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Sat Jul 19, 2008 8:07 pm

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Location: Chico, CA

From Fahey Supplement Research Column in Muscular Development Magazine. Note; caffeine is no longer on the banned substance list (it is for athletes in NCAA institutions)

Carbs Plus Caffeine Speed Recovery
Next time you have a monster workout, consume carbohydrates laced with plenty of caffeine during the first three hours of recovery. Australian researchers found that supplementing carbs plus caffeine after exercise increased muscle glycogen 66 percent more than carbohydrates alone. Glycogen is stored carbohydrate found mainly in the liver and skeletal muscles that provides rapid energy during high intensity exercise. Optimal recovery from exercise depends on replenishing vital glycogen stores. Glycogen depletion results in poor performance and possibly injury during the next workout or competition. In the study, the researchers caused glycogen depletion in endurance athletes through a combination of carbohydrate restriction and intense, prolonged exercise. During recovery from exercise they fed the athletes either carbohydrates (290 grams of carbs in the form of sports bars, gels, and high carb sports drinks) or carbohydrates plus high doses of caffeine (580 milligrams of caffeine; 1 cup of coffee contains 100 milligrams of caffeine). The caffeine caused higher blood levels of glucose (sugar) and insulin and increased the activity of signaling proteins that speed the rate that muscles take up glucose from the blood and build glycogen. Glycogen depletion is a well-known cause of fatigue in endurance athletes. It is also an important cause of injury and decreased performance in bodybuilders and power athletes. Taking carbohydrates–caffeine supplements during recovery might be a good strategy following an intense workout or competition. However, some people cannot tolerate high doses of caffeine. In the study, several of the athletes reported difficulty sleeping during the night following the treatment.
(Journal of Applied Physiology 105:7-13, 2008)

Thomas Fahey
Dept Kinesiology
California State University, Chico
Chico, CA 95929-0330

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