Saturday, October 3, 2009

Nutrient timing *may* make difference - for strength, body comp, muscle fiber...

ResearchBlogging.orgCould changing when you have a recovery drink have a significant effect on strength, body comp and other performance factors? It may be that simple. If you like your workout routine, but want it to produce better results, you may find that changing one thing has a not insignificant effect. There seems to be significant benefit to strength, muscle fiber, body composition and muscle glycogen uptake based simply on when nutrients are taken around a workout. Likewise this nutrient timing requires no other change to one's diet to have this effect.

Effects of supplement timing and resistance exercise on skeletal muscle hypertrophy.

Exercise Metabolism Unit, Center for Ageing, Rehabilitation, Exercise and Sport; and the School of Biomedical Sciences, Victoria University, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.

PURPOSE: Some studies report greater muscle hypertrophy during resistance exercise (RE) training from supplement timing (i.e., the strategic consumption of protein and carbohydrate before and/or after each workout). However, no studies have examined whether this strategy provides greater muscle hypertrophy or strength development compared with supplementation at other times during the day. The purpose of this study was to examine the effects of supplement timing compared with supplementation in the hours not close to the workout on muscle-fiber hypertrophy, strength, and body composition during a 10-wk RE program. METHODS: In a single-blind, randomized protocol, resistance-trained males were matched for strength and placed into one of two groups; the PRE-POST group consumed a supplement (1 g x kg(-1) body weight) containing protein/creatine/glucose immediately before and after RE. The MOR-EVE group consumed the same dose of the same supplement in the morning and late evening. All assessments were completed the week before and after 10 wk of structured, supervised RE training. Assessments included strength (1RM, three exercises), body composition (DEXA), and vastus lateralis muscle biopsies for determination of muscle fiber type (I, IIa, IIx), cross-sectional area (CSA), contractile protein, creatine (Cr), and glycogen content. RRESULTS: PRE-POST demonstrated a greater (P < 0.05) increase in lean body mass and 1RM strength in two of three assessments. The changes in body composition were supported by a greater (P < 0.05) increase in CSA of the type II fibers and contractile protein content.
CONCLUSION: Supplement timing represents a simple but effective strategy that enhances the adaptations desired from RE-training.

Bottom line: taking Creatine Monohydrate, Protein and Carbs "just before" & "right after" workout is a really cheap win to improving strength, body comp and muscle type improvements. The other group had taken the same fuel in the AM before any other food and late in the PM after anything else so fuel ups were at least 5 hours on either side of a workout.

A cool thing about this study is that participants were used to doing resistance work; they aren't newbies (as many studies use).

Here's what they had in their drinks:
All participants were prescribed 1 g of the supplement per kilogram of body weight (1 g-1·kg-1 bw), to be consumed twice on training days only. The supplement contained (per 100 g), 40 g of protein (from whey isolate), 43 g of carbohydrate (glucose), < 0.5 g of fat, and 7 g of CrM and was provided by AST Sport Science (Golden, CO). This dose provided an 80-kg participant with 32 g of protein, 34.4 g of carbohydrate, < 0.4 g of fat, and a 5.6 g of CrM in each serving (a total of 1124 kJ). The chosen supplement dose was based on previously reported intakes of this population (18) and was similar to previous studies that had involved protein (1) or CrM (8) supplementation close to RE. The participants were instructed to maintain their habitual daily diet during the trial.

Strength & Muscle gains What the above breaks down to show is that there was a statistically significant difference (only 5% likelihood that the finding is based on chance) in STRENGTH performance improvements with the group in things like the 1RM. Intriguingly, the cross sectional area of muscle went up (hypertrophy) more than the other group of the fast twitch fibers in particular - the ones uses especially in power/strength work.

Creatine and Hypertrophy. So, nothing too surprising in what the good stuff in the drinks is. If i could redo this study, i'd take out the creatine to study separately, as the consensus there has seemed to be that one can take it anytime to be valuable. That said, the authors here in the discussion suggest that there may be particular benefit to taking creatine around time of exercise.
it could be suggested that supplement timing promotes more efficient Cr accumulation within muscle and, therefore, greater strength gains and muscle hypertrophy during RE training. However, this aspect was not examined directly. Based on the results obtained, further investigations are warranted to examine dose responses and the extent of Cr accumulation during RE, and to fully elucidate the contributions of both CrM and whey protein to chronic adaptations during training.

Body Comp - another interesting finding is that the effect of timing on body comp (bf%, lean mass) was also significant.
A group×time interaction (P <>
Muscle Glycogen. Higher in the Pre/Post group too - and at that 10 weeks after the trial finished. The authors propose an argument for this finding.
Therefore, it could be suggested that PRE-POST supplement timing not only promoted more efficient CrM accumulation within muscle, but that this strategy may have also promoted more efficient muscle glycogen restoration during the RE program. In turn, these benefits may have enabled greater work capacity during subsequent workouts, thus helping to promote greater strength improvements and muscle hypertrophy. Although work capacity was not assessed, the significantly greater hypertrophy responses (in three of three assessments) and 1RM strength improvements (two of three assessments) demonstrated by the PRE-POST group after the program support this theory.
Other studies have looked at taking on board fuel close to RE, but the authors of this study claim that the unique thing here is that no one changed their diet: they just added the supplement drink. The authors write:
In conclusion, although there has been a sound theoretical basis for expecting a beneficial effect from supplement timing, this is the first study to clearly demonstrate that this strategy results in greater strength and body composition improvements (i.e., a gain in lean mass and a decrease in body fat percentage) as well as muscle hypertrophy, compared with supplementation at times outside of the workout period. Unlike previous work that has examined chronic adaptations from nutrient consumption close to RE, a significantly greater muscle hypertrophy response from supplement timing was evident at three different levels (i.e., a greater increase in LBM, hypertrophy of the type IIa and IIx fibers, and contractile protein accrual). Additionally, these results were obtained with participants maintaining their normal eating patterns throughout the program. Therefore, we conclude that supplement timing represents a simple but effective strategy to enhance the adaptations that are desired from RE training.
This study is from 2006. It may be that other studies since then that i've yet to find qualify these results differently. Likewise, the authors didn't use a total control group - a group that did no extra supplementation at all - it would be interesting to see if that outside RE time supplementation had ANY benefit at all.

That said, it does seem pretty compellingly simple, as the authors suggest, that just by putting pre/post protein/cho/CrM drinks around RE workouts is an Easy Win for supporting strength.

Related Posts

CRIBB, P., & HAYES, A. (2006). Effects of Supplement Timing and Resistance Exercise on Skeletal Muscle Hypertrophy Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, 38 (11), 1918-1925 DOI: 10.1249/01.mss.0000233790.08788.3e


david said...

For a while when I was really training hard I was doing a pre-WO shake of a scoop of whey and about 8 ounces of orange juice. Thoughts on that as a pre-WO?

mc said...

david, whey's great and the oj might be a start at the carb side, but i tend to avoid juice as kind of hollow calories/nutrients in general.

In this case you might want to check how many grams of carbs you'd be getting relative to the grams of whey, since you're going for a 1:1 (in this article) or 1:2 (pro/cho more generally).

all the best,

Mike T Nelson said...

The Crib study is VERY interesting, but I believe it was sponsored by AST sport science--not a bad thing, but makes you wonder.

It was reproduced recently and found to NOT show ANY difference (below)

Effect of protein-supplement timing on strength, power, and body-composition changes in resistance-trained men.

Other studies, esp those by Stu Phillips and friends show that protein around training is best and we agree on that.

EAA + CHO pre exercise (fed sate) maximally stimulate FSR?

Data from Fuijita JAP May 2009 stated

Post ex, FSR-no benefit with prior to exercise feeding

Data suggests that post ex is still the best time

Although Van Loon suggests that this may not be true in older adults

Stuart Phillips has stated that protein AROUND the exercise time is best (around can be pre, during or post). Training time is a good thing, but I think there are only 3 studies that looked at ONLY the TIMING of protein/carbs in resistance trained subjects with the Crib study being the main one cited.

rock on
Mike T Nelson PhD(c)
Extreme Human Performance

mc said...

heh mikey! he likes it!

i'm so glad you wrote - i hadn't found anything new and was hoping you'd chime in if you did - hence why your minute with mike is a kind of place holder related post.

at the very worst there's certainly a huge convenience factor, isn't there to thinking all these bits go in NOW. i rather like it. as long as no one finds it's BAD.

and hence my dubiousity around the creatine timing which hasn't been seemingly supported elsewhere - in fact the opposite seems true, eh?

i'm looking forward to reading the stuff you cite. and open the window again!

thanks for dropping by Mike and as always Kicking it up a notch.



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