T Nation

post-workout nutrition

What do you guys know about this:
“Studies have shown no difference between different types of carbohydrates eaten post exercise and the rate of glycogen replenishment as long as sufficient quantities of carbohydrate are consumed (Burke 1997). Even when the post exercise meal contains other macronutrients such as proteins and fats, the rate of glycogen replenishment is not hindered, given there is sufficient carbohydrate in the meal as well. These studies tell us that the rate limiting step in glycogen replenishment after exercise is not in digestion or the glycemic index of a given source of carbohydrate. Over a 24 hour period it is the total amount of carbohydrate consumed that is important.”

The reference is as follows:
Burke LM. Nutrition for post-exercise recovery. Aust J Sci Med Sport Mar;29(1):3-10, 1997
For some reason I couldn’t get this issue of the journal at the library.

Jason, that’s a good find. Basically the article, which Ive read several times, shows that over a 24 hour period, in a controlled study, glycogen resynthesis was the same regardless of what the carb sources were or the meal combos.

What they did was to simply feed the subjects high carb diets for 24 hrs after an endurance exercise bout. And again, it really didnt matter what the meal proportions or the gi’s were.

Basically over 24 hrs, if there are abundant carbs floating around in the blood (and obviously alot of insulin) you will replenish glycogen. Wt trainers, however, dont want to always be slamming down 600g of carbs per day or so. In addition, they didnt do any special manipulations with targeted post workout formulas. And even if these formulas dont make a diff, some athletes train 2x per day. They dont care whether glycogen is restored the next day cause that's too late. The study you referenced as well as others show that the rate of glycogen resynth is much higher with high GI carbs taken immediately after the workout - for the few hours after the workout. So you could have glycogen restored in 6 hours as opposed to 24 if you do it right. This has implications for muscle growth too because low levels of glycogen in the muscle may lead to a catabolic stimulus.

And of course, they didnt look at protein balance in the study, which in my opinion, is just as important as glycogen stores in terms of recovery.