The sun is finally starting to shine through (here in Michigan), and summer is finally here! The lack of vitamin D during the colder months may have reduced your ambitions to stay on your workout program and shot your ability to reduce your food cravings. Well now is the time to get back after it before summer comes. In order to shed body fat while maintaining and even build muscle, you need to have a […]
In my new E-book, The Grinnell Lifestle: My Nutritional Doctrine, I explain why workout nutrition is so important. So I wanted to give you an idea of what you should be doing.
When starting a workout program, most of us have 3 primary goals
▪ Minimize body fat
▪ Increase lean muscle tissue
▪ Improve performance (in exercise and daily life)
If you are concerned with maximizing your workout efforts and getting the fastest results, you need to take your workout nutrition seriously. Effective workouts demand complete nutrition, and these simple guidelines I am going to talk about will help you make the right choices to refuel your body for better results. Recovery Time Is Critical.
Which nutrients you consume, or don’t consume around your workout time can affect your results. What you eat throughout the whole day will ultimately determine your results. However, proper nutrient timing can accelerate your results.
Recovery time should be thought of as a window of opportunity. Before, during, and after a workout, your body has the ability to optimize hormones, increase glycogen replenishment, and repair muscle tissue by ingesting amino acids. Muscle protein synthesis occurs, setting off muscle tissue recovery and repair, replacing fluids, and helping the body adapt to the stresses of the workout.
What and how much you consume before, during, and after your workouts will depend on your goals and type of workout.
I am going outline what workout “window” nutrition is, why it’s important, and a chart (in the book) explaining when and what you need to eat to optimize your performance and physique goals.
What Exercise “Window ” Nutrition Is and Why You Need To Do It
What you consume before, during and after your workout can be important. The intensity of your workout, or lack thereof will determine your specific needs for workout nutrition. By consuming certain ratios of nutrients before, during, and after your workout, you improve your recovery, body composition, and performance.
There have been many studies that have looked at everything from the composition of carbohydrates, to exact amino acid compositions. There continues to be studies that conclude there is a need to take advantage of this “window” of opportunity, also known as the “anabolic window” for everyone from the elite athlete to the recreational exercise enthusiast.
There are 3 different goals we are looking to accomplish when taking advantage of this “window.”
▪ Replenish glycogen to bring back energy storage;
▪ Decrease protein breakdown to help minimize damage caused during the workout;
▪ Increase protein synthesis to increase muscle size and muscle quality
Below are some of the major benefits of taking advantage of the workout nutrition “window.”
▪ Reduced muscle soreness
▪ Improved ability to build lean muscle tissue
▪ Improve immune function from improved recovery
▪ Increased bone mass
▪ Improved ability to use body fat
▪ Optimized levels of insulin and growth hormone
The Importance of Workout Nutrition
When we workout, our body breaks down muscle tissue. Fuel from our food is needed for this process to occur. This is the start of the physique and performance process. But in order for this to occur, we need to help our body repair when this happens.
Repair and rebuilding occurs through the breakdown of damaged proteins (protein breakdown) and the reconstruction of new proteins (protein synthesis). During exercise protein synthesis is increased slightly after a resistance workout, while protein breakdown increases dramatically. We basically breakdown more than we build up. Another reason why workout nutrition is important. We need to maximize building as much as we can.
In order for muscle hypertrophy to occur (building of muscle), we need to have a positive protein balance. We want to make sure that we have enough raw material available for protein synthesis to occur, so it doesn’t fall far behind protein breakdown.
Studies have shown that when the proper amounts of nutrients are consumed before, during, and after a workout, protein synthesis is stimulated and protein breakdown is suppressed.
Keep in mind that we need both proteins and carbohydrates during this time for optimal muscle building. We will touch on how you should consume fewer carbohydrates during this time, if your main goal is fat loss. Again, timing will be the key.
Your body needs to have these raw materials available in order for our bodies to rebuild and recover. Having these materials around (amino acids and carbs) can signal our bodies that it’s time to rebuild.
Don’t Forget That It’s A “Window of Opportunity”
During this window, your muscles are primed to accept nutrients that can stimulate muscle repair, muscle growth, and muscle strength. This window opens immediately after your workout and starts to close pretty fast. Research suggest that while protein synthesis persists for at least 48 hours after exercise, it’s most important to get post workout nutrition immediately, and within 2 hours afterward.
You can also increase your benefits by having nutrients available before and during a workout. If you feed your body during this window, you’ll get the benefits.
If you don’t take advantage of the “anabolic window” fast enough, you decrease muscle glycogen storage and protein synthesis.
With all of the astounding research that pre- and post-workout nutrition can help us reach these goals. When workout nutrition is taken seriously, you can take advantage of stimulatory affects of growth hormone, testosterone, insulin, increased protein synthesis, and replenish glycogen storage better than any other time of the day.
To learn more about workout nutrition, you can purchase my new E-book by clicking here.