Monday, June 25, 2012

How Important is Post Exercise Nutrition?

If you're looking to get the greatest return on your time, and effort spent in the gym, you will take your post exercise nutrition seriously! Along with breakfast, what you consume and how soon after your workout you consume it is critical.

Exercise, both strength and endurance training have numerous benefits. However, exercise can put significant stress on your body causing muscle soreness, the need for more sleep, increased appetite etc. These symptoms are letting you know your body is in need of replenishment. Assuming your rest and nutrition are on point, repeated bouts of exercise & recovery will lead to increased muscle fiber size and strength. This process is known as "remodeling".

"Remodeling" your body is a lot like remodeling a house. You can have a great blueprint, and spend a lot of time gutting the property and cleaning up, but if you don't have the materials available to put up new walls, roof, floors etc. you'll be left with nothing more than a gutted house.

Exercise uses up carbohydrate (glycogen), and protein is needed to repair& amp; rebuild muscle tissue. Without quality carbohydrates & proteins available the remodeling process will be minimized, and our ability to reach our physical potential will be greatly reduced!

In Regards to Carbohydrate: Research has shown that a carbohydrate intake of 0.8 to 1.2 grams per 1 kilogram of body weight immediately post workout maximizes glycogen synthesis and accelerates protein repair. However, unless you've had a very long, intense workout, 1.2g/kg may be a bit excessive as excess carbohydrate can be converted to bodyfat. Therefore I recommend 0.8g of carbohydrate per 1 kilogram of body weight for speeding up muscle carbohydrate replenishment while preventing excess fat gain (van Loon et al 2000a).

In Regards to Protein: Researchers have used anywhere from 0.2g - 0.4g of protein per 1 kilogram of body weight to demonstrate the effectiveness of adding protein to a post-workout carbohydrate drink (van Loon et al 2000b, Roy et al 1998). As an increased consumption of the essential amino acids may lead to a more positive protein balance, 0.4g/kg may be better than 0.2g/kg.

In Regards to Fat: Although essential fats are often overlooked as a being an important part of a healthy diet, post workout is one instance when fat should be avoided. Consuming fat as part of a post workout drink/meal will slow the absorption of nutrients, and the minutes following the completion of your workout is a time when how quickly you can provide your muscles the carbohydrate & protein they need is critical!

Post workout muscles are primed for nutrient uptake. This period is often called "the window of opportunity". Research has shown that consuming a post-exercise meal immediately after working out is superior to consuming one only 1 hour later. In addition, consuming one 1 hour later is superior to consuming one 3 hours later (Tipton et al 2001, Levenhagen et al 2001). If you wait too long, glycogen replenishment and protein repair will be compromised.

Typically whole food is superior to supplements. This is not the case post workout. A post workout drink that combines both carbohydrate and protein will be able to be digested and absorbed much quicker. This will help take advantage of the "window of opportunity" mentioned earlier.

The ideal proteins to use in a post workout drink are whey hydrolysates and isolates, and carbohydrates dextrose and maltodextrin.

In a nustshell, the quality and timing of your post workout nutrition will maximize your time spent in the gym, and greatly improve the opportunity for you to reach your health & fitness goals!

I hope you find this information useful, but the information provided is only as good as the person who puts it use.

Happy Training!

Scott Fleurant
Owner: Impact Fitness Center
ACE Certified Personal Trainer

Sunday, June 17, 2012

"Project Resurrection" My Return to The Bodybuilding Stage ~ Installment 2

Today marks the completion of 10 full weeks of Project Resurrection. I've had improvements in both strength, and body composition. On April 16th 2012, my starting weight was 229lbs, and starting body fat percentage was an all time worst 20.4%. As of June 17th my weight is at 225.2, and my body fat % is a more tolerable 17.1%.

I've been focusing on workout much work can I get done in a unit of time. This work includes soft tissue work, warm-up, mobility, and the actual workout. I've also put more of an effort into my recovery by getting more sleep......getting to bed earlier at night, and getting in a few naps a week. I've combined this with more of a periodization approach to my training. For years I've always gone as hard & heavy as I could in every workout, and gravitated to exercises that I like best. Now that I'm 42, that doesn't work so well anymore. I'm using percentages on my core lifts (squats, deadlifts, bench press & overhead press), using a de-load week every 4th or 5th week, designing programs that don't last more than 4 to 5 weeks (this includes the de-load week), and spending more time in my warm-up. I'm also planning on taking (2) full weeks off a year from training which is something I've never done before. This has made a big improvement in how my joints/muscles feel. I don't feel so beat down, and tired. I'm more excited about my workouts, and I'm flat out stronger! Training needs to be hard, but to maximize the time & effort invested some thought should be put into your programming.

As is the norm with me, improvements to my training has been much easier than improvements in my nutrition. I'm in the cycle of doing enough damage on the weekends to ruin all the good eating habits during the week. I actually like eating healthy, so I can't quite pin point why weekends are so difficult, but with some simple planning, and a little will power, it can be fixed! This journey wasn't going to be without speed bumps, but if I'm going to get back on stage I will need to get rid of the self inflicted speed bumps!

Scott Fleurant
Owner/Fitness Director: Impact Fitness Center
ACE Certified Personal Trainer