 1-1.5 hours), it would be a good idea to sip on a Gatorade solution. 15-30 grams of carbohydrate per hour is plenty. This will maintain blood glucose better, and an abstract a year or two ago showed that it improved overall anabolism.
Then slam your post workout shake immediately after training. The old recommendations for post-workout carb intake was 1-1.5 grams of carbs/kg lean body mass with about 1/3rd as much protein. So, for an average lifter (say 65 kg=150 lbs of LBM or so), you get 65-100 grams of carbs with 20-30 grams of protein. Since you already took in 20-30 grams pre-workout, I'd subtract this from the post-workout shake. If you took in carbs during the workout, you'd subtract that too. So you'd be looking at 45-80 grams of carbs post workout, with 20-30 grams of an easily digested protein. You'd want most of the carbs to be glucose or glucose polymers, but with some fructose (maybe 10-20 grams) in there as well.
Then you'd eat a normal meal about 2 hours later to keep things moving.
So it would look like this overall for a lifter with 65 kg (150 lb) of LBM:
Pre-workout: 20-30 grams glucose/12-15 grams whey protein
During workout: 15-30 grams carbohydrate/hour (if needed)
Post-workout: 45-80 grams carbs from glucose/maltodextrin and some fructose (10-20 grams) with 20-30 grams of protein
2 hours later: normal meal
So Lyle recommends some fructose in the post shake as well. I take it that is to address the liver glycogen?
Lyle M: Well, intensive training depletes liver glycogen quickly because of the hormonal response. That means that, depending on diet, length of your workout, etc. you are entering a systemically catabolic state as you come out of the workout because of the shift in liver metabolism. Correcting that and returning to an anabolic, state is part of overall recovery and growth.
Now, while glucose is the main fuel for muscle glycogen (quite in fact, fructose can't be taken into the muscle cell, there's no transporter), it doesn't do a very good job of replacing liver glycogen. 80% or more of ingested glucose goes straight through the liver, to get to the muscle. Fructose, on the other hand is primarily liver fuel. Now, I know that a lot of people have made an issue of how *excess* fructose converts to triglycerides and this is an issue with massive amounts (which you see in the general public because of too much sucrose and high fructose corn syrup intake). But you don't see problems until you get to like 50-60 grams per day, which is actually quite a bit (an average piece of fruit may have 7 grams of fructose). It's simply a non-issue for most people.
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