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Training & Nutrition Learn how to develop a training schedule that's good for you. What should you eat and drink on your ride? Learn everything you need to know about training and nutrition here.

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Old 03-06-09, 03:42 PM   #1
andre nickatina
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Protein shake during a workout

Does anyone else do this?

I tried it out recently and think it's been helping me go longer, harder and recover faster. My protein shake basically consists of the classic 4:1 carb to protein mix, with maltodextrin and dextrose making up the carbs and whey making up the protein with a little L-Glutamine and BCAA's (they come stock in my powder). There's good evidence that BCAA's during endurance exercise is good... I think I'm getting at something similar by doing whey as well. I know the maltodextrin is probably doing the majority of good but it seems to make sense that having some amino acids shuttled to the muscles as well as carbohydrates would be good stuff to have in your system right in between sets of hard intervals or climbs. I've been doing this during tempo rides and intervals so far with good results, and still drink another protein shake afterwards (though a smaller one than when I was just doing all my protein/carb post-workout).

I still eat a Clif bar about 45 minutes into a long tempo ride, and then cycle in the shake later on. Before I was doing this, I was mainly just eating Clif bars, bananas and PBJ's on my rides, and sometimes honey from a Hammer flask.
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Old 03-07-09, 08:16 AM   #2
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seems to make sense that having some amino acids shuttled to the muscles as well as carbohydrates would be good stuff to have in your system right in between sets of hard intervals or climbs.
No, that doesn't make any sense.

Still, if you think this formula works and you aren't having any trouble then go for it. But you are mistaken about the "time frames" involved in tissue damage from exercise and how and when the body requires dietary protein to repair it.
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Old 03-07-09, 10:31 AM   #3
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Please elaborate.
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Old 03-08-09, 08:41 AM   #4
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Still, if you think this formula works and you aren't having any trouble then go for it. But you are mistaken about the "time frames" involved in tissue damage from exercise and how and when the body requires dietary protein to repair it.
andre nickatina
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Please elaborate.
Metabolic processes in response to exercise don't "turn on" and "turn off" with any "clock-like" accuracy. The idea that you can time protein consumption to discreet shorter term periods, interspersed with exercise is theoretical at best.




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but it seems to make sense that having some amino acids shuttled to the muscles as well as carbohydrates would be good stuff to have in your system right in between sets of hard intervals or climbs
No it doesn't, more than likely the acids would be oxidized for energy. And, for some people create digestive distress or in others a potential for cramping.

However, as I said, if this works for you -go for it. It's possible if you are resting long enough between workouts then the supplementing is benefiting your workouts more than pure carbs. But then again so would just about any food.


What is known, is that protein consumption and assimilation requires reduced levels of activity and periods of rest to take place.
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Old 03-08-09, 04:44 PM   #5
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Thanks for elaborating Richard.

Looks like the Hammer Nutrition literature has some good things to say about protein consumption for rides over 2 hours but not much for under it.

I'm still sure the majority of benefit I've been seeing has been from maltodextrin/dextrose, and feeling the effects of getting my carbs in faster-digesting forms vs. solid food.
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Old 03-08-09, 04:56 PM   #6
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The BCAA aminos are a good thing. I notice a difference just taking a BCAA cap.
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Old 03-09-09, 06:59 PM   #7
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Looks like the Hammer Nutrition literature has some good things to say about protein consumption for rides over 2 hours but not much for under it.
All athletes that are involved in ultra-intense, ultra-long exercise sessions, have a "protein horizon" where the metabolic processes requiring dietary protein intake become as important as ingesting carbohydrate for energy production.

This "protein-intake-horizon" is dependent upon the athlete's personal level of training, the intensity of his exercise, and the length of time spent at the particular exercise session.

Since every situation is different, there is no good way to express a "golden rule" regarding protein benefits during exercise. But, in any case, at some time, whether it is 2, 6 or 8 hours into an event, all athletes will begin to receive more physiological benefit from a balanced diet than from strict carbohydrate ingestion. My own experience suggests about six hours.
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Old 03-10-09, 07:54 AM   #8
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Cranium, could you post some links to papers on these topics? I've read some of the literature that talks about the benefits of whey protein supplements within 30 minutes of a strenuous workout. I've also talked to an exercise physiologist who said he believed that protein supplementation during exercise was beneficial. (Of course, that was a casual conversation, so he didn't give references.)

On the basis of the aforementioned literature, plus discussions with a nutritionist, I usually take in a serving of whey protein (usually 2 scoops in water or milk) after a strenuous workout. If nothing else, it's a great excuse to drink something akin to a chocolate shake. It may be placebo effect, but I've noticed I seem to recover sooner when I do this.

To the OP, I've tried mixing in some protein with my orange sports drink during long rides -- it tastes wonderful, like one of those chocolate oranges, and I figure it's not doing me any harm. I just don't know if it confers any benefit.
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Old 03-10-09, 09:49 AM   #9
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To the OP, I've tried mixing in some protein with my orange sports drink during long rides -- it tastes wonderful, like one of those chocolate oranges, and I figure it's not doing me any harm. I just don't know if it confers any benefit.
The basis of my comments lay in an understanding of the nature of exercise with respect to the real-world situations encountered by ultra-cyclists or Ironmen -during competitions.

That is why I see no point in discouraging protein consumption during everyday workouts (or rides), nor do I see my perspective as "right or wrong" with respect to what types of results are found in laboratory studies.

The bottom line, immediate energy needs are served best by carbohydrate. The "time-lines" for when protein becomes valuable to regeneration of other muscle-supporting organ systems, are as infinite as all the combination of all training programs and all race/ride situations.

I just don't think in terms of "micro-cycle" training/rest periods -and I said so. If you are going really hard, save your protein until when you "back off." (or are resting completely)
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Old 03-11-09, 09:33 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Richard Cranium View Post
The basis of my comments lay in an understanding of the nature of exercise with respect to the real-world situations encountered by ultra-cyclists or Ironmen -during competitions.

That is why I see no point in discouraging protein consumption during everyday workouts (or rides), nor do I see my perspective as "right or wrong" with respect to what types of results are found in laboratory studies.

The bottom line, immediate energy needs are served best by carbohydrate. The "time-lines" for when protein becomes valuable to regeneration of other muscle-supporting organ systems, are as infinite as all the combination of all training programs and all race/ride situations.

I just don't think in terms of "micro-cycle" training/rest periods -and I said so. If you are going really hard, save your protein until when you "back off." (or are resting completely)
I'm not expert enough to declare anyone right or wrong on the subject -- I'm just interested in the science behind what you're saying.

I did a quick search on Google Scholar that turned up the following paper. It appears to support the idea of protein supplementation during hard efforts:

http://www.acsm-msse.org/pt/re/msse/...195628!8091!-1

These were essentially hard TT efforts for only 100 minutes or so, but they do appear to demonstrate significantly different trends in muscle fatigue metrics. If anyone knows of studies done for longer periods (such as centuries or ironman events), I'd love to hear about it.
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