Eat carbs before a run? Maybe reach for something else next time

by Kathleen Haughney
Eat carbs before a run? Maybe reach for something else next time
Assistant Professor Michael Ormsbee.

(Medical Xpress)—You might hear that before a big race or game, it's wise to load up on carbs to make sure you have enough energy to get you through it.

But, it turns out, pre-exercise meals that are higher in protein or fat may also make good choices.

That's the focus of a new paper by Florida State University Assistant Professor Michael Ormsbee and his Human Performance and Sports Nutrition Lab. Ormsbee was invited to write a paper reviewing the current research on pre-activity nutrition for a special "Sports Nutrition" issue in the journal Nutrients.

Though do work, there's been no significant research on other food groups to compare and contrast effectiveness.

"Carbs have been the focus for endurance runners but some new research and some anecdotal evidence suggests that higher fat diets may actually work before exercise to improve metabolism and possibly health and performance," Ormsbee said.

And that will help set the tone for some of Ormsbee's research moving forward. Ormsbee said the lab is launching a number of upcoming studies to investigate performance, health and body composition advantages to different foods and supplements for both endurance and strength athletes.

Ormsbee and doctoral students Dan Baur and Chris Bach examined research that had been the standard for the past few decades in .

Baur said there was plenty of information available extolling the virtues of protein consumption post workout, but when it came to pre workout fuel, the information dried up.

"Everything you read right now is saying protein is good, but they've never taken a deep look at how it can affect your body before a workout or competition," Baur said. "The main finding was that more research is needed."

Added Bach: "There are a lot of preconceived notions and also there's some anecdotal evidence. For the most part, the work that we're getting into is really exciting stuff because it's a new frontier in the world of ."

More information: Ormsbee, Michael J.; Bach, Christopher W.; Baur, Daniel A. 2014. "Pre-Exercise Nutrition: The Role of Macronutrients, Modified Starches and Supplements on Metabolism and Endurance Performance." Nutrients 6, no. 5: 1782-1808. DOI: 10.3390/nu6051782

Related Stories

Protein sports drinks proven to give best performance

date Dec 24, 2008

Sports drinks containing protein are better at improving athletes' performance. Research published in BioMed Central's open access Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition has shown that drinks containing a mix ...

Chocolate milk is a 'natural' for post-exercise recovery

date Jun 02, 2010

One of the best post-exercise recovery drinks could already be in your refrigerator, according to new research presented at the American College of Sports Medicine conference this week. In a series of four studies, researchers ...

Elite female athletes' health risk

date Nov 18, 2013

Young female athletes representing South Australia in aesthetics sports such as gymnastics are putting their health at risk due to calcium and iron deficiencies, a Flinders University study has found.

Exercising muscles need proper nutrients

date Jan 16, 2009

My friend's teen daughter Kaitlyn commented on the meals she and her brother Ben had on a recent outdoor excursion with their uncle and cousins... all males.

Recommended for you

Physician/Pharmacist model can improve mean BP

date 3 hours ago

(HealthDay)—A physician/pharmacist collaborative model can improve mean blood pressure (BP), according to a study published online March 24 in Circulation: Cardiovascular Quality and Outcomes.

Innovative prototype presented for post-ICU patients

date 4 hours ago

(HealthDay)—A collaborative care model, the Critical Care Recovery Center (CCRC), represents an innovative prototype aimed to improve the quality of life of intensive care unit (ICU) survivors, according ...

Clues to a city's health may be found in its sewage

date 7 hours ago

Research from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee suggests that sampling a city's sewage can tell scientists a great deal about its residents – and may someday lead to improvements in public health.

User comments

Please sign in to add a comment. Registration is free, and takes less than a minute. Read more

Click here to reset your password.
Sign in to get notified via email when new comments are made.