Post-training carbs help keep you healthy

You work hard to build muscle – lots of it. But with hard work comes the risk of getting sick and an increased vulnerability to infections of opportunity, such as upper respiratory tract and ear infections. However, consuming a carbohydrate drink after your workout is a great way to help offset the hard effects of training on the immune system.

A new study by researchers from the University of South Carolina tested the effects of two specific carbohydrate types on markers of immune system strength. They found that glucose and oat beta-glucan reduced susceptibility to infection following stressful exercise.


Exercise can make you sick, but carbs can fix what ails you. The key is to use the right kinds. Although sucrose and other refined sugars are used in sports drinks, the research shows that a solution of 50 percent oat beta-glucan and 6 percent sucrose is highly effective not only as a post-exercise carbohydrate source but also in strengthening your immune system. And this means you can train harder and longer without getting sick.


Murphy EA, Davis JM, Carmichael MD, et al. Benefits of oat β-glucan and sucrose feedings on infection and macrophage antiviral resistance following exercise stress. Am J Physiol Regul Integr Comp Physiol. 2009 Aug 19;297:R1188-R1194.

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