Berardi, J. M., Price T. B., Noreen, E. E., & Lemon, W. R. (2004). Post-exercise muscle glycogen recovery is enhanced with a carbohydrate-protein supplement. Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise, 36(5), Supplement abstract 286.

This study assessed if a liquid carbohydrate-protein (C+P) supplement ingested early during recovery would enhance muscle glycogen resynthesis and compared its effects to a liquid carbohydrate (CHO) supplement or an isoenergetic solid meal ingested later during recovery (PLB). Two hours after a standardized breakfast, subjects (N = 6) cycled maximally for 60-min and distance traveled was recorded. Pre- and post-exercise, vastus lateralis muscle glycogen was determined. Immediately, one, and two hours post-exercise, Ss ingested liquid C+P (4.8 kcal/kg; 0.8 g/kgC, 0.4 g/kgP), liquid CHO (4.8 kcal/kg; 1.2 g/kgC), or liquid PLB (no energy). Four hours post-exercise, a meal of solid food was consumed (C+P and CHO received a meal identical to breakfast while PLB received 21 kcal/kg; 1 g/kgP, 3.6 g/kgC, 0.3 g/kgF). Total energy intake during the six-hour recovery period was identical for all conditions. Six hours post-exercise, Ss repeated the same cycling protocol.

There was no difference between groups in muscle glycogen use during the exercise that preceded and followed the supplement ingestion although post-exercise values were lower than pre-exercise values. In recovery, glycogen resynthesis was significantly greater in the C+P condition than the other two. Cycling performance post-supplementation did not differ between groups. It is possible that muscle glycogen is not the critical determinant for this form of exercise.

Implication. A carbohydrate-protein supplement accelerates glycogen resynthesis in recovery.

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