T Nation

Eat Before, Not After

Wanna know whether to have your shake pre or post workout? I wouldn’t argue with these guys.

E197 K. D. Trpton et al. ‘Timing of amino acid-carbohydrate ingestion alters anabolic response of muscle to resistance exercise’ American Journal of Physiology 2001; 281: - E 206

PURPOSE:
To determine whether ingesting a combination of AA and CHO before exercise is more effective in stimulating net muscle protein synthesis than ingesting the mixture after exercise

DESIGN & METHODS:
Protein turnover was compared following resistance exercise and ingestion of CHO and AA solution either immediately prior to or immediately following the exercise bout in healthy young participants

500 ml drink with 35 g of CHO and 6 g of essential AA [size of a small snack]

Resistance exercise consisted of leg press (10 sets of 10) and knee extension (8 sets of 8) exercises at 80% 1 - RM.

Femoral arterial and venous samples of phenylalanine were obtained to determine protein turnover via rates of appearance (Ra) and disappearance (Rd).

RESULTS:
“Ra of Phenylalanine [amino acid, in the blood] did not change significantly from resting levels during or after exercise in either the PRE or POST”

“Rd [from blood, into muscle] increased from rest in the hour immediately after EAC [Essential Amino Acid-Carbohydrate supplement] consumption by 216% during PRE [consumption] (during exercise) and by 60% during POST [consumption] (1st hour after exercise). PRE [consumption] Rd was significantly greater than POST [consumption] Rd during exercise and in the first hour after exercise.”

“During PRE, NB [net balance, ie protien intake into muscle] changed from negative at rest to positive values during exercise and the 1st hour postexercise. During POST, NB was negative at rest AND during exercise but increased to positive values after exercise when the EAC drink was consumed. NB during POST immediately returned to zero in the 2nd hour after exercise.”

“NB was significantly greater during exercise AND in the 1st hour after exercise in the PRE trial than in the POST trial.”

The graph of their final results on Net Balance. Measurements were taken just before work out (rest), during exercise, 1 hour post exercise, and 2 hours post exercise.

It’s tough to read, but both groups were in a negative balance during rest. The PRE group became positively balanced during and after exercise, while the POST group finally became positive 1 hour after exercise, and not nearly as much as the PRE group. Both groups droped to more or less a 0 blance after hour 2.

They only look at consuming a supplement before OR after, and not at the effects of consuming before, during and after. This was definitly an eye opener to the potential gains we could be missing out on if were not focused on pre-workout nutrition. But i also think we must still focus on post workout nutrition, as i know i’ve seen big gains from a continual feast after my workouts.

http://images.t-nation.com/forum_images/./1/.1101245770462.NetBalance.JPG

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If I consume anything within 2 hours of working out it will end up in the toilet. I found this out the hard way.

Snatch, how’d you find out about that research paper?
On a lighter note, why wouldn’t you argue with them? Just curious…

Cheers

[snatch] wrote:
Wanna know whether to have your shake pre or post workout? I wouldn’t argue with these guys.[/quote]

[quote]ArnldNaledUrMom wrote:
If I consume anything within 2 hours of working out it will end up in the toilet. I found this out the hard way. [/quote]

Do you drink water when you train? If you drink water then you can most likely handle Surge!, unless your stomach is ultra-sensitive.

RIT Jared

I usually drink a Low Carb Grow! shake with 2-3 scoops and whatever else I find to toss into it about 30-45 pre-w/o and then a combination of Surge made with Green Tea instead of water post w/o.

Since the carb/aa is taken just before workout, are we to assume the carbs are simple, complex, or both?

Thanks

[quote]RoadWarrior wrote:
I usually drink a Low Carb Grow! shake with 2-3 scoops and whatever else I find to toss into it about 30-45 pre-w/o and then a combination of Surge made with Green Tea instead of water post w/o.[/quote]

How does the green tea/Surge taste?

I was thinking about doing that, but chickened out. Of course, I used to gag when my corn would touch my mashed potatoes.

[quote]rainjack wrote:
RoadWarrior wrote:
I usually drink a Low Carb Grow! shake with 2-3 scoops and whatever else I find to toss into it about 30-45 pre-w/o and then a combination of Surge made with Green Tea instead of water post w/o.

How does the green tea/Surge taste?

I was thinking about doing that, but chickened out. Of course, I used to gag when my corn would touch my mashed potatoes.

[/quote]

I really like Green Tea, so I think it tastes great. Use 16 oz. of tea to 2-3 scoops of Surge. I let the tea “steep” until it is very dark and strong. The Surge gives it a citrus taste.

Dave

I’m 3rd Year B.PHE/BSc Life Sci stud(ent) at Queens University, in Ontario. I’m taking an Exercise, Nutrition and Metabolism course, taught by Dr. Bob Ross. It deals mainly with carbohydrate and lipid metabolism predominantly concerned with endurance and ultra endurance athletes. There is a small anabolic section, dealing mainly with protein synthesis. He focuses more towards carbohydrate and lipid metabolism for the fitness and healthy lifestyle of the general population, so this is not his main focus of research. Through him I have been able to find some great readings, some of which I considering for an independent study project or masters thesis.

Why wouldn’t I argue with these guys? Over last couple of months I’ve read and discussed quite a few articles, the ones that I found most intriguing and productive were from Kevin Tipton, and Robert Wolfe, both of who took part in this study. So right of the start I was interested. After you asking why not argue, I re-read the article to find out what I had missed. There it was, right in the methods. However, I’m not disputing the validity of the study design, nor the results, but the applicability.

Participants began fasting at 2200 hours the night before testing. Resting values were taken around 0800, and exercise began around 0830. I agree that this will eliminate confounding variables, but destroys any real applicable use of the results. Never would an athlete be in a position of training after a 10 or 11 hour fast. I was aware that this study was done post-absorptive, but had missed the ‘overnight fast’. That’s the next step, finding results from a 3 or 4 hour post absorptive state, which we could apply to those wanting to lift after class/work.

‘The challenge is not to be right, but to know why you?re right’
[snatch]

Maybe the most appropriate questions are:

(1) How many of you guys follow the routine described? Leg Presses and Extensions

(2) Is this truly generalizable to the general population? More importantly - the well-trained individuals?

(3) What constitutes Pre-Workout vs. Post-Workout and is this EXACTLY defined the same for everyone?
–> i.e.- is pre-workout 5 minutes prior, 30 minutes prior, 1 hour prior - and are everyone’s digestion rate IDENTICAL… Huge problems with studies of this type (again, refer to #2 - is this the same for well-trained vs. new weight trainers?)

I will dig up some pretty contradictory studies however in a bit (probably tomorrow as this is Thanksgiving afterall) that may contest what you suggest.

I am willing to bet IMMEDIATELY PRIOR is ABSOLUTELY TERRIBLE to INGEST ANYTHING. The argument? That blood supply is shunted to the gut vs. the muscles during the time when the muscles need nutrients most. Hmmmmm, that kinda makes sense, doesn’t it.

In the mean time - be wary of studies and whom they may apply to. And as far as being a science guy (nutrition and the like) like yourself ( I too, share your enthusiasm and have strong beliefs in things I have found to work - am a medical/masters student while running my own company that specializes in dietary consults, etc…) and - YOU SHOULD ALWAYS QUESTION WHAT YOU READ and ALL “SCIENCE GUYS” DISAGREE AT LEAST ON A COUPLE OF POINTS!!! Now, there’s a statement you can generalize with.

Dino those are great questions, and deserve to be addressed individually.

[quote]dinoiii wrote:
Maybe the most appropriate questions are:

(1) How many of you guys follow the routine described? Leg Presses and Extensions
[/quote]

You’re right, I would hope that most don’t follow a program like that! lol
That protocol is used because it hits the quads better than squats (for example) in a newbie. Net balance is measured across the leg making this a good overall compromise. While I agree that squats would be “better” in some ways, it would open a whole can of worms and ultimately lead to more methodological problems.

Yup, it’s all meant to be generalized, even to us who are resistance trained. Based on other data, it is believed that the magnitude of the changes is less for us than for a newbie.

[quote]
(3) What constitutes Pre-Workout vs. Post-Workout and is this EXACTLY defined the same for everyone?
–> i.e.- is pre-workout 5 minutes prior, 30 minutes prior, 1 hour prior - [/quote]

I was curious about this too, and if I remember correctly, the drink was consumed within a minute prior to exercise. I’ll confirm this and get back to you if I’m wrong.

[quote]
and are everyone’s digestion rate IDENTICAL… Huge problems with studies of this type[/quote]

Digestion rates for the type of meal described are similar among individuals of the same age group (for protein at least). Inter-individual differences are accounted for by the use of several subjects and statistical analysis (just like every other study).

[quote]
I will dig up some pretty contradictory studies however in a bit (probably tomorrow as this is Thanksgiving afterall) that may contest what you suggest.[/quote]

Dude, you have my psyched about these studies! Hook me up!

[quote]
I am willing to bet IMMEDIATELY PRIOR is ABSOLUTELY TERRIBLE to INGEST ANYTHING. The argument? That blood supply is shunted to the gut vs. the muscles during the time when the muscles need nutrients most. Hmmmmm, that kinda makes sense, doesn’t it.[/quote]

You’re right in that it seems intuitive for skeletal muscle blood flow to be hindered because of that in the gut. Upon closer inspection however, the blood flow was actually 50% higher during exercise in the group that consumed the PRE drink (ie ~200% Post vs. ~300% PRE). Insulin is a potent stimulator of blood flow, which would account for this.
Of course meal composition must be taken into account, but whey and sucrose (or something like Surge is even better) doesn’t seem to have any impact on digestion prior to a workout.

[quote]
YOU SHOULD ALWAYS QUESTION WHAT YOU READ[/quote]

Truer words were never written.

Great post! If you have any other questions (rhetorical or otherwise) I’d love to hear them. And don’t forget to hook us up with those studies!

Cheers