What about the anaerobic athlete?

A diet rich in the right carbs, fats, and proteins is essential for any diet, but especially for the athlete. After reading chapter two on nutrition and chapter five on ergogenic acids, I learned that there are many ways for an endurance athlete to prepare their body for performance through nutrition and supplements. What about the anaerobic athletes?

Thinking back to our first discussion in class about the hypothesis correlating brain mass and endurance, it is clear that we, as humans, have great endurance capabilities. After learning so much about the different ways we can train our body and eat in order to perform the best during endurance competitions, it causes me to think that our bodies are trained for endurance more than anaerobic exercises. I’m sure many people with fast twitch muscle fibers that have found great success with anaerobic athletics would disagree, but it just seems like our body has a greater capability to push the limits endurance-wise then anaerobically.

Obviously every athlete needs a healthy diet in order to be the best they can be. But, I am thinking about the meal immediately before performance; it seems like endurance athletes have a specific plan for hours, days, and even weeks before their performance for their nutrition. What about the anaerobic athlete? Does it even matter what they eat immediately before performing? There is no need for them to obtain complex carbs, really, because they won’t need that energy storage over a long period of time. Would simple sugars be the best option? Is protein the best idea to avoid losing any muscle?

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2 Responses to What about the anaerobic athlete?

  1. Fearless Leader ugogal says:

    Keep in mind that there are different types of anaerobic exercise. You could be a sprinter who does a couple of short races, or you could be a basketball player who comes in and out of the game all night long. You’re going to be metabolizing glucose either way, but your energy requirements will be a lot higher if you’re the basketball player, and you will definitely want to build your glycogen stores! The only way to do that is through carbs or protein.

  2. PumpingIron PumpingIron says:

    I have been doing a lot of reading and experimenting recently with food timing specifically for anaerobic training. While there are a number of different conclusions that can be drawn based on what study you want to agree with, the majority opinion at the moment is that timing of nutrients is largely secondary to quality and quantity of nutrients for anaerobic athletes. The supplement industry has put a lot of effort into making people believe that immediate pre and post workout meals are the most important ones of the day. However, as long as the right nutrition is taken in throughout the day, your athletic performance should be maximized. It is important to include complex carbohydrates and good sources of protein in every meal, including one anywhere from 1-3 hours before your workout. You do not need to specifically load up on carbs right before a shorter, anaerobic workout since there is less need for the glycogen stores. The ratio of carbs to protein in this pre-workout meal is largely determined by your daily macro needs. I myself prefer to have a higher carb intake in the morning, followed by a pre-workout meal with about a 1.5:1 carb to protein ratio. To address the point about losing muscle, a hard workout will cause some muscle catabolism because of the release of cortisol. However, as long as you are taking in sufficient protein spaced throughout the day, this effect should be minimized.

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