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Periworkout Nutrition to Maximize Performance during Sport and Training

By Elliot Fisher MS, ATC, CSCS, PES

Nutrition plays an important role in sport performance. Periworkout nutrition (pre, intra, and post) is a very important variable in maximizing performance during sport or training. There are many products that advertise as being best for periworkout nutrition, including pre workouts, bcaa supplements, and post workout drinks. This blog will cover the benefits of different periworkout ingredients.

Caffeine

There are many benefits to caffeine around training and competition. Caffeine can increase anaerobic capacity, power output, aerobic capacity, and fat oxidation.(1,2,3,4) This makes caffeine a valuable ingredient before exercise. Additionally, caffeine can increase glycogen resysnthesis post exercise making it beneficial post workout as well.(5) Caffeine is usually dosed at 200 mg, but is commonly dosed around 4-6mg/kg bodyweight in research.(6) Caffeine can cause issues falling or staying asleep so it should be avoided later in the day.

Sugar

Glycogen is an important fuel source during exercise. Glycogen is stored glucose in the muscles and liver. Consuming different sources of sugar around exercise can decrease glycogen utilization, postpone fatigue during endurance activities, and increase glycogen resynthesis after exercise.(7,8) Carbohydrate consumption should take daily allotment into consideration first, but if there is room, up to .75 grams of carbohydrate/lb of bodyweight/hour of activity.(9)

Protein

During physical activity there is an increase in muscle protein catabolism.(10) Consuming amino acids around activity can decrease catabolism and increase anabolism.(9) Branch chain amino acids (BCAA) are commonly advertised as beneficial intraworkout supplements as they can assist preventing and restoring muscle protein synthesis when consumed around training.(11) Whey protein is easily digested and has large amounts of BCAA in it already, as well as largely decreases muscle catabolism and increases muscle anabolism.(9,12) About 10-20 grams of protein, or half of a regular meal should be consumed during workout.

Conclusion

To optimize nutrition around exercise there are many considerations. Caffeine can be taken pre and post workout to increase performance and recovery. Sugar can be consumed before, during, and post workout to keep glycogen stores full and decrease fatigue. Protein, specifically whey, can be consumed pre, during, and post workout to keep muscle protein synthesis high and catabolism low. Dosages should take total daily caloric and macronutrients requirements into consideration, as well as individual tolerance.

References

  1. Carr, A. J., Gore, C. J., & Dawson, B. (2011). Induced alkalosis and caffeine supplementation: effects on 2,000-m rowing performance. International journal of sport nutrition and exercise metabolism, 21(5), 357-364.

  2. Del Coso, J., Salinero, J. J., González-Millán, C., Abián-Vicén, J., & Pérez-González, B. (2012). Dose response effects of a caffeine-containing energy drink on muscle performance: a repeated measures design. Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, 9(1), 21.

  3. Desbrow, B., Biddulph, C., Devlin, B., Grant, G. D., Anoopkumar-Dukie, S., & Leveritt, M. D. (2012). The effects of different doses of caffeine on endurance cycling time trial performance. Journal of sports sciences, 30(2), 115-120.

  4. Astrup, A., Toubro, S., Cannon, S., Hein, P., Breum, L., & Madsen, J. (1990). Caffeine: a double-blind, placebo-controlled study of its thermogenic, metabolic, and cardiovascular effects in healthy volunteers. The American journal of clinical nutrition, 51(5), 759-767.

  5. Pedersen, D. J., Lessard, S. J., Coffey, V. G., Churchley, E. G., Wootton, A. M., Ng, T., … & Hawley, J. A. (2008). High rates of muscle glycogen resynthesis after exhaustive exercise when carbohydrate is coingested with caffeine. Journal of Applied Physiology, 105(1), 7-13.

  6. https://examine.com/supplements/caffeine/

  7. Coyle, E. F., Coggan, A. R., Hemmert, M. K., & Ivy, J. L. (1986). Muscle glycogen utilization during prolonged strenuous exercise when fed carbohydrate. Journal of applied physiology, 61(1), 165-172.

  8. Pedersen, D. J., Lessard, S. J., Coffey, V. G., Churchley, E. G., Wootton, A. M., Ng, T., … & Hawley, J. A. (2008). High rates of muscle glycogen resynthesis after exhaustive exercise when carbohydrate is coingested with caffeine. Journal of Applied Physiology, 105(1), 7-13.

  9. Israetel M, Case J, Hoffman J. The Renaissance Diet. Renaissance Periodization.

  10. McArdle, W. D., Katch, F. I., & Katch, V. L. (2010). Exercise physiology: nutrition, energy, and human performance. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins.

  11. Shimomura, Y., Murakami, T., Nakai, N., Nagasaki, M., & Harris, R. A. (2004). Exercise promotes BCAA catabolism: effects of BCAA supplementation on skeletal muscle during exercise. The Journal of nutrition, 134(6), 1583S-1587S.

  12. Campbell, B. I., Wilborn, C. D., La Bounty, P. M., & Wilson, J. M. (2012). Nutrient timing for resistance exercise. Strength & Conditioning Journal, 34(4), 2-10.

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