Hey Guys! Happy Sunday! I just got done teaching a great group of instructors who are on their way to becoming certified to teach Pilates! Teaching really inspires me to be introspective and curious. I am all about self improvement and I have been on a quest lately to learn as much about fitness and nutrition as possible. I am currently reading the book “Nutrient Timing” by John Ivy and it has taught me a lot about how you can time your nutrition to improve the results you get from athletic training. For me, this means building more muscle.
I seriously used to doubt the theory of nutrient timing until I started looking more at the research. Before, I thought that there was no way your muscles could ‘know what time it was.’ I also believed that taking in more calories than you burned after exercise was just counterproductive. Although I still believe that most of the population needs to watch calorie intake after a workout, I now believe that nutrient timing can be used intelligently to enhance results by taking advantage of the body’s natural muscle building processes.
I’ll be honest, although I did change up a few things at the same time, I started noticing the most dramatic results when I started lifting heavy and added in a post workout shake. Its not so much that your muscles know what time it is, it is more that strenuous physical activity has an effect on your hormones which in turn have an effect on nutrient processing and storage. Once I understood this, the theory of Nutrient timing made a lot of sense to me.
There are two types of hormones involved in these processes: catabolic hormones and anabolic hormones. Catabolic hormones, like cortisol, break down nutrients including those stored in the body as fat, glycogen and muscle. Anabolic hormones, like insulin and testosterone, help shuttle nutrients into cells to aid in muscle growth.
During exercise, the catabolic hormones increase in order to process nutrients for energy. Your goal after exercise is to fuel your body with anabolic hormone promoting foods to increase muscle growth.
This means its actually a good thing to eat simple carbs after a workout because they help spike insulin levels and thus help solicit an anabolic response. Its also a good idea to eat Amino acids after a workout so that the body can easily replace any amino acid stores that were broken down during the catabolic process. You want to avoid eating fats because that slows down the process and can also potentially get stored.
How did I put this in action? My coach had me drinking a whey shake after my workout and eating gummy bears with it! The book recommends incorporating some vitamins and additional amino acids in with the shake too. It also gives details on how to eat before your workout and throughout the day to maximize your results.
Overall I found the information really thorough and interesting. However, it was really hard to change the paradigm that you only need protein post workout and that simple sugars are bad. I think a lot of women believe that, and it was interesting to get a different perspective with real scientific data backing it up. Although I do not follow the author’s suggestions exactly, I am happy to have the knowledge in my training arsenal. As I already mentioned, I have seen good gains from adding in this type of shake into my regimen.
Have you ever tried a post workout shake? Did you notice results?