On previous #D2EW instalments, we’ve clearly identified the benefit of carbohydrate (CHO) intake on endurance-based exercise, whether that be pre or during the event itself.
What’s less clear is the magnitude of effect of CHO intake pre and during weight training on performance, and its possible role in developing muscle mass and strength.
For those looking to maximise muscle mass, the total tonnage lifted (volume = weight x reps x sets) appears to be the main driving force.
Therefore, can CHO further improve weight training performances, and as a by product through enhanced adaptation, improve strength and muscle mass.
A recent review by King et al (2022) concluded the following based on their findings:
1) For sessions lasting >45 minutes and consisting at least 8-10 working sets, CHO intake pre + during improves performance.
2) If training first thing in the morning after an overnight fast, CHO during intake improves performance.
3) The more volume/work done within a session, the greater the importance of CHO on performance.
4) CHO appears to have a greater effect on lower body vs upper body session, possibly due to the greater demand.
5) CHO amount pre/during doesn’t appear to impact performance when a moderate CHO diet is followed. Therefore, CHO intake during is based on what you feel is necessary.
6) CHO intake increases post training blood lactate. Post training blood lactate is strongly correlated with increased metabolic and neuromuscular fatigue. Therefore, a trade off exists: better fuelling = more work completed = more fatigue afterwards.
7) Blood glucose remains elevated with CHO intake during longer sessions, which acts as a readily available CHO source, and therefore improve performance.
Ultimately, if training volume is high, >45 mins in duration with >8-10 working sets, carbs are needed pre + during to ‘maximise’ performance.
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