Cyclist Performance Studies - Supplementation

How will mixing carbs and protein effect cycling performance? How does GAKIC help sustain power when performing multiple anaerobic exercises? These questions and more are answered right here.

1 / Effects Of A Carbohydrate-Protein Beverage On Cycling Endurance And Muscle Damage

M.J. Saunders, M.D. Kane, & M.K. Todd Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, 2004, 36(7): 1233-1238

Will adding protein to your carbohydrate beverage improve your endurance and reduce muscle damage?

Recently researchers from James Madison University in Harrisonburg, Virginia examined the effects of consuming a carbohydrate and protein beverage on endurance cycle performance and post-exercise muscle damage.

Fifteen male cyclists were tested on two occasions that were designed to compare the effects of a carbohydrate-only beverage with a carbohydrate and protein beverage.

During both testing sessions, supplement beverages were consumed every 15 minutes during the exercise bout.

The performance test consisted of one ride to fatigue performed at 75% of VO2 max, with a second ride being performed at 85% of VO2 max, 12-15 hours after the completion of the first ride.

The results of the study revealed that the subject rode 29% longer during the first ride when they consumed the carbohydrate and protein beverage when compared to the carbohydrate-only beverage.

During the second ride the subjects who consumed the carbohydrate and protein beverage rode 40% longer when compared to the carbohydrate-only supplement.

Additionally, the use of a carbohydrate and protein beverage resulted in 83% less muscle damage when compared to the carbohydrate-only beverage.

Based upon these data it might be warranted to recommend that endurance cyclists consume supplements that are composed of a mix of carbohydrates and proteins while performing their exercise bouts.

This supplementation regimen could result in significantly enhanced exercise performance while decreasing the muscle damage that would be associated with the exercise bout.

2 / Cordyceps Sinensis (CordyMax CS-4) Supplementation Does Not Improve Endurance Exercise Performance

A.C. Parcell, J.M. Smith, S.S. Schulthies, J.W. Myrer, & G. Fellingham International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism, 2004, 14(2): 236-242

Cordyceps Sinensis supplementation does not improve endurance exercise performance.

Twenty-two male cyclists participated in a 5-week supplementation study in which they consumed 3 grams of cordyceps sinensis per day or a placebo treatment.

Cordyceps sinensis was selected in this study because of claims that it would improve performance. However, no peer-reviewed studies had been conducted at the time of this investigation.

The subjects had their maximal aerobic power and all-out time trial performance tested before and after the 5 weeks of supplementation.

The results of the investigation revealed that the supplementation regime had no ergogenic benefits and no significant differences existed between the cordyceps sinensis and a placebo treatment when looking at either the cyclists' maximal aerobic power or maximal time trial performance.

These data suggest that the use of cordyceps sinensis as an ergogenic aid is not warranted and that athletes should expect to experience no performance enhancement from the consumption of this compound.

3 / The Effects Of Creatine Supplementation On Muscular Performance And Body Composition Responses To Short-Term Resistance Training Overreaching

J.S. Volek, N.A. Ratamess, M.R. Rubin, A.L. Gomes, D.N. French, M.M. McGuigan, T.P. Scheett, M.J. Sharman, K. Hakkinen, W.J. Kraemer European Journal of Applied Physiology, 2004, 91(5-6): 628-637

Does creatine supplementation affect an athlete's response to short term overreaching?

Researchers from the Department of Kinesiology at the University of Connecticut in Storrs, Connecticut recently reported that athletes who consume creatine monohydrate while performing a short term overreaching protocol (4 weeks, 5 days a week of training) followed by a 2-week taper phase, experienced significantly altered markers of neuromuscular performance.

Seventeen men were randomly assigned into a creatine supplement group or a placebo supplement group. Maximal squat and bench press strength were measured in conjunction with body mass and lean body mass before and after the 6-week training protocol.

The creatine treatment resulted in a significant increase in body mass and lean body mass along with increases in explosive power in the bench press.

A trend was noted that suggested that creatine supplementation also significantly altered overall squat strength. The authors suggested that the creatine supplement allowed athletes to better handle the high volume training associated with the first 4 weeks of training than the athletes who consumed the placebo treatment.

The data collected in this investigation strongly suggest that athletes who perform high volume training typical of an overreaching phase of training should supplement their diet with creatine monohydrate. The inclusion of creatine appears to augment the training adaptations associated with resistance training and could result in greater performance gains for competitive athletes.

4 / Glycine-Arginine-A-Ketoisocaproic Acid Improves Performance Of Repeated Cycling Sprints

B.N. Buford, A.J. Koch Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise, 2004, 36(4): 583-587

Recently, researchers from the department of Health and Exercise Science at Truman State University in Kirksville, Missouri reported that the consumption of glycine-Arginine-a-ketoisocaproic acid (GAKIC) results in improvements in the performance of 5 10-s cycle ergometer sprints separated by 1 minute of recovery.

The results of the study revealed that the use of 11.2 g of GAKIC significantly lessened the decreases in mean cycle power output between rides 1 and 2, thus suggesting that GAKIC may attenuate the decline in maximal power output generally associated with multiple anaerobic cycle ergometer tests.

Based upon these findings the authors of the article suggest that GAKIC may be a useful supplement for athletes who are performing multiple anaerobic bouts of exercise.

This article originally appeared in NSCA's Performance Training Journal, a publication of the National Strength and Conditioning Association.

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