The “Alanine/Proline-Containing Carbohydrate Mixture” supports the use of energy from carbohydrates and maintains endurance
1. Supplementation with carbohydrates during exercise can maintain performance!
When you are losing your concentration while studying or at work, or when you lose your stamina while exercising, you want something sweet, right? Even in normal life, you can see that carbohydrates are an important source of energy.
When engaged in sports, carbohydrates are one of the important nutrients used for energy. In endurance sports such as marathons, supplementation with carbohydrates at the right time can maintain blood glucose levels (which indicate the amount of carbohydrates in the blood) and maintain good performance (Fig. 1). Sportspersons need to consume enough food during three meals including breakfast, lunch, and dinner, to store enough carbohydrates in the body required for exercise.
2. The amount of glycogen in the body is the key to maintaining sports performance right to the end
Knowing how carbohydrates are used in the body can help you understand the importance of carbohydrates when playing sports.
As shown in Figure 2, carbohydrates obtained from the diet are stored in the muscles and liver as glycogen. Muscles use glycogen as an energy source. In contrast, in the liver, they can be converted into glucose when needed to maintain blood glucose levels. It is very important for people who play sports to consume the necessary amount of carbohydrates to maintain their blood glucose as low blood glucose levels can lead to a lack of stamina and fatigue.
However, the amount of glycogen that can be stored in the body is limited. After prolonged periods of intense exercise, glycogen can be completely consumed. This leads to a lack of energy sources in the body, which makes it impossible to produce enough energy. This is one of the causes of a lack of stamina and fatigue occurring in the late stages of endurance sports. In other words, if glycogen can be stored in large quantities in the body, a sportsperson will be able to perform well right until the end.
3. Can ‘Alanine’ and ‘Proline’ convert carbohydrates into glycogen in the body?
Ajinomoto focused on the amino acids “alanine” and “proline”. Scientific studies have reported that “alanine” and “proline” enhance glycogen production from carbohydrates. (Fig. 3)
By combining the functions of alanine and proline with carbohydrates, we aimed to enable the production of more glycogen from carbohydrates and to maintain blood glucose levels during exercise with the gradual supply of glucose from this glycogen.
4. The use of alanine/proline-containing carbohydrate mixture before and during exercise helps to maintain performance during late stages!
We examined the mechanism by which the use of the alanine/ proline-containing carbohydrate mixture before and during exercise alters performance (Fig. 4).
Prior to and during the half-time break of a soccer game, male college students consumed the alanine /proline-containing carbohydrate mixture. In the late stages of the game (second-half with time at 30 min) they performed 20-meter shuttle runs to measure how far they could run (called the Yo-Yo test, commonly used as a measure of endurance).
The group consuming alanine & proline carbohydrate mixture was able to run about 110 meters longer during the period assumed to be the late stage of the game. The alanine/proline-containing carbohydrate mixture allowed the athletes to maintain their performance for longer duration.
5. Alanine/proline-containing carbohydrate mixture helps maintain performance in endurance sports
It is important for sportspersons to obtain carbohydrates for energy from the three meals including breakfast, lunch, and dinner, as well as to supplement their carbohydrates from extra meals. Successfully obtaining carbohydrates, which are used as an energy source for the body, is important for maintaining optimum performance.
The amino acids ‘alanine’ and ‘proline’ support the storage of carbohydrates as glycogen in the body. In endurance sports, we know that the alanine/proline-containing carbohydrate mixture maintains performance for a longer duration. The alanine/proline-containing carbohydrate mixture helps effective use of carbohydrate energy to achieve the desired performance.