Protein, carbohydrates and muscle recovery

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Don MacLaren

Carbohydrates and protein are two important macronutrients which play essential roles in energy provision and muscle structure for sporting activity such as resistance exercise. Carbohydrates are a most important energy source if intense bouts of activity are needed, where as proteins are needed for rebuilding and remodelling the structure of muscles. A consequence of resistance exercise is that muscle protein breakdown occurs and protein synthesis is reduced. Thankfully, in the recovery period following such exercise these processes are reversed – hence the importance of appropriate recovery between training muscle groups. Since muscle protein breakdown results in loss of muscle tissue, it is important to determine whether this process can be slowed or even reversed by appropriate nutritional strategies? This article examines the need for sufficient amounts of protein in the diet in order to promote muscle growth and strength, and in addition explores the efficacy of protein for recovery from resistance exercise as well as the use of proteins and carbohydrates to stimulate protein synthesis.

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