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Eating breakfast or not before your resistance training session?

Summary of a study looking at changes in protein breakdown markers for 8 hours after resistance training session in man who ate or skipped breakfast.

Who

13 healthy man aged 21.8 ± 1.1 years who did not do any resistance training for the last 6 weeks (Japan).

Design

Cross-over clinical trial

Eating breakfast

  • 4 days of meat-free diet
  • performing resistance training after having a breakfast
  • exercises: leg press, lat pulldown, leg curl, machine chest press, leg extension, biceps curl, shoulder press,trieps extension

Skipping breakfast

  • 4 days of meat-free diet
  • performing resistance training without having a breakfast
  • exercises: leg press, lat pulldown, leg curl, machine chest press, leg extension, biceps curl, shoulder press,trieps extension

Outcome measures

  • glucose, insulin, cortisol, free fatty acids from blood samples
  • creatine and 3-MH (3-methylhistidine) from urine samples
  • 3-MH/Cr (3-methylhistidine/creatinine ratio)
  • load lifted

Main results

Eating breakfast or not before your resistance training session

  • no difference in load lifted between eating and skipping breakfast
  • blood glucose levels did not differ between eating and skipping breakfast
  • insulin levels differed with the ones who eat breakfast were experiencing an insulin increase and peak before the resistance training session and the ones skipping breakfast did not.
  • free fatty acids levels similarly raised to peak at 1 hour, but the levels were higher in the ones skipping breakfast both before and after the resistance training
  • cortisol has risen from before to after the resistance training session but similarly both in the ones who eat and skipped breakfast
  • 3-MH/Cr was higher in the ones who skipped breakfast than in the ones who have eaten their breakfast
  • 3-MH/Cr in the ones who skipped breakfast increased to peak at 6 hours and was still elevated at 8 hours

Take home message

For a clinician
Eating breakfast before strength training has reduced protein breakdown markers for the following 8 hours in young males.
For a parent
Eating breakfast before strength training has reduced protein breakdown markers for the following 8 hours in young males.
For an athlete
Eating breakfast before strength training has reduced protein breakdown markers for the following 8 hours in young males.

Original article

Yasuda J, Gomi T, Kotemori A, Yokoyama Y, Yoshizaki T, Hida A, Tada Y, Katsumata Y, Kawano Y. Breakfast before resistance exercise lessens urinary markers of muscle protein breakdown in young men: A crossover trial. Nutrition. 2021 Mar 1;83:111088.

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