CHO + protein revisited
CHO + protein revisited [SEC=UNCLASSIFIED]
Five years ago I sent a message to this list asking how strong was the evidence that consuming carbohydrate combined with protein enhances performance and/or recovery compared to consuming carbohydrate alone.
Using information provided by subscribers and also references obtained from a literature review, I wrote a short paper on the subject. My conclusions included:
'1. The evidence for a positive effect of carbohydrate combined with protein compared to carbohydrate alone during vigorous activity is currently unconvincing.
'2. There is a solid body of evidence that carbohydrate combined with protein may be more effective than carbohydrate alone in promoting recovery after intense exercise, particularly in reducing muscle soreness and promoting recovery from muscle damage.'
Today I came across the 'Fact or Myth' question and answer shown below, at the following URL:
'Fact or Myth? Eating Protein After a Workout Will Build Muscle'
The answer provided is 'Myth'. It continues:
'"That's definitely a myth," said Elisabetta Politi, a nutrition director at the Duke University Diet & Fitness
Center. "What you need after a workout are carbohydrates." When you work out, your body uses the
glycogen stored in your muscles and liver. Glycogen is made from carbohydrates like glucose.
'The exhaustion you feel after a workout, Politi said, is because of a lack of glycogen. "The best way to
be reenergized is to eat carbohydrates," she said. Protein is helpful in toning existing muscle.
However, Politi notes, the average American eats twice the necessary amount of protein already.
"If [you're] eating an average diet, [you're] probably getting plenty of protein," she said.'
How appropriate is it to conclude that 'The best way to be reenergized is to eat carbohydrates', and that (by implication) the addition of protein to your recovery beverage or meal is pointless?
Defence Scientist (Nutrition) S&T5
Defence Nutrition and Food Technology
Human Performance and Physical Protection Branch
Human Protection and Performance Division
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- Deborah Shulman here, in response to the inquiry about the efficacy of carbohydrate and/or protein post exercise.
An important consideration is that carbohydrates elicit a substantive insulin response which restores glycogen and also inhibits protein catabolism. Protein powder can further enhance this response. This can tip the balance toward anabolism, which starts pretty quickly post exercise. The provision of high quality is necessary to support protein synthesis. So it would appear that both carbohydrate and protein are important but for different reasons.
As someone who has worked many years with athletes, I would say that it is an error to assume that people get twice as much high quality protein as they need. Often that protein comes from low quality sources. Also, it is well known that athletes need more protein than their sedentary counterparts and that intake can be limited for health or sports performance reasons.
Deborah Shulman, Ph.D.