Although protein powder is a widely popular supplement, powders providing other nutrients, such as carbohydrates, can also be effective. Carbohydrate powder can offer a wide array of benefits for athletic activity, as carbohydrates are your body's primary energy source. However, not all effects of carbohydrate powder are beneficial for all exercise goals. Regardless of the benefits, you should consult a doctor prior to using carbohydrate powder or any other supplements.
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Sustained Testosterone Levels
Intense exercise can promote significant benefits for your physique in the long run, but only if you supply the nutrients needed for recovery. According to research published in the April 2010 issue of "European Journal of Applied Physiology," failing to consume carbohydrates in conjunction with intense exercise can result in reduced testosterone levels. Using carbohydrate powder can help you maintain higher levels of testosterone, a hormone that aids in building muscle.
Reduced Calorie Burning
Carbohydrate powder supplies your body with energy, but this can be detrimental in some cases, as it may cause your body to burn less stored energy. According to research published in the May 2010 issue of "Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise," consuming protein powder prior to exercise promoted increased calorie-burning in the 24 hours after the workout, while consuming carbohydrate powder did not.
Improved Muscle Recovery
Carbohydrate-heavy meals are often suggested for pre-workout use, but consuming carbohydrate powder as part of your post-workout meal can be beneficial as well. Research published in the December 2010 edition of "International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism" explains that carbohydrates are required for optimal workout recovery. Nutrition researcher Dr. John Berardi notes that liquids are absorbed more efficiently than whole food, so carbohydrate powder can be highly effective.
Reduced Growth Hormone Release
Your body releases hormones in response to a variety of stimuli, including exercise and food. If you want to maximize growth hormone release, carbohydrate powder can be detrimental, as research published in the July 2008 issue of "European Journal of Endocrinology" found that a meal of protein alone increased growth hormone release, but a combination of protein and carbohydrates did not.
- "European Journal of Applied Physiology"; Influence of Dietary Carbohydrate Intake on Free Testosterone: Cortisol Ratio Responses to Short-Term Intensive Exercise Training; A.R. Lane, J.W. Duke, A.C. Hackney; April 2010
- "Medicine and Science in Sports and Exercise"; Timing Protein Intake Increases Energy Expenditure 24 H After Resistance Training; K.J. Hackney, A.J. Bruenger, J.T. Lemmer; May 2010
- "International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism"; Nutritional Strategies to Promote Postexercise Recovery; M. Beelen et al.; December 2010
- JohnBerardi.com; The Importance of Post Workout Nutrition; Dr. John Berardi; April 2002
- "European Journal of Endocrinology"; Somatotropic Responses to Soy Protein Alone and as Part of a Meal; A.J.A.H. van Vught et al.; July 2008