Carbs Plus Protein Following Exhaustive Cycling Improves Performance

Intense endurance exercise causes cell damage and glycogen depletion that makes it difficult to exercise the next day. Most studies have found that taking protein supplements after this kind of exercise does little to promote recovery. Scandinavian researchers found that a protein and carbohydrate beverage after an intense endurance workout promoted recovery better than a carbohydrate beverage or placebo (nonnutritive beverage). Trained cyclists exercised to exhaustion at 72 percent of maximum effort and then consumed one of the test beverages. Eighteen hours later, they repeated the exhaustive bike ride. Recovery was greatest when they consumed the carbohydrate protein beverage. (PlosOne, published online April 14, 2016)

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