Does Nutrient Timing Affect Muscle Strength and Endurance Performance

Does Nutrient Timing Affect Muscle Strength and Endurance Performance

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Nutrient timing is the process of being mindful of when you are eating in regards to a work out. While there is more research out there about carbohydrate intake nutrient timing, there is little research regarding mixed nutrient intake (Pritchett, 2008). From everything gathered to this point it is suggested that nutrient timing has some merit on exercise performance and is most effective with combinations of carbohydrates and proteins. This strategy of eating in and around an exercise session is intended to maximize “exercise induced” muscle adaptations and assist in the repair of damaged tissues (Aragon, 2013).
In regards to a pre-workout consumption, data has recently begun to provide support that ingestion of CHO, amino acids, PRO, and creatine before a progressive resistance exercise program are effective in boosting training adaptations and diminishing muscle damage associated with the exercise (Kerksick, 2008). Essential amino acids alone have been shown to improve muscle protein synthesis, and combined with CHO has proven to produce substantial gains in muscle protein synthesis levels (Kerksick, 2008).
During the workout, which is referred to as the “energy phase,” it is recommended to ingest some carbohydrates, preferably high glycemic index foods, which will increase glucose uptake in the muscle (Bell-Wilson, 2005). It has also been shown to be beneficial to consume protein with the carbohydrates, but there is little research to confirm this theory (Bell-Wilson, 2005). During physical exertion, it has been shown that an intake of CHO by itself and in combination with PRO has increased muscle glycogen reserves, counteracted muscle damage, and aided training adaptations after acute and extended increments of resistive training (Kerksick, 2008). The most favorable amount of CHO and PRO intake is dependent on many variables such as duration of exercise and level of fitness, but the general recommendation is 1-2 grams CHO/kg (Kerksick, 2008).
It is widely accepted that a post-workout consumption is the more critical aspect of nutrient timing as intense training depletes a substantial portion of stored fuels and damages muscle fibers (Aragon, 2013). The theory behind a post work out meal is that it will initiate a reconstruction of damaged tissue and re-establishes energy stockpiles by replenishing glycogen stores (Aragon, 2013). Post exercise ingestion of CHO in high amounts has proven to stimulate muscle glycogen re-synthesis, and adding PRO to CHO at a 3:1 ratio has shown to greatly increase the amount of stimulation to glycogen re-synthesis (Kerksick, 2008).

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In addition to CHO and PRO combined supplementation, creatine combined in a post work out regime may make even bigger acclimatization to resistance training (Kerksick, 2008).
While there is proof of when you should eat using nutrient timing with exercise sessions, it is more difficult to judge on the amount to eat. It is recommended that an endurance trained athlete who exercises 90 or more minutes most days should ingest around “22-25 calories per pound” daily (Bell-Wilson, 2005). This is just an estimate as every individual is unique and will require different needs and respond differently to the types of food they are eating. If an athlete is not getting the proper nutrition from the foods they are consuming, they will have more difficulty performing at a higher level. An Oregon State University research study has proven that individuals involved in high intensity exercise perform worse when lacking in B-vitamins (Oregon State University, 2006). These athletes were also shown to have an impaired capacity to repair and create muscle than others with more nutrient balanced or rich diets (Oregon State University, 2006).
The purpose of this study is to (1) prove that a carbohydrate and protein rich pre-workout meal, intake of CHO and PRO during exercise, and a post work out meal including CHO, PRO, and creatine will effectively enhance muscle performance in endurance training and resistance training, and (2) draw significant conclusions to allow for evidence-based nutritional recommendations for athletes.

Works Cited

Aragon, A. A., & Brad, J. S. (January 29, 2013). Nutrient timing revisited: is
there a post-exercise anabolic window?. Journal of the International
Society of Sports Nutrition, 10, 1.)
Bell-Wilson, J. A. (January 01, 2005). The buzz about nutrient timing:
enhance performance, promote recovery and improve muscle integrity
by ingesting ideal nutrient combinations at optimal times.(Nutrition).
Idea Fitness Journal, 2, 2.)
Kerksick, C., Harvey, T., Stout, J., Campbell, B., Wilborn, C., Kreider, R.,
Kalman, D., Antonio, J. (January 01, 2008). International Society of
Sports Nutrition position stand: nutrient timing. Journal of the
International Society of Sports Nutrition, 5:17
Oregon State University (2006, December 27). Poor Athletic Performance
Linked To Vitamin Deficiency. ScienceDaily.
Pritchett, R., Kovacs, M., Davis, J. K., Bishop, P., Casaru, C., & Green, M.
(January 01, 2008). Effects of Pre-exercise Nutrient Timing on Glucose
Responses and Intermittent Exercise Performance. Medicine & Science
in Sports & Exercise, 40

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