Scientists discover that men and women are kind of different sometimes.
New York Times June 30, 2010, 12:01 am
Phys Ed: What Exercise Science Doesn’t Know About WomenBy GRETCHEN REYNOLDS Several years ago, Dr. David Rowlands, a senior lecturer with the Institute of Food, Nutrition and Human Health at Massey University in New Zealand, set out to study the role of protein in recovery from hard exercise. He asked a group of male cyclists to ride intensely until their legs were aching and virtually all of their stored muscle fuel had been depleted. The cyclists then consumed bars and drinks that contained either mostly carbohydrates or both carbohydrates and protein. Then, over the next few days, they completed two sessions of hard intervals. One took place the following morning; the next, two days later. Dr. Rowlands found that the cyclists showed little benefit during the first interval session. But during the second, the men who ingested protein had an overall performance gain of more than 4 percent, compared with the men who took only carbohydrates, “which is huge, in competitive terms,” Dr. Rowlands says. Other researchers’ earlier studies produced similar results. Protein seems to aid in the uptake of carbohydrates from the blood; muscles pack in more fuel after exercise if those calories are accompanied by protein. The protein is also thought to aid in the repair of muscle damage after hard exercise. Dr. Rowlands’s work, which was published in 2008, was right in line with conventional wisdom.
Not so his latest follow-up study, which was published online in May in the journal Medicine and Science in Sport and Exercise and should raise eyebrows, especially lightly plucked ones. After his original work was completed, Dr. Rowlands says, “we received inquiries from female cyclists,” asking to be part of any further research. So, almost as an afterthought, Dr. Rowlands and his colleagues repeated the entire experiment with experienced female riders.
This time, though, the results were quite different. read full story at NY Times.