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Energy Storage: What are substrates?

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Today, as I timed my players for stealing 2nd base, they noticed their times did not get faster, even when they took bigger leads; in fact they were slower.  Here's why:
Skeletal muscle is only powered by one compound, ATP (adenosine triphospate).  The body only stores a small amount of this energy within its cells and its only just enough power for a few seconds of all-out exercise.  Therefore the body must be trained to replace or resynthesize ATP on an ongoing basis.

Athletes who do not train religiously will not increase their capacity to store substrates.  Therefore, my athletes today found themselves tired and slower after only one sprint.  Needless to say, they are now aware of their weaknesses and maybe we will see less time in front of the Xbox.

"Substrates" are forms of energy that the body uses for ATP production (fuel).  They are:

Creatine Phosphate:  Creatine exists only in limited concentrations within the body.  Over the counter supplements are available, and precautions must take place before using creatine as a workout or performance supplement.

Fat: Although fat can be found everywhere in the body, the process to burn fat into energy is too slow for very quick intense activity. Dietary fat right before exercise can slow you down, so keep them to a minimum pre and post-workout/competition.  Some examples of fats include butter, avocados, fatty cuts of meat, greasy, fried foods, cheese.

Carbohydrate: Carbs are the primary fuel source of activity as they are quickly converted into glycogen by the liver and enter into the bloodstream immediately. Bread, potatoes, cereal, rice, pasta,fruit, veggies contain carbohydrates.

Protein:  Protein also must be broken down before being used as a source of energy, and therefore a slower energy source than carbohydrates, though faster than fat.  Proteins include chicken, beef, fish, eggs, yogurt, milk and whey protein.

Substrate storage and replenishment requires increasing the number of arterioles that serve the associated muscle fibers.  Progressive intense athletic exercise will train the body to increase their substrate storage capacity, being able to both replace and resynthesize substrates for ATP.

Coach Corral's recommendation:  Only daily exercise can help increase the capacity for substrate storage.  Introducing fuels before, during and after competition can provide short term energy.  Our players will be doing sprints daily, and at least 4x a week during practices, games and workouts.

Example: Aim for meals rich in both protein and carbohydrates before and after games and practices. Some easy meal ideas are egg whites and oatmeal with fruit, french toast made with whole grain bread and egg whites,  fruit and yogurt, Turkey or Chicken Sandwich on sprouted or whole grain bread, whole-grain pasta with tomato sauce, veggies and lean beef or turkey, chicken, rice, and veggie bowl, or soft tacos. Whey Protein shakes work well here, but watch the chemical additives and try to buy only clean products.

Last Updated ( Thursday, March 08 2012 12:30 )