Impact of simple vs complex carbohydrates under time constraint before anaerobic and aerobic exercise
(1) Diamond Bar High School, Diamond Bar, California, (2) University of Louisiana at Lafayette, Lafayette, Louisiana
When a busy schedule only allows for a short window of time to eat before a workout or cardio session, it is crucial to eat proper, energizing foods that let one reap the most out of their exercise. To that end, we compared simple carbohydrates, complex carbohydrates, and a control group of no pre-workout meal to determine their effects on an athlete’s overall performance when consumed 30 minutes before anaerobic and aerobic exercises. We measured several quantitative variables: heart rate, mile run time, and repetitions for the bench press, bicep curl, and abdominal crunch. Random assignment delegated one treatment to every other day during an 11-day data collection period. We hypothesized that there will be no difference in heart rates when simple carbohydrates, complex carbohydrates, or no food is consumed 30 minutes before exercise. However, the time it takes to run a mile and the number of repetitions successfully performed will see better results if simple carbohydrates are consumed 30 minutes before exercise, as opposed to no food or if complex carbohydrates are consumed. Ultimately, we found that, when one’s schedule only allows for 30 minutes to eat before a workout, the best pre-workout meal for optimal glycogen levels to prompt muscle hypertrophy, strength increases, and better endurance is one that is simple carbohydrate-heavy. Thus, when the time between a meal and a workout falls under 30 minutes, this fast-digesting macromolecule will best fuel the workout and allow for prime performance.
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