Every endurance and strength athlete knows what they fuel their body with, especially their nutrient timing tactics, will affect their performance and recovery. And, many team sport athletes get this concept as well – even if you make it far on raw talent at some point poor nutrition catches up with you.
Add sprint athletes and those who engage in repeated bouts of short activity (hello hockey players) to the group who can benefit from nutrient timing tactics. Scientists from the Nestle Research Center took healthy, well-trained athletes and had them perform two bouts of sprint cycling with either a protein-carbohydrate supplement (24 grams whey protein, 4.8 grams leucine, 50 grams maltodextrin) or a non-caloric placebo prior to each exercise session. At rest and 15 and 240 minutes post-exercise they took muscle biopsies to evaluate protein synthesis and muscle cell signaling.
Though power output was similar between the groups, post-exercise myofibrillar protein synthetic rate was greater with the supplement than with a placebo. In addition, consuming the protein-carbohydrate drink was beneficial for cell signaling proteins that play a role in protein synthesis. In addition, force-generating, myofibrillar proteins were also greater in the supplemented group indicating that a protein-carbohydrate beverage within proximity to exercise may, over time, translate to increased power and speed.
PS – check out the incredible muscle on Jamaica’s Usain “Lightening” Bolt.