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Michael J. Rennie

The major anabolic influences on muscle are feeding and contractile activity. As a result of feeding, anabolism occurs chiefly by increases in protein synthesis with minor changes in protein breakdown. Insulin has a permissive role in increasing synthesis, but the availability of amino acids is crucial for net anabolism. We have investigated the role of amino acids in stimulating muscle protein synthesis, the synergy between exercise and amino acid availability, and some of the signaling elements involved. The results suggest that muscle is acutely sensitive to amino acids, that exercise probably increases the anabolic effects of amino acids by a separate pathway, and that for this reason it is unlikely that accustomed physical exercise increases protein requirements.

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Julien Louis, Fabrice Vercruyssen, Olivier Dupuy and Thierry Bernard

muscle mass loss, weakening of the immune system, and potential reduction in training intensity ( Mountjoy et al., 2014 ). Within these conditions, a balanced diet must provide enough energy (from macronutrients: carbohydrates, fats, and proteins) to allow physical exercise while avoiding maladaptation

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Peter W. R. Lemon

The current recommended daily allowance (RDA) for protein is based primarily on data derived from subjects whose lifestyles were essentially sedentary. More recent well-designed studies that have employed either the classic nitrogen balance approach or the more technically difficult metabolic tracer technique indicate that overall protein needs (as well as needs for some specific individual amino acids) are probably increased for those who exercise regularly. Although the roles of the additionally required dietary protein and amino acids are likely to be quite different for those who engage in endurance exercise (protein required as an auxiliary fuel source) as opposed to strength exercise (amino acids required as building blocks for muscle development), it appears that both groups likely will benefit from diets containing more protein than the current RDA of 0.8 g · kg−1 · day1. Strength athletes probably need about 1.4-1.8 g · kg−1 · day1 and endurance athletes about 1.2-1.4 g · kg−1 · day1.

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Heather R. Clark, Margo E. Barker and Bernard M. Corfe

Mountain marathons are 2-d, self-supported adventure races, during which competitors must carry all nutritional requirements to sustain athletic effort. This requires a compromise between the energy required to perform and the weight penalty of carrying it. We have undertaken a nutritional survey of event competitors in the UK using a questionnaire-based approach and have monitored dehydration during the event. We found that competitors in longer-distance classes (> 50 km) carry significantly less mass of food, which is more energy dense, but that the calorific value is lower than that of competitors in shorter classes. Carbohydrate and protein consumption both positively associated with performance. Competitors became progressively dehydrated throughout the event. Counterintuitively, the better-performing subjects became the most dehydrated. Competitors at all distances should make more effort to rehydrate during breaks in the event. Competitors at shorter distances could choose more energy-dense foods to reduce weight penalty.

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J. Luke Pryor, Evan C. Johnson, Jeffery Del Favero, Andrew Monteleone, Lawrence E. Armstrong and Nancy R. Rodriguez

Postexercise protein and sodium supplementation may aid recovery and rehydration. Preserved beef provides protein and contains high quantities of sodium that may alter performance related variables in runners. The purpose of this study was to determine the effects of consuming a commercial beef product postexercise on sodium and water balance. A secondary objective was to characterize effects of the supplementation protocols on hydration, blood pressure, body mass, and running economy. Eight trained males (age = 22 ± 3 y, V̇O2max = 66.4 ± 4.2 ml·kg-1·min-1) completed three identical weeks of run training (6 run·wk-1, 45 ± 6 min·run-1, 74 ± 5% HRR). After exercise, subjects consumed either, a beef nutritional supplement (beef jerky; [B]), a standard recovery drink (SRD), or SRD+B in a randomized counterbalanced design. Hydration status was assessed via urinary biomarkers and body mass. No main effects of treatment were observed for 24 hr urine volume (SRD, 1.7 ± 0.5; B, 1.8 ± 0.6; SRD+B, 1.4 ± 0.4 L·d-1), urine specific gravity (1.016 ± 0.005, 1.018 ± 0.006, 1.017 ± 0.006) or body mass (68.4 ± 8.2, 68.3 ± 7.7, 68.2 ± 8.1 kg). No main effect of treatment existed for sodium intake—loss (-713 ± 1486; -973 ± 1123; -980 ± 1220 mg·d-1). Mean arterial pressure (81.0 ± 4.6, 81.1 ± 7.3, 83.8 ± 5.4 mm Hg) and average exercise running economy (V̇O2: SRD, 47.9 ± 3.2; B, 47.2 ± 2.6; SRD+B, 46.2 ± 3.4 ml·kg-1·min-1) was not affected. Urinary sodium excretion accounted for the daily sodium intake due to the beef nutritional supplement. Findings suggest the commercial beef snack is a viable recovery supplement following endurance exercise without concern for hydration status, performance decrements, or cardiovascular consequences.

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Milou Beelen, Louise M. Burke, Martin J. Gibala and Luc J.C. van Loon

During postexercise recovery, optimal nutritional intake is important to replenish endogenous substrate stores and to facilitate muscle-damage repair and reconditioning. After exhaustive endurance-type exercise, muscle glycogen repletion forms the most important factor determining the time needed to recover. Postexercise carbohydrate (CHO) ingestion has been well established as the most important determinant of muscle glycogen synthesis. Coingestion of protein and/or amino acids does not seem to further increase muscle glycogensynthesis rates when CHO intake exceeds 1.2 g · kg−1 · hr−1. However, from a practical point of view it is not always feasible to ingest such large amounts of CHO. The combined ingestion of a small amount of protein (0.2–0.4 g · (0.2−0.4 g · kg−1 · hr−1) with less CHO (0.8 g · kg−1 · hr−1) stimulates endogenous insulin release and results in similar muscle glycogen-repletion rates as the ingestion of 1.2 g · kg−1 · hr−1 CHO. Furthermore, postexercise protein and/or amino acid administration is warranted to stimulate muscle protein synthesis, inhibit protein breakdown, and allow net muscle protein accretion. The consumption of ~20 g intact protein, or an equivalent of ~9 g essential amino acids, has been reported to maximize muscle protein-synthesis rates during the first hours of postexercise recovery. Ingestion of such small amounts of dietary protein 5 or 6 times daily might support maximal muscle protein-synthesis rates throughout the day. Consuming CHO and protein during the early phases of recovery has been shown to positively affect subsequent exercise performance and could be of specific benefit for athletes involved in multiple training or competition sessions on the same or consecutive days.

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James A. Betts, Emma Stevenson, Clyde Williams, Catrin Sheppard, Edwin Grey and Joe Griffin

Including protein in a carbohydrate solution may accelerate both the rate of glycogen storage and the restoration of exercise capacity following prolonged activity. Two studies were undertaken with nine active men in study A and seven in study B. All participants performed 2 trials, each involving a 90 min run at 70% VO2max followed by a 4 h recovery. During recovery, either a 9.3% carbohydrate solution (CHO) or the same solution plus 1.5% protein (CHO-PRO) was ingested every 30 min in volumes providing either 1.2 g CHO · kg−1 · h−1 (study A) or 0.8 g CHO · kg−1 · h−1 (study B). Exercise capacity was then assessed by run time to exhaustion at 85% VO2max. Ingestion of CHO-PRO elicited greater insulinemic responses than CHO (P ≤ 0.05) but with no differences in run times to exhaustion. Within the context of this experimental design, CHO and CHO-PRO restored running capacity with equal effect.

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Mindy Millard-Stafford, Gordon L. Warren, Leah Moore Thomas, J. Andrew Doyle, Teresa Snow and Kristen Hitchcock

Post-exercise nutrition is critical to facilitate recovery from training. To determine if added protein (P) or increased carbohydrate (CHO) differentially improves recovery, eight runners ingested: 6% CHO (CHO6), 8% CHO + 2% protein (CHOP), and isocaloric 10% CHO (CHO10) following a 21-km run plus treadmill run to fatigue (RTF) at 90% VO2max. RTF was repeated after 2 h recovery. After 24 h, a 5 km time trial was performed. Insulin and blood glucose were higher (P < 0.05) following CHO10 compared to CHO-P and CHO6, but did not affect improvement from the first to second RTF (29.6% ± 6, 40.5% ± 8.8, 40.5% ± 14.5) or 5 km time (1100 ± 36.3, 1110 ± 37.3, 1118 ± 36.5 s). CK was not different, but perceived soreness with CHO-P (2.1 ± 0.5) was lower than CHO10 (5.2 ± 0.7). Additional calories from CHO or P above that provided in sports drinks does not improve subsequent performance after recovery; but less soreness suggests benefits with CHO-P.

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Iñigo Mujika, Trent Stellingwerff and Kevin Tipton

The adaptive response to training is determined by the combination of the intensity, volume, and frequency of the training. Various periodized approaches to training are used by aquatic sports athletes to achieve performance peaks. Nutritional support to optimize training adaptations should take periodization into consideration; that is, nutrition should also be periodized to optimally support training and facilitate adaptations. Moreover, other aspects of training (e.g., overload training, tapering and detraining) should be considered when making nutrition recommendations for aquatic athletes. There is evidence, albeit not in aquatic sports, that restricting carbohydrate availability may enhance some training adaptations. More research needs to be performed, particularly in aquatic sports, to determine the optimal strategy for periodizing carbohydrate intake to optimize adaptations. Protein nutrition is an important consideration for optimal training adaptations. Factors other than the total amount of daily protein intake should be considered. For instance, the type of protein, timing and pattern of protein intake and the amount of protein ingested at any one time influence the metabolic response to protein ingestion. Body mass and composition are important for aquatic sport athletes in relation to power-to-mass and for aesthetic reasons. Protein may be particularly important for athletes desiring to maintain muscle while losing body mass. Nutritional supplements, such as b-alanine and sodium bicarbonate, may have particular usefulness for aquatic athletes’ training adaptation.

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Ricardo J.S. Costa, Matthew B. Fortes, Katharine Richardson, James L.J. Bilzon and Neil P. Walsh

The purpose of this study was to determine the effects of a carbohydrate (CHO) and protein (PRO) drink consumed immediately after endurance exercise on saliva antimicrobial proteins known to be important for host defense. Eleven male runners ran for 2 hr at 75% VO2max on 2 occasions and immediately postexercise were provided, in randomized order, either a placebo solution (CON) or a CHO-PRO solution containing 1.2 g CHO/kg body mass (BM) and 0.4 g PRO/kg BM (CHO-PRO). The solutions were flavor and volume equivalent (12 ml/kg BM). Saliva flow rate, lysozyme, α-amylase, and secretory (S) IgA concentrations were determined from unstimulated saliva samples collected preexercise, immediately postexercise, and every 30 min until 180 min postexercise. CHO-PRO ingestion immediately postexercise resulted in a lower saliva flow rate than with CON at 30 and 60 min postexercise. Saliva lysozyme concentration increased immediately postexercise in both trials compared with preexercise (p< .05), and CHO-PRO ingestion immediately postexercise resulted in a higher saliva lysozyme concentration in the first hour of recovery than with CON (125% greater at 30 min, 94% greater at 60 min; p< .01). Saliva SIgA concentration decreased below preexercise concentrations 90–150 min postexercise (p< .001), with no effect of CHO-PRO. Saliva α-amylase activity was unaffected by exercise or CHO-PRO refeeding. CHO-PRO refeeding did not alter the secretion rates of any saliva variables during recovery. In conclusion, immediate refeeding with CHO-PRO evoked a greater saliva lysozyme concentration during the first hour of recovery after prolonged exercise than ingestion of placebo but had minimal impact on saliva α-amylase and SIgA responses.