Carb Timing For Intense Training

There's been a lot of research on what types of protein to use and when, especially in relation to this macronutrient's ability to support gains from resistance training. A new study published in the International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism looks at carbohydrate consumption and timing before brief high-intensity training.

After getting familiar with exercise at 90% of capacity, 17 male subjects consumed a 6.4% carbohydrate solution either 30 or 120 minutes before their workout. Compared to placebo solutions and carbs consumed two hours before training, drinking carbs half an hour before high-intensity effort resulted in the greatest capacity for exercise. The difference was 9 minutes compared to 7.9 and 8 minutes.

With this information in mind, researchers gave these subjects a carbohydrate solution of 0%, 2% or 12% half an hour before taking on the same high-intensity workout to exhaustion. Interestingly, the 2% solution allowed longer high-intensity effort than either no carbs or the 12% solution. In this case, the difference was 9.2 minutes versus an average of 8.1 minutes.

True Strength Moment: Active adults who regularly engage in endurance exercise worry about hitting the wall through the depletion of carbohydrate energy. From these results, a little goes a long way when it comes to all-out effort for less than 10 minutes. Try working these findings into your HIIT preparations.
Leave a Comment