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Open Access Highly Accessed Research article

Recovery from a cycling time trial is enhanced with carbohydrate-protein supplementation vs. isoenergetic carbohydrate supplementation

John M Berardi1*, Eric E Noreen2 and Peter WR Lemon3

Author Affiliations

1 Precision Nutrition, Inc, Toronto, Ontario, Canada

2 Department of Health Sciences, Gettysburg College, Gettysburg, Pennsylvania 17325, USA

3 Exercise Nutrition Research Laboratory, Faculty of Health Sciences, School of Kinesiology, The University of Western Ontario, Ontario N6A 3K7, Canada

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Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition 2008, 5:24  doi:10.1186/1550-2783-5-24

Published: 24 December 2008

Abstract

Background

In this study we assessed whether a liquid carbohydrate-protein (C+P) supplement (0.8 g/kg C; 0.4 g/kg P) ingested early during recovery from a cycling time trial could enhance a subsequent 60 min effort on the same day vs. an isoenergetic liquid carbohydrate (CHO) supplement (1.2 g/kg).

Methods

Two hours after a standardized breakfast, 15 trained male cyclists completed a time trial in which they cycled as far as they could in 60 min (AMex) using a Computrainer indoor trainer. Following AMex, subjects ingested either C+P, or CHO at 10, 60 and 120 min, followed by a standardized meal at 4 h post exercise. At 6 h post AMex subjects repeated the time trial (PMex).

Results

There was a significant reduction in performance for both groups in PMex versus AMex. However, performance and power decreases between PMex and AMex were significantly greater (p ≤ 0.05) with CHO (-1.05 ± 0.44 km and -16.50 ± 6.74 W) vs C+P (-0.30 ± 0.50 km and -3.86 ± 6.47 W). Fat oxidation estimated from RER values was significantly greater (p ≤ 0.05) in the C+P vs CHO during the PMex, despite a higher average workload in the C+P group.

Conclusion

Under these experimental conditions, liquid C+P ingestion immediately after exercise increases fat oxidation, increases recovery, and improves subsequent same day, 60 min efforts relative to isoenergetic CHO ingestion.