To Top

Supplemental Carbs

It turned out that taking the carb supplement didn’t affect exercise performance, perhaps because the volume of training—five sets of squats—wasn’t enough to make significant inroads into muscle glycogen stores.

Several studies have proven that taking a supplement having no more than 8 percent carb content during training can give you an ergogenic boost. Those studies, however, involved moderate training intensity, which doesn’t deplete muscle glycogen. So could taking a carb supplement aid the performance of higher-intensity training? That’s what a recent study sought to determine.1

Eight healthy weight-trained men got either a placebo or a carb supplement that provided 0.3 grams of carb per kilogram of bodyweight. They took the supplement or the placebo before exercise and after every other set. They did five progressively heavier sets of squats, with the heaviest set amounting to a weight equal to 85 percent of one-rep maximum. The final set qualified as high intensity.

It turned out that taking the carb supplement didn’t affect exercise performance, perhaps because the volume of training—five sets of squats—wasn’t enough to make significant inroads into muscle glycogen stores. Another possibility is that while muscle glycogen was affected by the exercise, it wasn’t the limiting factor in lower-volume, high-intensity training. The researchers didn’t take measurements of glycogen before and after the exercise. The more likely fatigue factors at that level of exercise were the depletion of muscle phosphocreatine and a rise in muscle acidity, both of which everybody knows cause fatigue during high-intensity training.

Those who do high-intensity, lower-volume training would be more likely to get an ergogenic boost from supplemental creatine and beta-alanine. The creatine would maximize muscle creatine levels, and the beta-alanine would increase intramuscular carnosine, thus lowering the muscle acidity that training generates. Does that mean carbs are useless for this style of training? Not by a long shot. As the authors note, not getting enough dietary carbs would deplete muscle glycogen levels after a few days, which would adversely affect training intensity and could lead to premature muscle fatigue.

That would affect high-intensity training only, however. During moderate- or lower-intensity training, the body could adapt to other fuels, such as fat. 

Kulik, J.R., et al. (2008). Supplemental carbohydrate ingestion does not improve performance of high-intensity resistance exercise. J Str Cond Res. 22:1101-1107. IM

Instantized Creatine- Gains In Bulk

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply

More in Muscle Gain

  • Turning Weak Points Into Highlights

    . . We are all unique in our own special ways. This is not just a quick personal development pep talk,...

    ironashleyJuly 5, 2019
  • The Do’s and Don’ts of Mass Gain Supplements

    . . Scrolling through any bodybuilding, weightlifting forum or page as a relative beginner can be quite a daunting experience. In...

    irongraphicsJune 14, 2019
  • Staying on Track While Injured

    The last time I threw my back out was over two years ago while pushing my deadlift limits. I knew I...

    irongraphicsJune 10, 2019
  • Ready-To-Drink Supplement Conundrum

    Years ago, one of the biggest supplement scams was a ready-to-drink creatine serum. This was before it was widely known that...

    Cindy MamOctober 25, 2018
  • Lets Build Those Shoulders

    This unorthodox shoulder program will wake up your delts to become bigger, stronger, and healthier than ever.   Shoulders are tricky. One...

    Cindy MamOctober 11, 2018
  • Burn Fat, Keep Muscles

    Q: Right now my main goal is to burn bodyfat while keeping as much of the muscle I built over the...

    Cindy MamJune 4, 2018
  • Increase Your Gains With Bugs?

    Accelerate recovery and reduce inflammation by consuming fermented foods. By Nathane L. Jackson, RHN, CSCS   You’ve done the calorie math. You...

    Sharon OrtigasOctober 10, 2017
  • 11 Reasons You Need Creatine

    Creatine has so many potential benefits you may have never even considered. By Sarah Butcher   You already eat a healthy...

    Sharon OrtigasSeptember 29, 2017
  • 6 Weeks To Be Your Best!

    A raw, full-body six-week workout that will get your body rock solid. By Sarah L. Chadwell, NASM-CPT   Want to get...

    Sharon OrtigasSeptember 29, 2017