Muscle Hypertrophy (growth), power development, and strength are all key parameters in achieving success at sprinting. A high-protein diet in the region of 1.6-1.7 grams per kilo of body weight daily has been shown to provide not only adequate protein to maximize muscular hypertrophy, but may also confer a metabolic advantage for athletes seeking to lose excess body fat but maintain muscle. A high power to weight ratio plays an important role for 100m, 200m, and 400m sprinters, where the maintenance of a high lean body mass to fat mass ratio is highly desirable.
To achieve your protein target, aim to consume between 5-7 small nutrient dense meals daily, which contain 20-25 grams of protein per serving. Research would suggest that 25 grams per serving is the level required to maximally stimulate muscle protein synthesis.
As part of one of your small meals, why not try a scoop of our Whey Protein which contains approximately 25 grams per serving.
The daily carbohydrate requirement for sprinters largely depends on the type, intensity, and length of a training session. Ensuring adequate muscle glycogen stores allows athletes to train at high intensities during training; whilst over consumption of carbohydrates may contribute to excess body fat stores. Current carbohydrate recommendations are in the region of 3-7g/kg/day when training for 1-2 hours daily.
Loading can consist of either 20 grams per day for four to five days followed by a maintenance dose of 2-3 grams per day, or a maintenance dose of 2-3 grams daily for approximately thirty days. Strategies to enhance creatine loading outcomes include co-ingestion with a substantial amount of carbohydrate (around 50-100 grams). To improve strength endurance and power, you may want to try 1-2 grams as a pre-workout supplement, twenty minutes before training. If your goal is to help facilitate muscle and size, take up to 5 grams daily immediately after training.
Post resistance training supplements
During the window immediately after resistance training, it is useful to supplement with 20-25 grams of protein. Both resistance training and protein consumption invoke muscle protein synthesis individually; however the greatest protein synthesis rates are noted when protein and resistance training are combined. For best results supplement 10 minutes before the end of your workout, so the protein has ample time to reach the muscle tissue immediately following training.
Whilst there is some debate as to whether carbohydrates are required to further accelerate protein absorption through stimulating an enhanced hyperinsulinemic response, there is no doubt that carbohydrates are beneficial in restoring intramuscular glycogen and liver stores. Glucose uptake has the greatest potential for absorption immediately following training, where an inability to restore carbohydrates during this critical time may compromise the quality of subsequent training sessions and immune function. Research indicates that a 1-2 hour resistance session depletes muscle glycogen stores by 25-40%.
Nature’s Best All in One is ideal for sprinters immediately post resistance training, or better still 10 minutes before finishing your training. This product provides not only 38 grams of high quality protein per 65g serving, but also 19 grams of fast acting maltodextrin carbohydrate to contribute towards replacing lost intramuscular glycogen stores. All in One also offers 6g of creatine monohydrate per serving to contribute to free creatine and phosphocreatine pools, 6g of BCAA to help facilitate muscle protein synthesis, and 6g of glutamine to contribute to immune support, growth hormone production, and nitrogen balance.
After training, take two scoops of All in One with 350 ml of water.
Creatine monohydrate is the most extensively studied form of creatine, shown to be effective at improving sprint and power performance. However, creatine supplements will only be useful for events lasting up to 30-40 seconds, as creatine monohydrate specifically contributes to intramuscular free creatine and phosphocreatine (PC) stores. In turn the PC molecule acts as a great phosphate donor for the fast energy yielding ATP-PC system (which can be depleted in 10-20 seconds).
The significance of the ATP-PC pathway is therefore huge in sprint performance, given this pathway provides the fastest way the body can generate energy, a pathway that is limited by PC muscle reserves.
As a pre-workout supplement to ensure adequate PC reserves, and for enhancing strength and power endurance, 2-3 grams of creatine monohydrate is ideal 20 minutes prior to sprint or weight training. Nature’s Best Sport Creatine tablets provide a quick and convenient 1g of creatine monohydrate per tablet.
After sprint or power training, the body is most susceptible to physiological improvements, including an increased capacity to develop PC reserves in muscle tissue. Based on this information we often recommend supplementing with 5 grams of Creatine Monohydrate (one heaped teaspoon) immediately after training.
Strategies to enhance creatine muscle absorption include co-ingestion with a substantial amount of carbohydrate (around 50-100 grams). For improved muscle uptake we suggest taking between one to two scoops of Energy Drink (45-90 grams maltodextrin carbohydrate) with 5 grams of Creatine Monohydrate Powder post-workout, and only one scoop of Energy Drink (45 grams) with 2 Creatine Tablets pre-workout.
Creatine loading strategies are often employed by athletes to ensure optimal creatine levels. There are two main research proven strategies:
A loading dose of 20g/day for 4-5 days followed by a maintenance dose of 2-3g/day thereafter.
A maintenance dose of 2-3 g/day for approximately 30 days.
Training hard can be taxing on your micronutrient status. Muscle protein synthesis, hormonal regulation, anaerobic enzymes, neuromuscular adaptations, all require adequate micronutrient levels.
The high physical stresses applied to the body can lower the immune response leaving you prone to illness. Vitamin C, zinc, and vitamin D are key nutrients required for a healthy immune system. A stressful job or high intensity training regime is likely to deplete B-vitamin levels. An inadequate diet may leave you short in antioxidants such as selenium and vitamin E, or you may even be lacking natural plant based antioxidants such as quercetin and green tea.
To ensure you have these precious micronutrients covered we have designed the ultimate sports multi-vitamin tailored with the athlete in mind. Multi-Guard® Sport should be taken twice daily, one tablet with breakfast and one with dinner.
Keri Filtness has worked in the Nutrition Industry for 19 years. She is regularly called upon for her professional comments on health and nutrition related news. Her opinions have been featured by BBC3, Prima, Vitality, The Mirror, Woman’s Own and Cycling Weekly, amongst others. She has also worked one to one with journalists, analysing their diets and health concerns and recommending changes and additions, where appropriate.