So much is stressed upon the casual exerciser about the importance of Protein intake. Marketing and profit really drive this as well as some very sound science. The missing link and what can potentially get you the muscle gains and fat loss you have been desiring could actually be a little more carbs in your Post workout regimen! And Im about to blow your mind... HIGH GLYCEMIC CARBOHYDRATES at that!! OHH, no he didn't.... Just as so much falls upon protein for making gains, so does the Hormone Insulin and its ability to jive with your cells to take in the good and fight the bad. Sweet ass carbs are your answer. Let me show you.
In our modern day health crisis, Insulin is usually only discussed in relation to Type 2 Diabetes. The growing stigma against this hard working protein has most people avoiding any deviation in its levels in the body. For good reason, most people should be managing Insulin levels because optimal health and mitigation of disease its the way to go. Muscle Gain is a different story though.
If you have ever gone on a carbohydrate restrictive diet you know that the first 2-3 weeks absolutely sucks. You are either sucking in the gym or you have such little desire (energy) to train that you just skip it all together. Ive seen it .. Carbohydrate restriction = Decreased Insulin Production = Glucose, Protein, Creatine cannot enter muscle cells. = NO Gains and lack of energy.
As Much as Insulin acts on muscle cells to let the good stuff in, it also has the effect on fat cells in the same way. Dumping too much insulin into the system, frequently, can shut down hormone sensitive Lipase which stops your bodys' ability to burn fat. This in turn creates inflammation and prolonged inflammation creates DISEASE. The goal then, is to monitor and drive the insulin production to benefit you and not wantonly spike insulin with reckless abandon.
CARBOHYDRATE TIMING: *for reference see a link to the Glycemic Index Here
With a better understanding of what insulin does in our body, we can now learn to turn it on and turn it off as we please. Training, weight loss, health and Lifestyle are one in the same. If you are thinking that you can piece these things together individually in your life, you are bound to fail in reaching your goals. Therefore, Carbohydrate Intake and insulin production need to be a focused and deliberate system.
Without too much explanation here is the best possible situation for you Carbohydrate Timing throughout your day:
Morning: Low Glycemic (low sugar) intake is the best. If you train in the morning, incorporating a piece of fruit (high Glycemic) will allow for glucose to be available but don't overdo it.
Pre Workout: 60-90 Minutes before your workout you should consume Low GI foods like Rice, Sweet Potato, apple, mango. These foods have a GI >70 which means that they will digest slower and have less of a spike on your Insulin levels.
Bed Time: 60 Minutes before bed it is optimal to consume low GI carbohydrates for recovery through the night. The myth that carbs before bed is bad has not held up over the years as we see the recovery of both muscles and the brain benefiting from Carbohydrates during sleep cycles.
Post Workout: High Glycemic carbs 40-70 grams (a little more than your protein intake) to spike insulin production and activate delivery of important nutrients for muscle building and anti-catabolic enzymes.
TOP 5 HIGH GLYCEMIC CARBS POST WORKOUT:
High Glycemic Carbs in your Post Workout Diet act as a spark on dry pine needles. Your pancreas turns on production of insulin and in turn, insulin begins to work on your muscles cells. Muscle cells (and fat cells) have receptor cites that are activated by insulin which allow the good nutrients in. High Glycemic foods turn to Glucose VERY quickly so they are important for the rapid recovery necessary after training. Here are my TOP 5 HIGH GLYCEMIC foods;
1. Fruit Smoothie with Greek Yogurt.
Not only are you getting a low fiber, high glycemic food but you are also packing nutrients like potassium, Vitamin C, Magnesium, Folate, Vitamin B complex. The greek Yogurt has probiotics that have been linked to beneficial GUT health.
2. Sprouted Grain Bread and Peanut Butter.
I do not have a sensitivity to Gluten. Whole Grain bread is lower in fiber than other types of carbs which makes it easy to digest. Sprouted Grains have more nutrients 'bio-available' because they have been sprouted and not whole. Peanut Butter is classically sugary (more than other nut butters) which has higher glucose potential and low in fiber.
Yes its simple but truly effective. Packed with nutrients like magnesium, Vitamin C, and folate, it has a small amount of fiber and packs a lot of potential for glucose production.
4. Dried Cherries and Apricots With Granola.
Dried fruits, not laced with a lot of extra sugar, have a high concentration of nutrients that many times are higher than the fresh variety of the same fruit. Cherries and Apricots are both stellar examples of anti-inflammatory fruits that can boost Oxygen uptake in the body after training. pairing these with granola for some fiber, and extra crunch makes this a go to snack.
5. Chocolate Milk.
Protein is still very important and milk is still a good idea if your GUT can tolerate it. Almond milk is another option. The sweetness of the chocolate gives you a sugar boost and a free radical fighting paring that make it one of my favorites.
Ensuring Post Workout High Glycemic Carbs are available is just one piece to the equation. 30-40 minutes after your training session, a small to medium size meal or snack incorporating Protein and Fat is important to keep your muscles recovering, brain firing and GUT healthy. Understanding how Insulin effects the uptake of nutrients and the recovery process should help shed light on how you structure your daily nutrition.
As we go forward remember that training and your overall health are one in the same. For the casual exerciser 1 hour per day of training is common. This leaves 23 hours of the day of dedicated lifestyle choices which set you up for success the next time you ask your body to perform at peak levels. Go forth with a steady insulin ride, spiking when needed and Ill be here to support you the entire time.
With love and total body kindness, E.
Programming Notes 2/5-2/9
45 High Knee Single Unders
10 Lateral Line Touches @ 5m
10 Barbell Good Mornings
10 Single Leg RDL W/ Barbell
10 Banded Lat Pull Downs
Barbell Bent Over Row 115/75
18 Min AMRAP
12 Deadlifts 225/135
3 Rope Climbs
Banded Pigeon Stretch
Banded Hamstring Stretch
Lat Band Mobility
Partner Warm Up:
P1- Bike 10 Cals
P2- 10 Squat Therapy
10 Divebomber Push Ups
*3X @ each per partner
Squat Flow: Kang Squat, Internal Rotation, Hip Bridge, Ankle Roll Outs, Boot Straps, PNF, Squat W/ T Spine Rotation
5X 3 @ 85% of 1 Rm
*across all Sets
*speed out of the bottom!
4X 3:00 AMRAP
5 Squat Clean 155/105
5 Hang Power Clean
5 Push Jerk
-Max Cal on Bike in remaining Time
*REST 1:30 between rounds
Half Moon Stretch
Agility Warm Up @ 10m Each
High Knee Pull
Squat 180 **stepping the leg high over hip, swing opposite leg to 180, squat
Marching High Kicks
Straight leg shuffles
Fig 4 Drill
Sprint W/ Change of Direction
15 Overhead Squat 95/65
Roll Out Hips and Upper Back
8 Burpee Over Rower
10 KB Overhead Lunge
Rotator Cuff W/ 2.5 or 5# plates
-bent over row
-external Rotation + Press
-Narrow Cross Over Presses
*Superset with 16 Single Arm American Swings (8 each arms)
15 Clean and Jerk 135/95
21 Pull Ups
Med Ball Warm Up:
7 Min Quality Warm Up
20 med Ball Toe Touches
15 Med Ball Squats
10 Single Leg Up And Overs (5 each Leg)
5 Med Ball Squat Clean Thrusters
1:00 Ring Dips
1:00 Box Pistol Squats
*rest :30 between sets
12 Min AMRAP
30 Sit Up
40 Wall Ball
50 Double Unders