Health & Fitness

Coffee, a Must After Workout

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Drinking coffee after a workout can help refuel muscles and recover quickly from rigorous exercising.

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Glycogen, the muscle’s primary fuel source during exercise, is replenished more rapidly when athletes ingest both carbohydrate and caffeine after rigorous exercise, thus improving their performance.

The researchers found that athletes who ingested caffeine with carbohydrate had 66pct more glycogen in their muscles four hours after finishing intense, glycogen-depleting exercise, compared to when they consumed carbohydrate alone.

“If you have 66% more fuel for the next day’s training or competition, there is absolutely no question you will go farther or faster,” said Dr. Hawley, the study’s senior author.

Despite coffee, caffeine is also present in common foods and beverages, including, tea, chocolate and cola drinks.

The study involved seven well-trained endurance cyclists, wherein they were asked to ride a cycle ergometer until exhaustion, and then consume a low-carbohydrate dinner before going home.

The study was conducted in four sessions. This exercise reduced the athletes’ muscle glycogen stores prior to the experimental trial.

The athletes did not eat again until the next day for the second session, when they again cycled until exhaustion. The participants were given a drink that contained carbohydrate alone or carbohydrate plus caffeine and rested in the laboratory for four hours. Both the processes were repeated 7-10 days later.

The researchers found that one hour after exercise, muscle glycogen levels had been refilled to the same extent whether or not the athlete had the drink containing carbohydrate and caffeine or carbohydrate only.

However, four hours after exercise, the drink containing caffeine resulted in 66 pct higher glycogen levels compared to the carbohydrate-only drink and caffeinated drink resulted in higher levels of blood glucose and plasma insulin.

Several signalling proteins believed to play a role in glucose transport into the muscle also elevated to a greater extent after the athletes ingested the carbohydrate-plus-caffeine drink, compared to the carbohydrate-only drink.

But the researchers warned that athletes who want to incorporate caffeine into their workouts should experiment during training sessions well in advance of an important competition to find out what works for them.

Source: The Times Of India

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A Bowl of Corn Flakes Better Than Costly Sports Drinks

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Eating a bowl of cereal beats guzzling an expensive sports drink after a workout, say scientists.

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Revitalising: Cereal and milk is better for muscle rebuilding than sports drinks after a workout, say scientists

A study of athletes found the breakfast snack was at least as good, if not better, at revitalising muscles.

As part of the research, eight men and four women fasted for 12 hours and cycled for two hours, then immediately refuelled with a sports drink.

Five days later they repeated the fasting and exercise, then ate a wholewheat flake cereal with a splash of skimmed milk instead.
Exercise physiologist Lynne Kammer said: ‘We found cereal and milk was good for protein synthesis, or muscle rebuilding, after exercise.

‘Because of the protein in the milk you would expect to see this.

But what was most surprising was the lactate in the blood, which causes muscles to stiffen, was greatly reduced after consuming the cereal and milk as compared to the sports drink.’

The researchers said this was because the cereal raised levels of insulin, which converts sugar to energy, and blunted the production of lactate.

The scientists, from Texas University, found both the snack and energy drink replenished depleted glycogen – a fuel the body uses during exercise. But the cereal encouraged greater glycogen storage.

Miss Kammer, whose findings are published in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition, said: ‘Cereal and milk is a less expensive option than sports drinks. The milk provides a source of easily digestible and high-quality protein, making this an attractive recovery option for those who refuel at home.’

Sources:Mail On Line.14Th.May’09