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soar 07-14-2011 07:22 PM

PWO Carbohydrates
Hey guys I've recently read your article about post workout carbohydrates however I read several other articles that seem to lea towards low carb post workout:

Post Exercise Carbohydrates May Be Counter-Productive
2007 Dr. Mauro Di Pasquale

At this time the consensus in the literature is that the use of a balanced amino acid mixture along with glucose or high glycemic carbohydrates taken immediately after exercise and then again a short time later would seem to optimize the immediate anabolic effects of exercise.1

Thereís no doubt that the use of the individual and combinations of amino acids both before, during and after exercise has significant short term effects on protein synthesis and the exercise and post exercise hormonal milieu. However, very little research has been done on the long term benefits or drawbacks on body composition and performance of using post exercise carbohydrate intake.

However, a recent study assessed the need for co-ingestion of carbohydrate with protein on post-exercise muscle protein synthesis.2 The results of the study showed that the use of a protein hydrolysate alone was enough to increase protein synthesis after exercise and that the addition of carbohydrates did not further increase protein synthesis.

Not only is the use of post exercise carbohydrates non contributory to the increase in protein synthesis brought about by protein intake after exercise, it can actually be counter productive.

There is no doubt that the timing protein nutrition after exercise is crucial for increasing skeletal muscle protein synthesis and an overall net balance.3 Exercise provides an adaptive response so that the body is able to make use of any nutrition supplied post exercise.

Nutrient intake on its own provides a storage response so that if one is fed or receives an infusion of mixed amino acids after a fasted period, protein synthesis increases, whereas protein breakdown remains the same or decreases slightly, which is different from the response after exercise.

Without nutrient intake after exercise protein synthesis and protein breakdown are increased but net balance does not become positive as it does after amino acid intake after fasting. Because of the exercise stimulus, when amino acids are provided after exercise protein synthesis increases more than that after exercise or AA feeding alone, and protein breakdown remains similar to exercise without feeding. Thus the provision of AA enhances protein synthesis and leads to a positive net protein balance and an overall increase in protein accretion.4

In addition, while the increase in protein synthesis after feeding is a transient storage phenomenon, physical exercise stimulates a longer-term adaptive response. Providing nutrition after physical activity takes advantage of the anabolic signaling pathways that physical activity has initiated by providing amino acid building blocks and energy for protein synthesis.

Glycogen compensation and super compensation (after glycogen depleting exercise) after exercise requires a substantial carbohydrate load that results in a quick and large increase in glycogen levels in both liver and skeletal muscles. Once the stores are full, or even super full, the stimulus declines dramatically. However, if no carbohydrates are given post exercise the muscle will maintain a capacity to full compensate or supercompensate glycogen until enough carbs are either available through the diet or by gluconeogenesis to fill the glycogen stores as much as possible.5

Because of the over emphasis placed on maintaining glycogen stores to maximize exercise performance, much of the research has centered around the effects of post exercise carbs, and post exercise carbs combined with protein,6 and the effects these have on glucose transportes (GLUT1, GLUT2, GLUT4), glucose metabolism, including levels of hexokinase and glycogen synthase, and insulin,7,8 thereís not much out there dealing with just the use of protein and fat after exercise.

The usual advice is that carbs, with some protein thrown in, are a necessary part of post exercise nutrition regardless of diet that youíre following, including a low carb diet.9,10 However, thatís not true. In fact the use of carbs post training can be counter productive and eliminating post training carbs can have added anabolic and fat burning effects.

Thatís because the intake of carbs after exercise blunts the post exercise insulin sensitivity. That means that once muscle has loaded up on glycogen, which it does pretty quickly on carbs, insulin sensitivity decreases dramatically.

As you know this statement runs counter to present thinking and research about post exercise nutrition although weíve mentioned that one recent study showing that carbohydrate intake after exercise is non contributory to the increase in protein synthesis brought about by the use of a protein hydrolysate post exercise.

However, the study did not go as far as to state that the use of carbohydrates can actually be counter productive. As such, letís take it step by step so that I can make my reasons for the above statements clear and easier to understand.

First of all itís well known that a single session of exercise increases insulin sensitivity for hours and even days.11,12

Itís also known that a bout of resistance exercise results in a significant decrease in glycogen and that total energy content and CHO content are important in the resynthesis of muscle and liver glycogen.13

Glucose uptake and glycogen synthesis are enhanced in the presence of insulin following an acute exercise bout that lowers the muscle glycogen concentration and activates glycogen synthase.14,15

Muscle glycogen concentration dictates much of this acute increase in insulin sensitivity after exercise.16 Therefore, an increased availability of dietary carbohydrate in the hours after exercise and the resultant increase in muscle glycogen resynthesis reverses the exercise-induced increase in insulin sensitivity.17

Along with glucose uptake, amino acid uptake and protein synthesis also increase. As well, the use of fatty acids as a primary fuel also rises after exercise since glycogen resynthesis takes priority to the use of glucose for aerobic energy.

However, as liver and muscle glycogen levels get replenished, insulin sensitivity decreases, as does amino acid uptake, protein synthesis and the use of fatty acids as a primary fuel.

By increasing insulin levels and not providing carbs you shunt your bodyís metabolism to the use of more fatty acids for energy while at the same time keeping muscle glycogen levels below saturation and amino acid influx and protein synthesis elevated for a prolonged period of time post exercise.

This increased capacity for glycogen synthesis, and everything that goes with it, can persist for several days if the muscle glycogen concentration is maintained below normal levels by carbohydrate restriction. By keeping carbs low and protein and energy high after training, you can increase protein synthesis over a prolonged period of time and get long term anabolic effect.18

As well, the type of protein used post exercise can have an effect on glycogen levels and thus the anabolic stimulus. For example itís been shown that a fast protein, such as whey protein, leads to increased glycogen levels over slow proteins such as casein.19

In the long run, the optimal protein for increasing protein synthesis, decreasing catabolism and increasing muscle accretion is a blend of slow and fast proteins, plus the addition of a few other useful ingredients.


m J Physiol Endocrinol Metab. 2007 Sep;293(3):E833-42. Epub 2007 Jul 3.
Coingestion of carbohydrate with protein does not further augment postexercise muscle protein synthesis.
Koopman R, Beelen M, Stellingwerff T, Pennings B, Saris WH, Kies AK, Kuipers H, van Loon LJ.

Department of Movement Sciences, Maastricht University, PO Box 616, 6200 MD Maastricht, The Netherlands.
The present study was designed to assess the impact of coingestion of various amounts of carbohydrate combined with an ample amount of protein intake on postexercise muscle protein synthesis rates. Ten healthy, fit men (20 +/- 0.3 yr) were randomly assigned to three crossover experiments. After 60 min of resistance exercise, subjects consumed 0.3 g x kg(-1) x h(-1) protein hydrolysate with 0, 0.15, or 0.6 g x kg(-1) x h(-1) carbohydrate during a 6-h recovery period (PRO, PRO + LCHO, and PRO + HCHO, respectively). Primed, continuous infusions with L-[ring-(13)C(6)]phenylalanine, L-[ring-(2)H(2)]tyrosine, and [6,6-(2)H(2)]glucose were applied, and blood and muscle samples were collected to assess whole body protein turnover and glucose kinetics as well as protein fractional synthesis rate (FSR) in the vastus lateralis muscle over 6 h of postexercise recovery. Plasma insulin responses were significantly greater in PRO + HCHO compared with PRO + LCHO and PRO (18.4 +/- 2.9 vs. 3.7 +/- 0.5 and 1.5 +/- 0.2 U.6 h(-1) x l(-1), respectively, P < 0.001). Plasma glucose rate of appearance (R(a)) and disappearance (R(d)) increased over time in PRO + HCHO and PRO + LCHO, but not in PRO. Plasma glucose R(a) and R(d) were substantially greater in PRO + HCHO vs. both PRO and PRO + LCHO (P < 0.01). Whole body protein breakdown, synthesis, and oxidation rates, as well as whole body protein balance, did not differ between experiments. Mixed muscle protein FSR did not differ between treatments and averaged 0.10 +/- 0.01, 0.10 +/- 0.01, and 0.11 +/- 0.01%/h in the PRO, PRO + LCHO, and PRO + HCHO experiments, respectively. In conclusion, coingestion of carbohydrate during recovery does not further stimulate postexercise muscle protein synthesis when ample protein is ingested.
What do you guys think of these studies?!?

soar 07-14-2011 07:23 PM

here is another study


Med Sci Sports Exerc. 2003 Mar;35(3):449-55.
Independent and combined effects of amino acids and glucose after resistance exercise.
Miller SL, Tipton KD, Chinkes DL, Wolf SE, Wolfe RR.

Dairy Management, Inc, Rosemont, IL, USA.
PURPOSE: This study was designed to assess the independent and combined effects of a dose of amino acids (approximately 6 g) and/or carbohydrate (approximately 35 g) consumed at 1 and 2 h after resistance exercise on muscle protein metabolism.

METHODS: Following initiation of a primed constant infusion of H -phenylalanine and N-urea, volunteers performed leg resistance exercise and then ingested one of three drinks (amino acids (AA), carbohydrate (CHO), or AA and CHO (MIX)) at 1- and 2-h postexercise.(5)

RESULTS: Total net uptake of phenylalanine across the leg over 3 h was greatest in response to MIX and least in CHO. The individual values for CHO, MIX, and AA were 53 +/- 6, 114 +/- 38, and 71 +/- 13 mg x leg x 3h. Stimulation of net uptake in MIX was due to increased muscle protein synthesis.

CONCLUSIONS: These findings indicate that the combined effect on net muscle protein synthesis of carbohydrate and amino acids given together after resistance exercise is roughly equivalent to the sum of the independent effects of either given alone. The individual effects of carbohydrate and amino acids are likely dependent on the amount of each that is ingested. Further, prior intake of amino acids and carbohydrate does not diminish the metabolic response to a second comparable dose ingested 1h later.
The thing is that the insulin spike will reduce cortisol which is beneficial!

kranked354 07-18-2011 02:33 AM

The third article seems to be somewhat against the first article. It would be interesting to know how much of a mix it was (the third article I'm talking about) and what proteins, as well as what carbohydrates. The first article suggests consuming a mix of slow and fast digested proteins post workout and leaving carbs to be absorbed about 3-4 hours after to maximise protein synthesis and hence muscle growth as the cells will maintain an increased sensitivity to insulin for an extended period of time; causing all the protein to be asorbed and used until the glycogen stores are replenished.

The very obvious data in article 3 is strong evidence of the opposite. The second article however suggests a mix of both other articles in that if you have enough protein, carbohydrates isn't going to do anything. But they were testing 0.6g per kilo. So 48g of protein for an 80kg person and 46g of carbs in the PRO + HCHO side of the study. I would like to see a study with more carbs involved to see if the first article is at all verified. At least we can see that a 1:1 mix seems to work the best from the two studies.

soar 07-18-2011 08:14 PM

Thanks for the reply, What I believe now Is best is to take a fast digesting protein + Carb intra workout and keep your protein for after workout with glutamien to help replenish glycogen however your itra workout Carb will do that for you plus it will blunt the release of cortisol which is what your trying to do :)

what do you think of this? and you gain benefit of the insulin sensitivity as your not digesting the carbs post workout

kranked354 07-30-2011 07:10 AM

Well I'm not too sure as to how having protein and glutamine PWO will help restore glycogen levels without the use of carbohydrates. Insulin sensitivity lasts for quite sometime afterwards, up to even 72 hours, and this is what aids in the increased rate of protein synthesis for up to 72 hours PWO. It is most strong within the first 24 hours of course and this is a thought as to why HIT programs are not recommended by many bodybuilders.

I think that you should take advantage of both the hyper insulin sensitivity felt in the first three hours and the window of opportunity and take lots of carbs PWO (for bulking. Sorry, should've mentioned I look at all things in a bulking state of mind), firstly simple carbs and proteins followed by more complex carbs also. But yeah definitely definitely definitely take carbs prior, and even take a DIY sports drink during, your work out to blunt cortisol. Cortisol is the killer of quick muscle growth. Which is why I try and eat every 2.5 hours, even if I can't get my hands on any protein.

kranked354 08-09-2011 05:16 AM

Oops, I mean HIT that involves only two workouts per week.

klosey 08-09-2011 09:17 AM

Just to throw it out there.. insulin spiking though carb intake post workout actually blunts GH production for several hours... if your intaking carbs with meals and not doing more than one workout a day.. then glycogen stores wont really be depleted.. so is the slight growth from the insulin spike really worth the blunted GH release??

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