Optimize Your Goals with the Timing of Your Nutrition
I was always told that it is 80% nutrition and 20% training. As vague as that statement is, I thought I knew EXACTLY what that meant and it went a little like this in my head, "You have to eat clean 80% of the time and the other 20% it doesn't matter". Can someone please put some perspective on what this even means??? To round this out, I didn't truly know what this even meant and that's what got me thinking - does anyone? How can people optimize their fitness goals if they aren't even aware of how crucial their food is and the timing of it? The answer to that is pretty simple: they will still make progress, but not nearly the same IF they were taking full advantage of their nutrition.
How often do you eat? What if I told you that you should be eating every 2-4 hours? You would probably think I am crazy. I might be, but not on this!! Your metabolism is responsible for breaking down the fuel you provide it for the body to use as energy to carry on. When you are consistently feeding your body, your metabolism stays in high gear because there is no "food insecurity". But, when you are not feeding your body consistently (and under-eating), your metabolism slows down. It won't work as efficiently as it attempts to adjust to what it is being given.
Carbs are NOT the enemy. Read that again. Carbs are actually your very best friend when it comes to maximizing your results in the gym. They give you the energy you need to have a great lift and then, play a big role in your recovery as well. How do you take advantage of this? You surround a large portion of your daily carbs around your lift. This will help prevent depletion of the glycogen stores, increase muscular endurance, and stimulate muscle repair. To break this down: your body stores carbohydrates (glucose) as glycogen in the muscle cells. When you need glucose (like when you are lifting), your body will breakdown glycogen into glucose to be easily used as energy. Having this "extra" glucose readily available will provide your muscles with extra energy which will in-turn allow for longer endurance. The carbohydrates post-workout stimulate muscle repair as they partner with some hormones (like insulin) to replace the glycogen stores used during the workout and begin the anabolic phase of the muscle cell cycle.
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