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    Nutritional Priming Impacts Performance

    By nutritionally priming a dog for performance, you can help boost his athleticism. Nutritional priming can involve both the daily food to support an active metabolism and giving pre-exercise nutrients to help reduce protein breakdown and oxidative stress. “Feeding a high-protein/high-fat performance food on a daily basis is optimal for hardworking dogs because it metabolically primes them to use these fuels for exercise,” says Purina Research Nutritionist Brian Zanghi, PhD.

    The harder sporting dogs work, the greater their fat and protein metabolism. Fat is the preferred source of energy during exercise. A high-fat diet increases the number of mitochondria in muscle cells, which promotes burning fat for energy. Protein helps to support strong muscles and maintain the body-protein balance during hard work when exercise activates protein breakdown.

    Ideally, hardworking dogs should be fed a performance food that provides from 28 to 30 percent protein and from 18 to 20 percent fat to sustain their energy demand, Zanghi says. Purina Pro Plan SPORT Performance 30/20 Formula, which contains a minimum of 30-percent protein and 20-percent fat,for example.

    Zanghi advises feeding a performance food year-round. “Switching to a maintenance diet in the off-season is like metabolically detraining your dogs,” he says. “Maintenance foods deliver higher levels of carbohydrates, which decrease the metabolic capacity to use fats, and ultimately result in reduced endurance. It’s best to reduce the portion fed in the off-season and monitor body condition to keep a dog healthy and fit.”

    The Purina Pro Plan SPORT formulas, sold exclusively at pet specialty and farm supply stores including Tractor Supply Co, are specially formulated to provide optimal nutritional priming for your canine athletes. For more information, visit proplan.com/dogs/platforms/sport, or to talk with a pet nutrition consultant, call 800-PRO-PLAN (800-776-7526) from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. CDT Monday through Friday.

    “Switching to a maintenance diet in the off-season is like metabolically detraining your dog. A sporting dog should be fed a performance food year-round.” – Purina Research Nutritionist Brian Zanghi, PhD

    Learn more about Purina Pro Plan SPORT formula for hardworking canines.