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Thursday, September 10, 2015

The Fittest Guide To Nutrient Timing


An enormous amount of people start their fitness journey with a lot of trial and error. From guessing and checking diet and nutrient plans, to choosing the right supplements to take. And over the years, I’ve noticed that many people who supplement often get confused about the best time to take certain supplements. Ultimately wasting time and money. To stop all the confusion, here is a quick guide that focuses on performance and muscle building and how to time your nutritional intake.
Women training on beach | The Fittest Blogger

In all honesty, I myself did fit in the category of not knowing when to eat or take certain supplements in the past. Especially when trying to put on some muscle.

I just did whatever the people in the gym did. I took protein after a workout and that was it. But low and behold, I was holding myself back from seeing optimal gains.
Several studies have shown that consuming adequate amounts of carbohydrates before, during, and after exercise may diminish the increased fatigue and increase performance.

What do should you take before, during, and after a workout?

There are literally hundreds of books, thousands of articles, and dozens of studies that answers this question. In order to make intelligent decisions, you must be willing to educate yourself often. Gains don’t happen magically (Unless you’re physically gifted).

Nutrient timing is accompanied with all the benefits gym goers seek to attain. Nutrient timing is;

  • Proven to improve muscle hypertrophy (Cribb & Hayes (2006). MSSE 38(11):1918-1925
  • Proven to improve muscular strength through greater increase of contractile protein, PCr (polymerase chain reaction), total creatine, muscle glycogen, and cross sectional area of IIa and IIx muscle fibers.
  • Proven to increase endurance through strenuous workouts.

So below are some of the best facts I can give you from researching and trying to educate myself.

Pre-Exercise (< 60 minutes before working out)

Man drinking pre workout | The Fittest Blogger
Photo : kxyorkville.com
  • For energy and performance : Ingest approximately .15-.25 grams protein/kg (roughly .068-.011 grams of protein/lb.) In addition, a serving of creatine and ~20 grams of BCAAs. And 35% of your total daily carbohydrates in a meal 1.5 to 2 hours before your workout, This will allow the carbs adequate time to be digested.
  • For physiological performance support : Ingest B-alanine, Antioxidants (preferably from food), B-Vitamins, carnitine, omega 3 fatty acids.
  • For mental and cognitive impact : Caffeine (low-to-moderate dosages (~3-6 mg/kg)) and taurine.
Ingesting protein and carbohydrates pre-exercise has been shown to produce significantly greater levels of muscle protein synthesis. And regular ingestion of various protein sources in combination with carbohydrates stimulates greater increases in strength and positively impacts body composition when compared to carbohydrates alone.

Exercises  (During workout)
Women training | The Fittest Blogger

  • For energy and performance : Carbs (30 – 60 grams of carbohydrates per hour), a serving of BCAAs (powder or pill), Medium chain triglycerides (energy source that isn’t needed but may help) and whey protein approximately ~30 - 40 grams during session for men and ~20-35 for women. Proetin intake is dependent on your size, sex, and total protein intake on the day.
  • For physiological performance : B-vitamins, Antioxidants, Carnitine, and water & electrolyte replacement.
  • For mental and cognitive performance : Caffeine.
Protein and carbohydrate ratios can be taken at a ratio of 3 – 4:1 (Carbs:Protein) which has been shown to increase endurance performance during both light exercise and demanding sessions of endurance exercise.

If you’re looking to lose weight, you should create a plan that focuses eating most of your simple and complex carbohydrates around your workout.

Post Exercise (30-60 mins after workout)
Usain Bolt layed out | The Fittest Blogger

  • For muscle protein support : 25- 50 gram of Whey protein (once again, depending on your size, sex, and total protein intake on the day), carbs (8 – 10 gram CHO/kg or 3-4 gram/lb. of total weight), BCAA, essential amino acids(valine, leucine, isoleucine, tryptophan, etc. much of your essential amino acids can be found in whey protein and BCAA supplements), Carbs, Creatine((0.6-1 gram Creatine/kg/day or .3-.5 gram/lb./day).
  • For muscle repair/recovery : B-vitamins and antioxidants.
  • For physiological performance : Re-hydration with water or electrolyte replacement.

Sport drink have become staple for sports teams for a reason. They are an important carbohydrate source late in the game. In addition, adding Creatine (0.6-0.1 gram Creatine/kg/day or .3-.5 gram/lb./day) post workout with carbohydrate and protein supplementing may enable even greater results to resistance training.

If trying to put on a lot of weight, casein protein which is slow releasing should be taken at night before you go to bed.

Or you can be old fashion and have eat a Peanut butter and Jelly sandwich with a glass of whole milk before bed. But chances are you will be adding some unwanted calories and fat into your system with the second PB & J option.

To help you with timing for post workout nutrient timing. Think about it this way. Eat and drink before the sweat on your skin dries up. You will no doubt see the change in your performance and strength.

Food first then supplement

A few final thoughts on nutrient timing. Yes I threw out a lot of numbers in this post. And you may be wondering how one can consume all these supplements.

It’s going to take you some trial and error to figure out what works for you. But what is most essential is that you try to get all your nutrition from whole foods.

The body is more capable of absorbing the nutrients it yearns from whole foods. Supplements such as protein shake for example will not be entirely absorbed into the body. Many protein supplements on today’s market are made with fillers and denatured protein that the body will just expel.

You should always create your diet plans with the mentality of whole unprocessed food FIRST, supplements SECOND.

With this new found or freshly reminded information, I wish you all the luck in the world on your Fitness journey. Happy lifting! #theFittest.

Did I miss anything in today's article? Do you have any additional questions? Comment below and don't forget to please like and share this week's post.


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