Monday, December 30, 2013

22g High EAA (6g) Protein + 36g CHO Pre- / Intra-Workout Boost Fat Oxidation & PWO Resting(!) Energy Expenditure

I don't doubt that you can do that, too!
It does sound awkward: If you mix Twinlab: Amino Fuel (22 g protein - 6 g essential amino acids | L-phenylalanine: 633 mg; Lvaline: 781 mg; L-tryptophan: 133 mg; L-threonine: 679 mg; L-isoleucine: 565 mg; L-methionine: 292 mg, L-histidine: 282 mg; L-leucine: 1350 mg; L-lysine: 1449 mg) with a regular  sports recovery drink that contains 36g of simple sugar, down half of the resulting 800ml serving of whatever you want to call this mix immediately before your workout and consume the rest during the rest periods between sets, this will have measurable effects on your resting energy expenditure and fat oxidation.

From long-term to short time effects

At first, it does questionably sound counter-intuitive that the ingestion of an EAA + carbohydrate mixture before / during would increase the resting energy expenditure and rate of fatty acid oxidation after your workout. On the other hand, if you think about the long-term effects of corresponding supplement regimen, you don't have to look far, to find evidence that they can promote both, muscle gain and fat loss (Bird. 2006).
You can learn more about protein intake at the SuppVersity

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High EAA protein for fat loss

Fast vs. slow protein

Too much ado about protein?
Kyle J. Hackney, Andrew R. Kelleher, and Lori L. Ploutz-Snyder from the Syracuse University speculated that the highly beneficial changes in body composition Bird et al. observed in their study participants over the course of a 12-week strength training + EAA & CHO supplementation that after "[t]hese adaptations may be related to the acute energy expenditure and substrate utilization responses in the postexercise period." (Hackney. 2013)
Figure 1: The changes in body composition (in kg) in response to 12 weeks of resistance training + placebo, CHO, EAA or CHO + EAA supplementation in 2006 study by Bird et al. "inspired" Hackney et al.
Against that background, it was only logical to conduct a study to examine how multiple bouts of resistance exercise with and without the strategically timed intake of amino acids affect the resting energy expenditure (REE) and respiratory exchange ratio (RER). The results could after all explain if the long/er) term effects on body composition that have been observed in previous studies using chronic training and supplementation regimen are maybe nothing but necessary consequences of repeated acute increases in REE or decreases in RER (you hopefully remember that a decrease in the respiratory exchange ratio signifies an increase in fatty acid oxidation).

Experimental design and results

To this ends, the researchers recruited 10 young (mean age: 23.4y) recreationally trained male participants. All of them had been participating in general resistance training exercise for a minimum of 3 days per week for at least 6 months.
Figure 2: Changes in resting energy expenditure (kcal/day) and comparison of training volume in 58g CHO (black bars) and EAA + CHO (white bars) trials (Hackney. 2013).
As you can see in Figure 2, Hackney et al.'s original hypothesis that "intake of amino acids with each resistance exercise session would lead to greater perturbations of REE and RER" (Hackney. 2013) does unquestionably hold for this population of average (rookie) gymrats.

Whether the scientists "main finding" (Hackney. 2013), i.e. the 3.61% increase in resting energy expenditure (REE) will be similarly pronounced in advanced trainees is yet as questionable as the real-world effects of this artificial value. Despite the fact that Hackney et al. are right, when they say that our resting energy expenditure "represents the largest component of [our] total daily energy expenditure (60–85%) and has been implicated as a major contributor to overall body mass management " (Hackney. 2013), I am not sure how "major" an increase of only 66kcal per day actually is... I mean,  if this pathetic increase in resting energy expenditure was the actual driving force we would need almost 100 days to shed a hilarious pound of body fat (note: the reason I use the flawed 3,500kcal = 1lbs of fat rule of thumb here is that the whole REE calculations would be pointless if you didn't put at least some faith into the "energy in vs. energy out" hypothesis of weight loss - right?)
SuppVersity Suggested Read: "Fat Loss Principles That Work: 10g+ of EAAs W/ Every Meal. Do Energetic Costs of Protein Synthesis Trigger This Effect?" |  read more
Bottom line: It stands out of question that your training success can benefit from a high EAA protein source and some carbs you consume before and during the exercise session. Whether the fat loss benefits are actually brought about by the marginally increased resting energy expenditure (REE) is yet something I doubt - it certainly helps fat loss, but clearly isn't its main motor.

Don't get me wrong, this does not imply that you will benefit from this type of "peri-workout" supplementation. And let's be honest, the end most of you probably don't care about the exact underlying mechanisms, as long as your body composition keeps improving, right?
References:
  • Bird, S. P., Tarpenning, K. M., & Marino, F. E. (2006). Independent and combined effects of liquid carbohydrate/essential amino acid ingestion on hormonal and muscular adaptations following resistance training in untrained men. European journal of applied physiology, 97(2), 225-238.
  • Hackney, K. J., Kelleher, A. R., & Ploutz-Snyder, L. L. (2013). Amino Acid-Carbohydrate Intake Combined with Multiple Bouts of Resistance Exercise Increases Resting Energy Expenditure. ISRN Nutrition, 2013.