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Periodization of Carbohydrate Intake: Short-Term Effect on Performance

Laboratory of Sport, Expertise and Performance, French National Institute of Sport, Expertise and Performance (INSEP), 75012 Paris, France
Université Côte d’Azur, LAMHESS, 06205 Nice, France
Mary MacKillop Institute for Health Research, Centre for Exercise and Nutrition, Australian Catholic University, Melbourne, VIC 3065, Australia
Research Institute for Sport and Exercise Sciences, Liverpool John Moores University, Liverpool L3 5UA, UK
Sports Nutrition, Australian Institute of Sport (AIS), Belconnen, ACT 2617, Australia
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Nutrients 2016, 8(12), 755;
Received: 15 September 2016 / Revised: 3 November 2016 / Accepted: 9 November 2016 / Published: 25 November 2016
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Nutrition, Health and Athletic Performance)
Background: “Sleep-low” consists of a sequential periodization of carbohydrate (CHO) availability—low glycogen recovery after “train high” glycogen-depleting interval training, followed by an overnight-fast and light intensity training (“train low”) the following day. This strategy leads to an upregulation of several exercise-responsive signaling proteins, but the chronic effect on performance has received less attention. We investigated the effects of short-term exposure to this strategy on endurance performance. Methods: Following training familiarization, 11 trained cyclists were divided into two groups for a one-week intervention—one group implemented three cycles of periodized CHO intake to achieve the sleep-low strategy over six training sessions (SL, CHO intake: 6 g·kg−1·day−1), whereas the control group consumed an even distribution of CHO over the day (CON). Tests were a 2 h submaximal ride and a 20 km time trial. Results: SL improved their performance (mean: +3.2%; p < 0.05) compared to CON. The improvement was associated with a change in pacing strategy with higher power output during the second part of the test. No change in substrate utilization was observed after the training period for either group. Conclusion: Implementing the “sleep-low” strategy for one week improved performance by the same magnitude previously seen in a three-week intervention, without any significant changes in selected markers of metabolism. View Full-Text
Keywords: carbohydrate; performance; training; cycling time trial; trained athletes; lipid oxidation; perception of effort carbohydrate; performance; training; cycling time trial; trained athletes; lipid oxidation; perception of effort
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MDPI and ACS Style

Marquet, L.-A.; Hausswirth, C.; Molle, O.; Hawley, J.A.; Burke, L.M.; Tiollier, E.; Brisswalter, J. Periodization of Carbohydrate Intake: Short-Term Effect on Performance. Nutrients 2016, 8, 755.

AMA Style

Marquet L-A, Hausswirth C, Molle O, Hawley JA, Burke LM, Tiollier E, Brisswalter J. Periodization of Carbohydrate Intake: Short-Term Effect on Performance. Nutrients. 2016; 8(12):755.

Chicago/Turabian Style

Marquet, Laurie-Anne, Christophe Hausswirth, Odeline Molle, John A. Hawley, Louise M. Burke, Eve Tiollier, and Jeanick Brisswalter. 2016. "Periodization of Carbohydrate Intake: Short-Term Effect on Performance" Nutrients 8, no. 12: 755.

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