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Nutrients. 2014 Apr 29;6(5):1782-808. doi: 10.3390/nu6051782.

Pre-exercise nutrition: the role of macronutrients, modified starches and supplements on metabolism and endurance performance.

Author information

  • 1Human Performance and Sports Nutrition Lab, Department of Nutrition, Food, and Exercise Sciences, Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL 32306, USA. mormsbee@fsu.edu.
  • 2Human Performance and Sports Nutrition Lab, Department of Nutrition, Food, and Exercise Sciences, Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL 32306, USA. cwb12b@my.fsu.edu.
  • 3Human Performance and Sports Nutrition Lab, Department of Nutrition, Food, and Exercise Sciences, Florida State University, Tallahassee, FL 32306, USA. dab13b@my.fsu.edu.

Abstract

Endurance athletes rarely compete in the fasted state, as this may compromise fuel stores. Thus, the timing and composition of the pre-exercise meal is a significant consideration for optimizing metabolism and subsequent endurance performance. Carbohydrate feedings prior to endurance exercise are common and have generally been shown to enhance performance, despite increasing insulin levels and reducing fat oxidation. These metabolic effects may be attenuated by consuming low glycemic index carbohydrates and/or modified starches before exercise. High fat meals seem to have beneficial metabolic effects (e.g., increasing fat oxidation and possibly sparing muscle glycogen). However, these effects do not necessarily translate into enhanced performance. Relatively little research has examined the effects of a pre-exercise high protein meal on subsequent performance, but there is some evidence to suggest enhanced pre-exercise glycogen synthesis and benefits to metabolism during exercise. Finally, various supplements (i.e., caffeine and beetroot juice) also warrant possible inclusion into pre-race nutrition for endurance athletes. Ultimately, further research is needed to optimize pre-exercise nutritional strategies for endurance performance.

PMID:
24787031
[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
PMCID:
PMC4042570
Free PMC Article
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