Food for Thought
Want to recover more quickly after a hard workout? Stop for a large
coffee and whole-wheat bagel on the way home from the gym. That’s the conclusion of a recent report in the Journal of Applied Physiology.
In a randomized clinical trial of trained athletes, researchers examined the effects of a caffeine and carbohydrate mixture—versus carbs alone—on muscle recovery after a bout of exhaustive exercise. Results showed that glycogen, the muscle’s primary fuel during exercise, was replenished more rapidly when athletes ingested the mix of caffeine and carbs as opposed to the carbs alone. When they ingested the combo, athletes had 66% more glycogen in their muscles 4 hours after exercise than they did when they ate only postworkout carbs.
“We provide the first evidence that in trained subjects, the coingestion of large amounts of caffeine with carbohydrate has an additive effect on rates of postexercise muscle glycogen accumulation compared to when carbohydrate alone is consumed,” the researchers concluded.