Is it time to work out? Wonder if you are supposed to eat something first or exercise on an empty stomach? It can get confusing with all the differing nutritional advice you see on TV, at the gym or those supposed health magazines. Plus, anyone that has ever watched a Dr. Oz show is suddenly an expert on health and nutrition ready to counsel you with eating this elusive-super-berry that will solve all health woes. Discussing nutrition is always controversial too. Polarizing nutritional viewpoints can split a room as quickly as wearing a fur coat to a PETA convention. Whether we agree on the specific foods, we all agree that workouts need to be properly nourished.
Whether you are a martial artist, fitness enthusiast or just want to shed some holiday L-B-S, we all share common exercise goals. We want to improve our physical prowess while increasing our anabolic processes (promoting muscular growth) and decreasing any potential catabolic processes (muscular atrophy). Maintaining your lean body mass is critically important in health and weight loss. It’s precisely that part of the body that burns the majority of calories throughout the day while at rest.
Nutrient timing is a concept of eating the right thing at the right time to dramatically increase the likelihood of achieving fitness objectives. “Nutrient Timing” has become extremely popular due to the advancing sciences and partly due to the work of Ivy and Portman in their aptly titled book Nutrition Timing: The future of Sports Nutrition. Which by the way, I have not read. That does not matter, as I slept in a Holiday Inn Express in my recent past and I have access to the internet-therefore I am all-knowing. Back to nutrient timing … there are three distinct phases:
The Three Nutrient Timing Phases
1) Energy Phase (just before and during workout)
2) Anabolic Phase (post 45 minutes of workout)
3) Growth Phase (remainder of the day)
Today, we discuss the first part-Energy Phase. The goals with the energy phase are to increase nutrient (primarily carbohydrate and some protein) delivery to muscles, spare glycogen and protein loss, limit immune system suppression, minimize muscle damage and prepare nutritionally for a faster recovery. Before running into GNC and asking them for a Energy Phase pre-workout drink and trying to interpret that dumb stare you get back, it’s best to use real food as your ultimate supplement store. As any store-bought concoctions are going to be filled with needless chemicals, preservatives, synthetic vitamins and additives. Also, avoid any foods that are potential intestinal distress-ors such as gluten, carrageenan or beverages containing HFCS (high fructose corn syrup). Nothing kills a workout faster then cleaning up vomit on those pretty blue matts.
PRE-WORKOUT NUTRITION IDEAS
Glass of chocolate milk
Greek yogurt with raw honey or fruit
Orange juice with an egg cooked in coconut oil or low fat cheese
High quality protein shake with fruit juice
Non-fat cottage cheese with OJ or fruit
Notice all suggestions contain a heavy carb-light protein mix. This meal should contain a 4:1 ratio of carbohydrate to protein and should ideally contain approximately 6 grams of protein and 24 grams of carbohydrate. Ultimately, we want to reduce un-due stress on the body by providing an adequate energy substrate and not solely fueling your workouts on stress hormones. I have personally witnessed a student passing out in a class due to improper nutrition. If you fail to plan then you plan to fail! Finding the time and effort to workout isn’t easy so plan your pre-workout nutrition to get the most out of your workouts and your body!
For additional information on reducing stress from a nutritional aspect research the work of someone that has personally changed just about everything I believed about nutrition, Dr. Ray Peat*. And lastly if you want to learn more about Nutrient timing, there is this thing called Google…
*Much of own personal nutritional philosophy is based in the revolutionary work of Dr. Ray Peat.(www.raypeat.com)
For more information also see also www.functionalperformancesystems.com
For the science minded the work of Ivy and Portman are summed up nicely by Ashley Chambers, M.S. and Len Kravitz, Ph.D :(http://www.unm.edu/~lkravitz/Article%20folder/nutrientUNM.html)
(Posted on behalf of Warrior Fit Instructor, Sensei Kian)