The effects of different carbohydrate-protein (CHO + Pro) beverages were compared during recovery from cycling exercise. Twelve male cyclists (VO(2peak): 65 ± 7 mL/kg/min) completed ~1 h of high-intensity intervals (EX1). Immediately and 120 min following EX1, subjects consumed one of three calorically-similar beverages (285-300 kcal) in a cross-over design: carbohydrate-only (CHO; 75 g per beverage), high-carbohydrate/low-protein (HCLP; 45 g CHO, 25 g Pro, 0.5 g fat), or low-carbohydrate/high-protein (LCHP; 8 g CHO, 55 g Pro, 4 g fat). After 4 h of recovery, subjects performed subsequent exercise (EX2; 20 min at 70% VO(2peak) + 20 km time-trial). Beverages were also consumed following EX2. Blood glucose levels (30 min after beverage ingestion) differed across all treatments (CHO > HCLP > LCHP; p < 0.05), and serum insulin was higher following CHO and HCLP ingestion versus LCHP. Peak quadriceps force, serum creatine kinase, muscle soreness, and fatigue/energy ratings measured pre- and post-exercise were not different between treatments. EX2 performance was not significantly different between CHO (48.5 ± 1.5 min), HCLP (48.8 ± 2.1 min) and LCHP (50.3 ± 2.7 min). Beverages containing similar caloric content but different proportions of carbohydrate/protein provided similar effects on muscle recovery and subsequent exercise performance in well-trained cyclists.
Keywords: athlete performance; muscle damage; recovery; sport nutrition.