While bodybuilders are aware of the powerful benefits of consuming carbohydrate + protein supplementation before and after training, this nutrient combination does not feature so prominently in the minds of other athletes. Most athletes after a tough game or training session reach for a traditional, carbohydrate sports-type drink.
However, this choice could limit an athlete’s recovery and subsequent performance.
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Protein Plus Carbs Equal Better Recovery
This study involved two assessments that involved comparing the effects of taking a carbohydrate-only drink to a 50-50% whey protein/carbohydrate shake on cycling performance and muscle glycogen restoration. The carb drink contained the traditional 6% carbohydrate-electrolyte sports drink mix.
The first assessment involved trained cyclists that consumed these supplements followed by a performance test. The results of the tests showed that slamming down the protein/carb shake right after a cycling session allowed these athletes to perform 55% better in a subsequent time-to-exhaustion cycling test!
Greater Rate of Muscle Glycogen Storage Caused by the Protein + Carb Combination
The researchers suspected that the enormous difference in performance may have been due to a greater rate of muscle glycogen storage caused by the protein/carb combination. Therefore, a second study was designed to investigate the effects of these two supplements on muscle glycogen restoration.
In the second study, the cyclists performed an intense training session to deplete muscle glycogen stores then consumed either the sports drink or the protein/carb shake after each ride.
Consuming the carb/protein shake resulted in a 17% greater plasma glucose response, a 92% greater insulin response, and a 128% greater storage of muscle glycogen compared to the carb-only drink.
Although the supplements did differ in energy content, these results suggest that the choice of beverage after intense exercise makes a hell of a lot of difference to recover and performance in subsequent sessions.
Simply by choosing a protein/carbohydrate shake over a traditional sports drink after training can dramatically influence recover rates and performance Endurance athletes should take a leaf out of the bodybuilder’s nutritional book and follow the workout mixture before and after intense training.
High Protein Diets Help You Lose Weight
Male bodybuilders know the importance of high protein diets to build muscle and get lean. However, many women that want to improve their body shape are unsure of the right diet to follow. A recent study revealed that a high protein/moderate carbohydrate diet may be the way to go for effective weight loss.
This study examined the efficacy of two weight loss diets on body composition and blood lipids in 24 middle aged women. One group consumed a high carbohydrate/ moderate protein diet (carb/protein ratio of 5.3, 68 grams protein/day) or a high protein/moderate carbohydrate (ratio of 4.1, 125 grams protein/day) diet. Diets were equal in energy content and contained similar amounts of fat.
After 10 weeks on these diets, the women that consumed the high protein diet lost significantly more body weight and made significantly better improvements in lean body mass to body fat ratio. While both groups showed reduced serum cholesterol levels, the high protein group showed a much better reduction (21%) in blood fats.
The high protein/moderate carb intake was also more effective in stabilizing blood sugar and insulin levels. Interestingly, the women on the high protein diet also reported greater satiety during the diet, making the goal of losing fat much easier to achieve.
Hydrolyzed Whey Improves Blood Pressure and Cholesterol Profiles
Researchers from the University of Minnesota have demonstrated that a hydrolyzed whey peptide supplement compared to an unhydrolyzed whey peptide supplement decreased blood pressure in people with borderline hypertension.
Thirty unmedicated, non-smoking men and women with borderline hypertension (high blood pressure) were randomized to a hydrolyzed whey peptide group or a unhydrolyzed whey protein control and instructed to take their protein dose daily with water for six weeks.
A significant drop in both systolic and diastolic blood pressure was witnessed after only one week of treatment with the hydrolyzed whey and persisted throughout the study. After six weeks of monitoring, the hydrolyzed whey peptides caused a 11mm Hg and 7mm Hg reduction in systolic and diastolic blood pressure . Additionally, LDL Cholesterol was reduced by 12% in the hydrolyzed whey group, and total white blood cells count (WBC) was increased by 18%.
Based on these findings, hydrolyzed whey peptides appear to *normalize* blood pressure levels in people suffering from moderately high blood pressure. Hydrolyzed whey also appears to improve cholesterol profiles. To obtain these health benefits be sure that your whey is hydrolyzed.