This is the first segment of a piece published by Dr. Silber several years ago in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research on the time related effects of food and exercise on an athletes overall performance. We will be posting every Wednesday the next piece of the article. We would love your feedback and questions pertaining to the article. Enjoy.
The present study examined time related interactive effects of food intake and power resistance exercise on selected fitness, metabolic, and hormonal parameters. A total of twenty high-performance Russian and American athletes randomly assigned to a double blind four months field study fulfilled all requirements of the study. They were assigned to a standard meal continuum providing 3,000KJ per day and protein/carbohydrate ratio of 1.0. Exercise included five 30 minutes high intensity resistance workouts per week. The workout over food time line implied incremental increase of the pre-exercise fasting period by 30 minutes every fortnight, from 1.0 to 4.0 hours. At months 1 and 3, subjects received immediately after exercise dietary supplement (S) or placebo (P) by mouth, but not during the months 2 and 4 which served as washout intervals. Twice a month blood draw before a one repetition maximum strength bench press and squat and the total number of repetitions performed during one set exhaustion at a 70% of max load bench press and squat were ascertained. At the end of the study, individual secondary (pheno-typical) metabolic/hormonal profiles related directly to interactive effects of food and exercise were analyzed graphically and their time-projection over each other was calculated. Results revealed that a pre-exercise fasting period of 2.0 hrs provided for maximal improvement in fitness (p<0.01), metabolic and endocrine (p<0.05) statuses. Administration of S produced further improvement (p<0.01). Supposedly, a chrono-biological sensing mechanism translates the homeostatic changes during various stages of post-prandial periods before exercise into corresponding levels of magnitude of immediate after-exercise restorative activation (anabolic rebound). The study provides sports practitioners with a hands-on method for individual assessment of food-exercise timing.
“The way in which our bodies get the correct amounts of what we need to the right place at the right time is fascinating”
Neil Solomon, MD, PhD (48)
The concept of complete physique and athletic forms has probably reached us from the ancient civilizations. Today this philosophy unites hundreds of millions of ardent followers worldwide zealously seeking improved physique, performance and health from exercise.
Indeed, mounting scientific evidence points out to the inverse relationship between physical fitness and premature mortality (23, 51). Regular high intensity resistance exercise is found to have long term positive effects on (i) skeletal muscle protein synthesis (9, 14, 25, 26, 33, 38, 52), (ii) immune and stress resistance (1, 2, 32, 42, 56), (iii) anti-tumor activity (11, 34, 55), and (iv) health-related quality of life and mental health (12, 23, 29, 35, 37, 51, 57). The established relation of intense resistance training to human well being and life extension has finally bridged the gap that historically divided competitive and fitness sports.
There is, however a positive correlation between the stress impact of acute exercise and the magnitude of the extemporaneous post-work anabolic (restorative) rebound (58, 61). Thus, the maxim ‘no pain – no gain’ does truly work. At the same time, the disturbance caused by exercise can not exceed the individuals recovery ability, otherwise there can be not adaptation to the stimulus.