Time to Eat!
Posted by Connie K on
These days, with all the hustle and bustle of modern life, people keep complaining about time. There's either not enough of it, or it's being wasted, or we're all trying to make it. Time plays an important role in our fitness goals as well, and is something most people either gloss over, or don't think about at all. Ignoring time and timing on your workout regiment could mean you're not making progress like you should be. So what am I talking about, and how can you maximize the timing of your day to enhance your fit-goals? Come over here, and read on! First a bit of science to explain what's going on. Our body uses energy in sort of a priority system. Certain types of carbohydrates (simple sugars) are used rapidly (to demonstrate this, give a 4 year old a cup of sugar, and observe the results), certain carbs are more slow digesting (potatoes, grains, etc). Diabetics know this, and should be very familiar with the glycemic index to ensure that their blood sugar levels remain stable. When we exercise, our bodies are using up energy, usually using what we've consumed so far in the day. Our muscles, as they work, become glycogen depleted, and the body enters pretty much a pure catabolic state - a good place to be to lose fat, but you'll also eventually lose muscle, and all that cool stuff that makes you look good out on the beach. In fitness, we can use this to our advantage. As I said, after exercise, our bodies are in a catabolic mode - that is to say a state of breaking down. Whether it's muscle during a heavy lifting session, or good old fat during an intense cardio workout, we can use nutrient timing to supply our bodies with what they need to repair themselves after a workout session. We have to turn the switch from catabolism to anabolism - the easiest way of doing this is to get the body to produce insulin. There's many benefits that come with this process, but what we're interested in most in this situation is utilizing the insulin as a delivery system to shuttle nutrients to the glycogen depleted muscles, and start anabolism. The easiest way of doing this is to consume something rather sugary just after you've completed your workout. Most post-workout drinks contain fast digesting carbs for exactly this reason. It's also important to consume some protein so your body has something to shuttle to the damaged muscles. You'll basically want to consume anything you want to use to repair your body while you have this insulin window open. I usually take some protein, some Creature powder, BCAA's, and a multivitamin during this time. Whatever you take, your body will use.To complement this style of feeding, you would want to keep your blood-sugar levels stable throughout the day. Most fitness experts will tell you to try to eat every 3-4 hours during the day for exactly this reason. By eating this frequently, you're never putting your body into a starvation mode, and you're keeping your blood-sugar levels even. You'll find that you don't tire mid-day, and your energy levels will remain high through the day. Wayne is a former “IT” guy who decided to take his love for fitness and turn it into a new career. Now a personal trainer by trade, Wayne spends his spare time hitting the weights and learning all he can about bodybuilding and nutrition. He stays true to his IT roots by staying active on Twitter and several online games.