Amino EAA / Amino EAC
Proteins support a growth in muscle mass and its maintenance. AMINO EAC contains all 8 essential and 3 semi-essential amino acids in free form. The combination of free amino acids allows a targeted adjustment of a required amino acid profile. EAC does not deliver any surplus energy and concentrates on what is most important: the essential amino acids. That is the reason why EAC is also particularly appropriate for athletes who prefer a targeted and limited protein supply and no extra calories.
Amino acids before strength training increase its effect
A study shows more effective muscle building if proteins and amino acids are taken immediately before strength training.
The notably already aged study by Kevin D. Tipton on "Timing of amino acid-carbohydrate ingestion alters anabolic response of muscle to resistance exercise" shows that protein synthesis may be more effective when essential amino acids are taken immediately prior to resistance exercise. Particularly relevant is the L-leucine content of the amino mixture. L-leucine is regarded as a triggering substance for muscle protein synthesis and thus activates the desired build-up processes. In Tipton's study, free amino acids were used, which is crucial for timing. Intact proteins such as WHEY ISOLATE 94 would therefore have to be taken with a corresponding lead time of approx. 60 to 90 minutes before training, as the necessary digestion time has to be taken into account.
SPONSER® recommends the following products for this purpose:
AMINO EAA, tablets which can be taken immediately before training. They support the growth and the preservation of the muscle mass and contain all 6 essential and the 4 conditionally essential amino acids in free form. The AMINO EAA tablets deliver no excess energy but concentrate on the essential: essential amino acids. This makes them suitable for athletes, who want to limit their protein supply to the necessary minimum and do not want to take any additional calories.
PRO RECOVERY, which can be taken before strength training. The unique combination of the different protein components whey, egg and casein in a ratio of 1:1:1 as well as colostrum and egg-potato protein hydrolysate enable an optimal protein mix for growth and maintenance of muscle mass.
Tipton et al, 2001: Timing of amino acid-carbohydrate ingestion alters anabolic response of muscle to resistance exercise. Am J Physiol Endocrinol Metab, 281(2):E197-206.
Author: Yvonne Forster
Dipl. eng. food sciences UAS
Dipl. dietitian HS
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ISSN recommendations on protein intake for healthy, exercising individuals
The International Society of Sports Nutrition (ISSN) provides an objective and critical overview on protein intake for healthy, exercising individuals. Based on the currently available literature, the ISSN has defined the following 13 positions, which are commented by Yvonne Forster, SPONSER® nutritionist and food sciences engineer:
• «An acute exercise stimulus, particularly resistance exercise, and protein ingestion both stimulate muscle protein synthesis (MPS) and are synergistic when protein consumption occurs before or after resistance exercise.»
• «For building muscle mass and for maintaining muscle mass through a positive muscle protein balance, an overall daily protein intake in the range of 1.4–2.0 g protein/kg body weight/day (g/kg/d) is sufficient for most exercising individuals, a value that falls in line within the Acceptable Macronutrient Distribution Range published by the Institute of Medicine for protein.»
Comment: The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends a minimum intake of 0.8 g protein per kg body weight per day, which is often contradictory to the significantly higher doses of ISSN. It must be taken into account that the WHO values are always based on minimum requirements - also politically justified and influenced by ethical-ecological principles.
• «There is novel evidence that suggests higher protein intakes (>3.0 g/kg/d) may have positive effects on body composition in resistance-trained individuals (i.e., promote loss of fat mass).»
Comment: With an intake of >3 g protein per kg body weight per day, a diet has to be considered protein dominant. Since proteins have a very satiating effect, the general diet can be designed according to the «low carb» principle. In this case you should refrain from eating snacks containing carbohydrates. If a weight reduction is in the foreground, SPONSER® recommends the LOW CARB PROTEIN SHAKE. This protein shake additionally contains dietary fibres which also have a satiating effect and have a positive influence on our microbiome.
• «Recommendations regarding the optimal protein intake per serving for athletes to maximize MPS are mixed and are dependent upon age and recent resistance exercise stimuli. General recommendations are 0.25 g of a high-quality protein per kg of body weight, or an absolute dose of 20–40 g.»
Comment: SPONSER® designs the protein shakes generally with approx. 20-25 g protein per portion. The protein shakes can be taken with water or milk. If taken with water, increase the amount of powder. Exact recommendations for use are indicated on the packaging.
• «Acute protein doses should strive to contain 700–3000 mg of leucine and/or a higher relative leucine content, in addition to a balanced array of the essential amino acids (EAAs).»
Comment: AMINO EAA tablets from the SPONSER® range are particularly suitable for targeted amino acids intake. WHEY PROTEIN is naturally rich in BCAA (branch-chained amino acids) and therefore also rich in L-leucine.
• «These protein doses should ideally be evenly distributed, every 3–4 h, across the day.»
Comment: This distribution results in approx. 5 protein portions, considering the food-free sleep phase. Usually lunch and dinner are hardly a problem to reach the recommended amount of protein. Breakfast and late evening meals before bed rest are often insufficient. WHEY PROTEIN, which can be added to any smoothies or muesli, is suitable for enriching breakfast. CASEIN is recommended for late meals. Casein has a slower emptying time from the stomach due to its gelling property. This ensures a continuous flow of amino acids throughout the night, which minimises the catabolic night phase. MULTI PROTEIN, which also contains 2/3 microfiltered casein, is a valuable alternative.
• «The optimal time period during which to ingest protein is likely a matter of individual tolerance, since benefits are derived from pre- or post-workout ingestion; however, the anabolic effect of exercise is long-lasting (at least 24 h), but likely diminishes with increasing time post-exercise.»
• «While it is possible for physically active individuals to obtain their daily protein requirements through the consumption of whole foods, supplementation is a practical way of ensuring intake of adequate protein quality and quantity, while minimizing caloric intake, particularly for athletes who typically complete high volumes of training.»
• «Rapidly digested proteins that contain high proportions of essential amino acids (EAAs) and adequate leucine, are most effective in stimulating MPS.»
Comment: AMINO EAA are tablets with free-form essential amino acids that are suitable for a targeted EAA intake, as well as for supplementing or optimizing the protein intake from the general diet.
• «Different types and quality of protein can affect amino acid bioavailability following protein supplementation.»
Comment: The bioavailability of amino acids and proteins depends on the dosage, the type of protein and, if given, the degree of hydrolysis. Vegetable protein sources such as soy, peas, etc. are not always complete in their amino acid profile. For this reason, vegan meals should combine different vegetable protein sources. VEGAN PROTEIN from SPONSER® contains a broad mix of vegetable protein sources with a very broad amino acid profile resulting in a high biological value. Nowadays, hydrolysed (predigested) proteins are also available on the market. This means that the complex protein structure is destroyed and the body requires less digestive work. Particularly sophisticated products therefore contain a mix of high-quality intact protein sources such as protein isolate, protein hydrolysate and free amino acids, as is the case in PREMIUM WHEY HYDRO, for example.
• «Athletes should consider focusing on whole food sources of protein that contain all of the EAAs (i.e., it is the EAAs that are required to stimulate MPS).»
Comment: Protein supplements from SPONSER® generally contain the entire spectrum of essential amino acids
• «Endurance athletes should focus on achieving adequate carbohydrate intake to promote optimal performance; the addition of protein may help to offset muscle damage and promote recovery.»
Comment: In endurance sports, the stimuli are usually set differently, but good quality training also leads to exhaustion. The protein supplements of SPONSER® are therefore also suitable for the regeneration support of endurance athletes. Since the carbohydrate supply of endurance athletes is not limited to the same extent as that of strength athletes, PRO RECOVERY with natural sweetening and moderate carbohydrate content is very suitable for regeneration support.
• «Pre-sleep casein protein intake (30–40 g) provides increases in overnight MPS and metabolic rate without influencing lipolysis.»
Comment: CASEIN is recommended for late meals as it causes a slow emptying of the stomach. This ensures a continuous flow of amino acids throughout the night, which minimises the catabolic night phase.
Jäger et al, 2017: International Society of Sports Nutrition Position Stand: protein and exercise. J Int Soc Sports Nutr, 14(20).
Author: Yvonne Forster Nigg
dipl. eng. food sciences UAS
dipl. dietitian HS
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Nutrition tips Swiss Epic
Which nutrition strategy is recommended for Swiss Epic?
On a multi-day event like the Swiss Epic, certain conditions that influence nutrition change almost daily. Factors such as weather, acclimatisation, training status, body weight and individual biological variability are too varied to permit universally binding nutritional recommendations. In addition, the diet must be adapted to the objective: Is it about winning or is it simply about comfortably finishing? And, last but not least, the general conditions and catering options on site must also be incorporated into the nutrition strategy. For these reasons, it is not possible to provide generally valid nutrition rules in quantity and order for the Swiss Epic mountain bike race or similar long-distance endurance events.
Of course, there are certain basic rules and measures that remain roughly the same. One conceivable nutrition strategy could be the following:
Before the start
• The two days before the competition: Carbo loading with CARBO LOADER, 4 x 1 portion per day each
• 3 to 4 hours before the start: POWER PORRIDGE, portion size according to your own feeling of satiety.
• Up to 1 hour before the start: LONG ENERGY sports drink and one / a few bites of HIGH ENERGY BAR, depending on the individual feeling of hunger and thirst, also depending on whether you are able to eat at all at this moment.
• Drink sufficiently, adapted to the situation and according to your feeling of thirst. Recommended drink is the mildly flavoured, acid-free LONG ENERGY sports drink.
• During competition it is recommended that you take some easily digestible solid food every 3 to 5 hours. However, this must be tested under similar conditions beforehand! For example, half a bar, but also a few bites of white bread or a ripe banana are useful to maintain gastrointestinal activity. To a certain extent, the ULTRA PRO drink can also be taken instead during long periods of endurance activities (1 sachet every 3 to 4 hours). This may already be sufficient for one-day events.
• For competitions lasting several days, something «solid» between the teeth is highly recommended, as solid food supports digestion. What and how much varies from person to person. A few easily digestible bites (white bread, banana, pretzels, energy bars, or similar) every few hours are enough, the rest can be taken in liquid form.
• If warm food (such as pasta, boiled potatoes, rice, etc.) is offered on site, make sure you try to use it. Also POWER PORRIDGE would be a valuable warm catering, if the possibility exists.
• Our OAT PACKs are recommended as very long satiating bars. These are based on oats and contain nuts, which increase the total energy content, but also puts a little more strain on the digestion. In contrast to the HIGH ENERGY BAR, OAT PACKs are also suitable for competitions in the cold because they are not as hard as the finely ground HIGH ENERGY BARs. However, the HIGH ENERGY BAR is the ideal solution for one-day competitions.
• If performance drops and/or tiredness occur, LIQUID ENERGY gels with caffeine are recommended (approx. ½ tube or 1 sachet, followed by some gulps of water or sports drink). An ampoule of ACTIVATOR with caffeine can also help in this situation; the caffeine's effect lasting about 2-4 hours.
• Especially during long competitions, the LIQUID ENERGY SALTY is very well received. This energy gel contains more salt and tastes sweet and salty, thereby offering a welcomed taste alternative.
• En route, it is important to estimate the situational needs correctly. In the case of cold/weakness, it is advisable to consume more carbohydrates in the form of gels or sports drinks. If stomach problems become noticeable, suitable solid food, oat bars or white bread should be eaten. Pure water is not recommended if diarrhoea occurs! In such a case it is advisable to eat and drink salty.
• Most important during very long events is keeping enough flexibility and listen to one's own desires. Experience has shown that even the most popular drinks/foods can quickly put you off if exertion lasts for several days.
• Furthermore, particularly with events lasting several days and high intake of (usually) carbohydrate-rich sports food, a sudden appetite for salt, protein and fat appears. This usually happens at a stage when the body has already reduced exercise intensity (partly from exhaustion) and can therefore tolerate such food. In this situation one can tolerate a lot of «normal» food in a reasonable amount: dried meat, sausages, chips, nuts, cheese or whatever else the organizer offers. However, fatty foods are of course unsuitable for daytime events and for strictly performance-oriented goals. During long exercise bouts and low intensities, however, one should and may listen to one's body desires, even if a food may be somewhat more difficult/slower to digest. Specific hunger for a certain food is usually a good indicator that it also can be tolerated.
Recovery after competition
• For occasions where you do not want to take too many different products with you, it is a good idea to use the ULTRA PRO as a regeneration drink. Also conceivable: LONG ENERGY Berry in double concentration (60-80 g + approx. 500 ml water). Like this, there is no need for additional recovery products. It is recommended to drink a portion within 30 minutes after finish arrival and possibly a second one, if there is no main meal within 90 minutes.
• On multi-day events, it makes sense to take another portion of CARBO LOADER or a portion of ULTRA PRO before going to bed in order to start the next day with energy stores refilled.
Rough nutrient dosage guideline
Approx. 60-80 grams per hour, during long-term endurance up to slightly more than 100 g/h can be absorbed and metabolised.
Depends on and varies strongly according to the situation, 0.4 to 1 litres per hour advised. Note: with drinking volume also the ingested energy content changes, which has to be considered with the intake of other energy sources accordingly.
Basically not necessary, but some studies point to an increase in performance and recovery if protein is already taken during performance. Approx. 20 g protein every 3 to 4 hours for events lasting 6 to 8 hours or longer. Ideal for this: ULTRA PRO or AMINO 12500. The ULTRA PRO drink can be considered an alternative to solid food, but must be prepared with water immediately before consumption and cannot be mixed several hours in advance. On shorter occasions it is easier to add/take some protein directly in the sports drink or swallow capsules/tablets such as AMINO EAC or BCAA.
Fat intake only plays a role at endurance duration beyond approx. 10 hours, when performance intensity is very low and fat can be digested. It can be neglected and should not intentionally used in a one-day event as it may quickly act negatively, if exercise intensity becomes too high.
Author: Remo Jutzeler
Head R&D SPONSER SPORT FOOD
Ing. Applied Food Sciences UAS
MAS Nutrition & Health ETHZ
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