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The Effect of Ingesting Carbohydrate and Proteins on Athletic Performance: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials

1
Department of Public Health, Section of Sport Science, Aarhus University, Dalgas Avenue 4, 8000 Aarhus, Denmark
2
Department of Clinical Medicine, Aarhus University Hospital, Palle Juul-Jensens Boulevard 165, 8200 Aarhus N, Denmark
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Nutrients 2020, 12(5), 1483; https://doi.org/10.3390/nu12051483
Received: 6 April 2020 / Revised: 11 May 2020 / Accepted: 11 May 2020 / Published: 20 May 2020
(This article belongs to the Section Sports Nutrition)
Endurance athletes participating in sporting events may be required to complete multiple training sessions a day or on successive days with a limited recovery time. Nutritional interventions that enhance the restoration of endogenous fuel stores (e.g., liver and muscle glycogen) and improve muscle damage repair have received a lot of attention. The purpose of this review is to investigate the effect of ingesting carbohydrate (CHO) and protein (PRO) on athletic performance. Studies were identified by searching the electronic databases PubMed and EMBASE. Random-effects meta-analyses were conducted to examine the intervention efficacy. A total of 30 randomized controlled trials (RCT), comprising 43 trials and 326 participants in total, were included in this review. The meta-analysis showed an overall significant effect in Time-To-Exhaustion (TTE) and Time-Trial (TT) performance, when ingesting carbohydrates and proteins (CHO-PRO) compared to CHO-only (p = 0.03 and p = 0.0007, respectively). A subgroup analysis demonstrated a significant effect in TTE by ingesting CHO-PRO compared to CHO, when supplements were provided during and/or following an exercise bout. CHO-PRO significantly improved TTE compared to CHO-only, when a long-term recovery (i.e., ≥8 h) was implemented (p = 0.001). However, no effect was found when the recovery time was short-term (i.e., ≤8 h). No significant effect was observed when CHO-PRO and CHO-only supplements were isocaloric. However, a significant improved TTE was evident with CHO-PRO compared to CHO-only, when the supplements were matched for carbohydrate content (p < 0.00001). In conclusion, co-ingesting carbohydrates and proteins appears to enhance TTE and TT performance compared to CHO-only and presents a compelling alternate feeding strategy for athletes. View Full-Text
Keywords: sports nutrition; athletic performance; protein; carbohydrate; time-to-exhaustion; time-trial sports nutrition; athletic performance; protein; carbohydrate; time-to-exhaustion; time-trial
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Kloby Nielsen, L.L.; Tandrup Lambert, M.N.; Jeppesen, P.B. The Effect of Ingesting Carbohydrate and Proteins on Athletic Performance: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials. Nutrients 2020, 12, 1483.

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