The purpose of this study was to determine the effect of a high vs. a low preexercise carbohydrate (CHO) diet on performance during multiple sets of resistance exercise. Eleven resistance-trained males performed cycle ergometry to deplete quadriceps muscle glycogen stores, followed by 48 hr of a high (HICHO) or a low (LOCHO) CHO diet. Subjects then performed five sets each of squats, leg presses, and knee extensions (resistance = 15 RM) to failure. Blood samples were taken before and during exercise for determination of glucose and lactate (LA). No differences in performance (repetitions X weight lifted) were observed (HICHO = 15,975±1,381 and LOCHO = 15,723±1,231 kg). Blood glucose was significantly higher after exercise for HICHO compared to LOCHO (HICHO = 4.8 ± 0.2 vs. LOCHO = 3.9 ± 0.2 mmol·L−1). No differences in LA accumulation were observed. The data indicated that preexercise CHO status did not affect resistance exercise performance. Further, the differences in blood glucose and the similarity in LA responses suggest that glycolysis was maintained in the LOCHO condition, and there may have been an increased reliance on blood glucose when preexercise CHO status was low.
The authors are with the Exercise Physiology Laboratory, Texas Christian University, Fort Worth, TX 76129.