Debbie Potts Coaching

Athletic Performance:  Nutrient Timing Guidelines

  1. Consuming carbohydrate solely or in combination with protein during resistance exercise increases muscle glycogen stores, ameliorates muscle damage, and facilitates greater acute and chronic training adaptations.

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  2. Meeting the total daily intake of protein, preferably with evenly spaced protein feedings (approximately every 3 h during the day), should be viewed as a primary area of emphasis for exercising individuals.
  3. Ingestion of essential amino acids (EAA; approximately 10 g)either in free form or as part of a protein bolus of approximately 20-40 g has been shown to maximally stimulate muscle protein synthesis (MPS).
  4. Pre- and/or post-exercise nutritional interventions (carbohydrate + protein or protein alone) may operate as an effective strategy to support increases in strength and improvements in body composition.
  5. However, the size and timing of a pre-exercise meal may impact the extent to which post-exercise protein feeding is required.
  6. Post-exercise ingestion (immediately to 2-h post) of high-quality protein sources stimulates robust increases in MPS.
  7. In non-exercising scenarios, changing the frequency of meals has shown limited impact on weight loss and body composition, with stronger evidence to indicate meal frequency can favorably improve appetite and satiety.
  8. More research is needed to determine the influence of combining an exercise program with altered meal frequencies on weight loss and body composition with preliminary research indicating a potential benefit.
  9. Ingesting a 20-40 g protein dose (0.25-0.40 g/kg body mass/dose) of a high-quality source every three to 4 h appears to most favorably affect MPS rates when compared to other dietary patterns and is associated with improved body composition and performance outcomes.
  10. Consuming casein protein (~ 30-40 g) prior to sleep can acutely increase MPS and metabolic rate throughout the night without influencing lipolysis.


Dr. Stacy Sims says…


Energy Intake Recommendations for Women

Instead of worrying about piling enough pasta on your plate the night before a big event, eat enough to meet your energy needs. The baseline calorie intake for women is 40 to 45 calories per kg body weight. Within that, here are the carbohydrate ranges I recommend based on exercise duration and/or intensity.

  1. For a light or active recovery day, aim for 2.5 grams per kilogram.
  2. For short intense days (like CrossFit training), aim for 2.5 to 3 grams of carbs per kilogram.
  3. For moderate- to high-intensity training lasting 60 to 120 minutes, you need 3 to 3.5 grams of carbohydrates per kilogram.
  4. For endurance training involving two to five hours of intense training per day (distance running, cycling, swimming), you need 4.5 to 6 grams of carbs per kilogram.
  5. For extreme intense training of five hours or more per day (Ironman or multisport events), you need 6 to 7 grams of carbs per kilogram.

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I wonder which studies, if any, where done on fat adapted athletes to come up with recommendations!?

I know we are often doing too low of carbs and too many people too strict for endurance athletes and the female athlete but ?

For endurance athletes and female cycling athletes looking to add in more carbohydrates as per workout intensity/duration or based on hormone cycle (estrogen ovulation day and progesterone building phase in the Late Luteal Phase)… how would you suggest testing to figure out the best carb sources for improved athletic performance fuel and those who are trying to lose weight.

 Test and not Guess.  You are an unique individual!

Questions I am asking myself…

  1. Do we do a carb tolerance test at Robb Wolf with 50g and make sure the real food carb source doesn’t spike glucose up too high…
  2. Would you use glucose meter/CGM to make sure the glucose didn’t rise more than 30?
  3. On progesterone hormone building days 20-28/end of cycle – would you want balance the glucose (avoid spikes/insulin) and not show ketones as we don’t want ketosis for female the last phase of our menstrual cycle?  How many carbs are too much for an individual especially the last week of their cycle should be a de-load recovery easy week!
  4. How much carbs would be too much for the female athlete when adding in strategic carbs at a dinner if doing a hard or long workout the next day- or adding carbs in between a 2x/day workout session?  Especially carb intolerant and those who still have fat loss goals as well as performance goals.

Dr. Gabrielle Lyon said recently…for NON-ATHLETES:

  1. We know that research show that carb timing for high intensity exercise can benefit most athletes
  2. Carbs require an insulin response for cells to be able to absorb the sugars from the macronutrients for ENERGY
  3. Eating too many carbs – your body may not be able to keep up
  4. The body can use, burn, or store, about 40g of carbs after a meal.
  5. Meals that exceed 40 grams require more insulin to shut down fat metabolism and force the extra carbs to be converted into fat storage – limiting the body to burn fat, increase blood glucose fluctuations and increase hunger

What are you thoughts and experiences?  Nutrient timing and matching your fueling with training for the endurance athlete – and then the female athlete.

Debbie Potts

Health & Fitness Coach, Author, & Speaker

The WHOLESTIC Method’ Coaching Program

Host of ‘The Low Carb Athlete’ Podcast

PNOE Metabolic Efficiency Testing

FNTP, FDNP, NASM CPT, CHEK HLC, Ben Greenfield Coach


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