Diet as effective as sports supplements for athletes

April 19, 2020 in Nutrition Topics in the News, Sports Nutrition and Exercise, Vitamins, Minerals, Supplements

Diet as effective as sports supplements for athletes

The edge. Every athlete, from the professional to the weekend warrior, strives to obtain that ever-elusive element that leads to victory - sometimes sparing no expense to get there.

A lighter bike, a better training regimen, the newest shoes. 

A recently released small study from the University of Montana, however, has discovered that common "edge" sports nutrition products, are no more effective at promoting recovery in female athletes as regular, carbohydrate-rich, often less-expensive potato-based foods. 

There's been a great deal of research into what sets the stage for muscle recovery after exercise, but women have been poorly represented in these studies. It is common to only study men and then make broad recommendations.

For the study, the research team looked at muscle recovery between male and female recreational athletes using potato products and sports supplements. 

Eight men and eight women participated in the study, which involved 90 minutes of intense cycling followed by rest, recovery and refueling and a 20-kilometer time trial. After the workout, blood was drawn and muscles were biopsied.

The results showed that muscles in both men and women replenish carbohydrate stores similarly, and just as well with regular foods as with sports supplements.

The lead researcher hopes these new results will athletes make better-informed choices about their refueling programs. It doesn't have to be complicated. As long as you are getting adequate carbohydrates, your diet can be as diverse as you want it to be, he said.

Source: European Journal of Applied Physiology, March 25, 2020.

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