Timing of amino acid-carbohydrate ingestion alters anabolic response of muscle to resistance exercis

The most importand factor to recovery is to give the muscles what they need at the right time. So far we used to take a recovery drink (carbo - protein mix) right after we finished our workouts. It seems that we wil benefit more if we do the same also prior our training…

Kevin D. Tipton1,2, Blake B. Rasmussen1,2, Sharon L. Miller1,2, Steven E. Wolf1, Sharla K. Owens-Stovall1, Bart E. Petrini1, and Robert R. Wolfe1,2
1 Department of Surgery, University of Texas Medical Branch, and 2 Metabolism Unit, Shriners Hospitals for Children, Galveston, Texas 77550

The present study was designed to determine whether consumption of an oral essential amino acid-carbohydrate supplement (EAC) before exercise results in a greater anabolic response than supplementation after resistance exercise. Six healthy human subjects participated in two trials in random order, PRE (EAC consumed immediately before exercise), and POST (EAC consumed immediately after exercise). A primed, continuous infusion of L-[ring-2H5]phenylalanine, femoral arteriovenous catheterization, and muscle biopsies from the vastus lateralis were used to determine phenylalanine concentrations, enrichments, and net uptake across the leg. Blood and muscle phenylalanine concentrations were increased by ~130% after drink consumption in both trials. Amino acid delivery to the leg was increased during exercise and remained elevated for the 2 h after exercise in both trials. Delivery of amino acids (amino acid concentration times blood flow) was significantly greater in PRE than in POST during the exercise bout and in the 1st h after exercise (P < 0.05). Total net phenylalanine uptake across the leg was greater (P = 0.0002) during PRE (209 ± 42 mg) than during POST (81 ± 19). Phenylalanine disappearance rate, an indicator of muscle protein synthesis from blood amino acids, increased after EAC consumption in both trials. These results indicate that the response of net muscle protein synthesis to consumption of an EAC solution immediately before resistance exercise is greater than that when the solution is consumed after exercise, primarily because of an increase in muscle protein synthesis as a result of increased delivery of amino acids to the leg.


I think Richard Hand or David W posted on this topic qouting another reference which promoted the ingestion of up to 20gms of Protein 1 hr pre working out ro the equivalent of 60gms 3 hours.
(Actually just check the figures - I might be a little out …)

I tried looking for the post earlier - but can’t find it…

Maybe someone could check the archives better and get the link.

could you post the whole http link to the study?

So how much P&C are we recommended to consume b4 the workout? Are there any similar studies out there with recommendations?

Sorry I didn’t copy the complete address before. Here it is:

There are several post recovery supplements on the market which are probably as good to take them Prior workouts too.

thanks for the link,

i always thought that insulin had to be suppressed or was suppressed when you trained?

Originally posted by lebeau

i always thought that insulin had to be suppressed or was suppressed when you trained?

insulin is suppressed but not anymore if you take a pc mix prior training.

so we are striving to keep our bodys insulin levels at a constant rate? Why would bodybuilders inject themselves with insulin then after a training session? arent they over-overcompensating, shouldnt they just eat some fruit, or in fact take the injection before training then?

This is John Berardi’s take on the matter:


Also, check out his Q & A at T-mag.com for more info (Appetite for Construction)

We have also discussed during workout nutrition at the old forum - go have a search there.

How do you feel about this?

I posted this info a while back. I didn’t actually have the references for any studies, but I was I told by one of the UKs most highly respected sports nutrition researchers that ingestion of a small amount of essential amino acids pre training results in greater protein synthesis than when consuming protein post training. Depending on the athlete and training programe, probably just 10-15g taken 1 hour before. By the end of the training session the amino acids have been absorbed and most will have entered the muscle cells, and ready for the increase in protein synthesis that occurs post exercise. The great increase in circulation delivers the amino acids effectively to the muscle cells and the small amount of circulating insulin is apparently sufficient for uptake. Any remaining amino acids are taken up rapidly in any post exercise insulin response.

Protein could also be taken immediately before or during exercise, and here it may be best to use whey; 1 hour before a whole food source is ok.

Whether a fast absorbing protein drink post exercise is useful as well, I am not sure. Maybe just a meal would do (after carb drink if this is desired). I am hoping to search for as many studies as I can on dietary manipulation of protein, and finally get to the bottom of this topic.

I’m also curious what 716 has to say about this…

An easy and fast absorbed P-C mix would fit perfectly here, right?

I have been doing this for a while. 22 grams of whey protein 1 hour before any workout (speed, tempo, weights) it not only helps my recovery but I feel better during the workouts as well. (Might be placebo haha)

I also gobble some carbs during and after as well as some more protein…


what recovery drink do you guys take. I am currently taking Anabolic Drive by met rx it has 70 carbs and 13g protein with 370 cals and 3g creatine and amino acids its been working well. Anything out there better.

The protein is lower than in many recovery drinks but may be fine as long as protein is sufficient for the rest of the day, and especially if pre-exercise protein has been consumed. And as long as you need atleast a moderate carb intake and are also happy with creatine, this may be a decent drink. Personally, I prefer to mix my own drink depending on the session. I use prolab or eas whey protein, maltodextrin, sometimes a multi nutrient, and sometimes creatine.

What do you recommend I take before workout and how long before the workout. now I take a powerbar or sometimes just a banana bout 20 min prior to workout.

You could take around 15-20g whey protein with the banana or 1 hour before training. Whole food protein can also be taken, but 1-3 hours before and possibly 20-30g. It is difficult to say which would produce most protein synthesis post exercise; I have not seen any studies comparing these scenarios, but possibly the whey protein would be best. Just make sure that any pre-exercise nutrition does not detrimentally effect your exercise performance.

Try Proglycosin immediately after hard training (50G vs the 13 you’re getting now.) Take pure protein before practice rather than carbs. You’ll feel the difference.

Originally posted by Charlie Francis
Try Proglycosin immediately after hard training (50G vs the 13 you’re getting now.) Take pure protein before practice rather than carbs. You’ll feel the difference.

Pure protein meaning whey protein? How about eating something like a can of tuna an hour before practice?

Allowing for digestion, a can of tuna 2-3 hours before would be better than 1 hour before. However, 1/2 a can of tuna 1/1.5 hours before may be just as effective. Unless anyone has seen otherwise, I don’t believe there are any studies comparing pre exercise food protein to supplement protein in terms of post exercise protein synthesis. We can only guess whey protein would be best due to its amino acid inc. BCAA profile and digestibility.