Significant Effect of a Pre-Exercise High-Fat Meal after a 3-Day High-Carbohydrate Diet on Endurance Performance.
High carbohydrate diet prior to endurance events has long been recommended for nutritional fuel. This current study explores the effects of High Fat Meal (HFM) compared to High Carbohydrate Meal (HCM) 4 hours prior to exercise following a high carbohydrate diet for 3 days on endurance performance.
Eight male long-distance runners, who exercise regularly, underwent a number of preliminary exercise tests and measurements one week prior to the study. For the study, the eight men ingested a HCM (~2562 kcal/day total calories; 71% carbohydrates) at all three meals for 3 days prior to the main trials. On the day of the trial, subjects were randomly assigned to either HFM (1007 kcal total calories; 55% fat) or HCM (1007 kcal total calories; 70% carbohydrates) four hours prior to exercise. In addition, 3 minutes prior to exercise, the subjects of the HFM group ingested either a maltodextrin jelly (M; a carbohydrate) or a placebo (P). All subjects participated in all diet regiments with at least one week between each trial. Blood samples and gas exchange measurement were taken for analysis. Athletes exercised for 80 mins at marathon pace and then continued to exhaustion.
The results of this study showed that the average time until exhaustion was higher in subjects who ingested HFM+M compared to the HFM+P or HCM+P. In addition, HFM resulted in higher fat oxidation at rest and exercise compared to HCM, while carbohydrate oxidation was greater in HCM compared to HFM. Overall, the major finding of this study was that carbohydrate ingestion for 3 days prior to a high fat meal on the day of the trial in addition to a small portion of carbohydrate jelly immediately prior to exercise can enhance endurance running performance. This has likely to do with the increase in fat oxidation and the conservation of muscle glycogen during exercise. > From: Murakami et al., Nutrients 4 (2012) 625-637. All rights reserved to MDPI.
The free full text article can be found here.