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Breakfast Omission Reduces Subsequent Resistance Exercise Performance

Bin Naharudin, Mohamed Nashrudin1,2; Yusof, Ashril2; Shaw, Harry1; Stockton, Matthew1; Clayton, David J.3; James, Lewis J.1

The Journal of Strength & Conditioning Research: July 2019 - Volume 33 - Issue 7 - p 1766–1772
doi: 10.1519/JSC.0000000000003054
Original Research
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Bin Naharudin, MN, Yusof, A, Shaw, H, Stockton, M, Clayton, DJ, and James, LJ. Breakfast omission reduces subsequent resistance exercise performance. J Strength Cond Res 33(7): 1766–1772, 2019—Although much research has examined the influence of morning carbohydrate intake (i.e., breakfast) on endurance performance, little is known about its effects on performance in resistance-type exercise. Sixteen resistance-trained men (age 23 ± 4 years, body mass 77.56 ± 7.13 kg, and height 1.75 ± 0.04 m) who regularly (≥3 day/wk−1) consumed breakfast completed this study. After assessment of 10 repetition maximum (10RM) and familiarization process, subjects completed 2 randomized trials. After an overnight fast, subjects consumed either a typical breakfast meal (containing 1.5 g of carbohydrate/kg; breakfast consumption [BC]) or a water-only breakfast (breakfast omission [BO]). Two hours later, subjects performed 4 sets to failure of back squat and bench press at 90% of their 10RM. Sensations of hunger, fullness, desire to eat, and prospective food consumption were collected before, as well as immediately, 1 hour and 2 hours after BC/BO using 100-mm visual analogue scales. Total repetitions completed were lower during BO for both back squat (BO: 58 ± 11 repetitions; BC: 68 ± 14 repetitions; effect size [ES] = 0.98; p < 0.001) and bench press (BO: 38 ± 5 repetitions; BC: 40 ± 5 repetitions; ES = 1.06; p < 0.001). Fullness was greater, whereas hunger, desire to eat, and prospective food consumption were lower after a meal for BC compared with BO (p < 0.001). The results of this study demonstrate that omission of a pre-exercise breakfast might impair resistance exercise performance in habitual breakfast consumers. Therefore, consumption of a high-carbohydrate meal before resistance exercise might be a prudent strategy to help maximize performance.

1National Center of Sport and Exercise Medicine, School of Sport Exercise and Health Science, Loughborough University, Leicester, United Kingdom;

2Sport Center, University Malaya, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia; and

3School of Science and Technology, Nottingham Trent University, Nottingham, United Kingdom

Address correspondence to Lewis J. James, L.James@lboro.ac.uk.

Copyright © 2019 by the National Strength & Conditioning Association.