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Sports Nutrition

The Importance Of Post Workout Nutrition!

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You just finished up an awesome workout and you’re trying to decide what to eat. This article is for you! You will learn what the best things are to eat post workout!

You don’t need to be a resource management specialist to know that time is the most valuable finite resource that you have. And as you well know, there’s a very limited amount of it to go around. So if you’re smart, you’ll figure out ways to get the greatest return on the investment of your time.

While this may be well recognized and applied in many aspects of modern life, it confuses me as to why people seem to ignore this when it comes to their exercise training. From what I see on a daily basis, it’s clear to me that most people in the gym are wasting their time investment. They’re spending precious hours engaged in strength or endurance training programs that yield little or no results?

Need proof? When was the last time someone in your gym made any noticeable physical progress? In fact, when was the last time that you made any significant physical progress? Exercise training has the potential to yield huge returns on any given time investment. Isn’t it a shame that most people don’t ever see this magnitude of return?

Despite this disappointing reality, I’m here to tell you that hope is not lost. In fact, there’s a very easy way to capitalize on your investment. You see, in most cases the exercise is not the problem. The problem is that people fail to invest in the other important commodity that, in combination with exercise, yields the biggest returns.

They’re buying the cart without the horse, the lemonade stand without the lemonade. They’re spending their time focused on only the exercise program while ignoring the importance of a sound nutritional program.

Now I could write a dozen articles focused on straightening out the nutritional problems of the world. But those articles are for another day. In this article today, I intend to focus on what is, in my opinion, the most important aspect of exercise nutrition – eating during the post-workout period. The knowledge of how to eat during this time will maximize your efforts in the gym and yield the biggest returns on your time investment.

REMODELING AND THE POST-WORKOUT PERIOD

Exercise, both strength and endurance training, is responsible for countless health and aesthetic benefits. However the exercise itself is a significant physiological stressor. Perceived symptoms of this “stress” are often mild and include muscle soreness, the need for extra sleep, and an increased appetite.

These symptoms let us know that the exercise has depleted the muscle’s fuel resources, caused some minor damage, and that the muscle is in need of replenishment and repair. While the words depletion and damage may sound like negative things, they’re not if they only stick around for a short period of time. You see, these changes allow the muscle to adapt by getting better at the exercise demands placed on it.

Therefore if you’re doing endurance exercise, the muscle will become depleted and damaged in the short run, but in the long run it will super compensate, building itself up to be a better aerobic machine. And if strength training is your thing, you’ll tear down you’re weaker muscle fibers in favor of building up bigger, stronger ones.

In all cases, exercise essentially tears down old, less adapted muscle in order to rebuild more functional muscle. This phenomenon is called remodeling.

While the remodeling process is much more complex than I can describe here, it’s important for me to emphasize that this remodeling only takes place if the muscle is provided the right raw materials. If I plan on remodeling my home I can hire a guy to tear down a couple of walls, a guy to clean up the mess, and a guy to come in and rebuild better walls than the ones that came down.

But if I don’t give that guy any bricks, how’s he going to get anything done? If I don’t give him the bricks, all I’ll have in the end is a much smaller, unfinished house.

The same holds true with exercise remodeling. In particular, during the exercise bout and immediately following it, exercise breaks down our muscle carbohydrate stores and our muscle protein structures. Then, the immune system comes in to clean up the mess.

And finally, signals are generated to tell the body to rebuild. However, as I hope you can now see, without the proper protein and carbohydrate raw materials, this building can’t take place. You’ll be left with muscles that never reach their potential.

So with this analogy, I hope it’s obvious that this post-exercise period is not a time to take lightly. Remember, you spent a significant amount of time in the gym breaking down the muscle for a good reason. You want it to be better adapted to future demands.

So to realize full return on your time investment, you need to give the body the raw materials it needs, namely protein and carbohydrates.

FEEDING HUNGRY MUSCLES

As I mentioned earlier, all trainees (male or female), regardless of their chosen mode of exercise, must take their post-exercise nutrition seriously in order to provide the muscle with the raw materials it needs. As all types of exercise use carbohydrates for energy, muscle carbohydrate depletion is inevitable. Therefore a post-workout meal high in carbohydrates is required to refill muscle carbohydrate/energy stores.

However any ol’ amount of carbohydrates will not do. You need to consume enough carbohydrates to promote a substantial insulin release. Insulin is the hormone responsible for shuttling carbohydrates and amino acids into the muscle. In doing this, carbohydrate resynthesis is accelerated and protein balance becomes positive, leading to rapid repair of the muscle tissue.

Therefore, by consuming a large amount of carbohydrates, you will promote a large insulin release, increase glycogen storage, and increase protein repair. Research has shown that a carbohydrate intake of 0.8 to 1.2 grams per 1 kilogram of body weight 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 addition, since muscle protein is degraded during exercise, the addition of a relatively large amount of protein to your post exercise meal is necessary to help rebuild the structural aspects of the muscle. After exercise, the body decreases its rate of protein synthesis and increases its rate of protein breakdown. However, the provision of protein and amino acid solutions has been shown to reverse this trend, increasing protein synthesis and decreasing protein breakdown.

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.

While your post-workout feeding should be rich protein and carbohydrate, this meal should be fat free. The consumption of essential fats is one of the most overlooked areas of daily nutritional intake but during the post workout period, eating fat can actually decrease the effectiveness of your post-workout beverage. Since fat slows down transit through the stomach, eating fat during the post workout period may slow the digestion and absorption of carbohydrates and proteins.

As your post workout feeding should be designed to promote the most rapid delivery of carbohydrates and protein to your depleted muscles, fats should be avoided during this time.

Finally, another important factor to consider is the timing of this meal. It is absolutely crucial that you consume your post-workout meal immediately after exercise. As indicated above, after exercise, the muscles are depleted and require an abundance of protein and carbohydrate. In addition, during this time, the muscles are biochemically “primed” for nutrient uptake.

This phenomenon is commonly known as the “window of opportunity”. Over the course of the recovery period, this window gradually closes and by failing to eat immediately after exercise, you diminish your chances of promoting full recovery. To illustrate how quickly this window closes, 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.

In conclusion, when you decided to start exercising you decided to give up a specific amount of time per week in the interest of getting better, physically. However, if you haven’t spent the necessary time thinking about post-exercise nutrition, you’re missing much of the benefit that comes with exercising.

I assure you that once you start paying attention to this variable in the recovery equation, your time in the gym will be much better invested.

WHOLE FOOD VS. NUTRITIONAL SUPPLEMENTATION

Anchored firmly atop their calorie-counting soapbox, nutritionists have traditionally asserted that whole food always trumps supplemental nutrition. For them I have only one sentiment:

Always…it is a meaningless word. -Oscar Wilde

While I wholeheartedly believe that complete, unbleached, untreated, and unprocessed whole food should form the basis of any sound nutritional regimen, there are some instances in which supplements can actually be superior to whole food. In the case of post-exercise nutrition, I believe that liquid supplemental nutrition is far superior to whole food for the following reasons.

LIQUID MEALS ARE PALATABLE AND DIGESTIBLE

Typically, after intense exercise, most people complain that eating a big meal is difficult. This is understandable as the exercise stress creates a situation where the hunger centers are all but shut down. However, as you now know, it’s absolutely critical that you eat if you want to remodel the muscle, enlarge the muscle, or recover from the exercise.

Fortunately liquid supplemental formulas are palatable, easy to consume, and can be quite nutrient dense, providing all the nutrition you need at this time. In addition, since these formulas are structurally simple (I’ll save the biochemistry for another article), the gastrointestinal tract has no difficulty processing them. Your stomach will thank you for this.

LIQUID MEALS HAVE A FAST ABSORPTION PROFILE, WHOLE FOOD IS JUST TOO SLOW

The latest research has demonstrated that liquid supplemental formulas containing fast digesting protein (whey hydrolysates and isolates) and carbohydrates (dextrose and maltodextrin) are absorbed more quickly than whole food meals.

To put this into perspective, a liquid post-exercise formula may be fully absorbed within 30 to 60 minutes, providing much needed muscle nourishment by this time. However, a slower digesting solid food meal may take 2 to 3 hours to fully reach the muscle.

LIQUID MEALS TAKE ADVANTAGE OF THE “WINDOW OF OPPORTUNITY”, WHOLE FOODS MAY MISS IT

The faster the protein and carbohydrates get to the muscle, the better your chances for muscle building and recovery. Current research has demonstrated that subjects receiving nutrients within one hour after exercise recover more quickly than subjects receiving nutrients three hours after exercise. Liquid nutrition is making more sense, isn’t it?

LIQUID MEALS ARE BETTER FOR NUTRIENT TARGETING

During the post exercise period, specific nutrients maximize your recovery. These include an abundance of water, high glycemic index carbohydrates, and certain amino acids (in specific ratios). It’s also best to avoid fat during this time. So the only way to ensure that these nutrients are present in the right amounts is to formulate a specific liquid blend. Whole foods may miss the mark.

POST-EXERCISE CHOICES

So your workout is over and it’s time to reach for your post workout meal. What do you reach for? Here are a few examples of good post-workout choices in order of effectiveness.

REFERENCES
  1. Levenhagen et al. (2001). Postexercise nutrient intake timing in humans is critical to recovery of leg glucose and protein homeostasisAm.J.Physiol Endocrinol. Metab. 280(6): E982-993.
  2. Tipton et al. (2001). Timing of amino acid-carbohydrate ingestion alters anabolic response of muscle to resistance exercise. Am.J. Physiol Endocrinol. Metab. 281(2): E197-206.
  3. Roy et al. (1998). Influence of differing macronutrient intakes on muscle glycogen resynthesis after resistance exerciseJAP. 84(3): 890-896.
  4. Van Loon et al. (2000a). Maximizing postexercise muscle glycogen synthesis: carbohydrate supplementation and the application of amino acid or protein hydrolysate mixturesAm J Clin Nutrition. 72(1): 106-111.
  5. Van Loon et al. (2000b). Ingestion of protein hydrolysate and amino acid-carbohydrate mixtures increases postexercise plasma insulin responses in menJ Nutr. 130(10): 2508-2513.

FAST FOODS for High Performance Athletes

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Fast Foods – 10 Eating Rules

  1. START YOUR DAY AT THE FUEL PUMP

When you wake up in the morning, your body hasn’t received any nutrients for roughly eight hours. Trying to perform without eating breakfast is like a NASCAR driver trying to win the Daytona 500 on an empty tank—it simply isn’t possible.

An ideal breakfast for an athlete delivers a balance of carbs (your muscles’ preferred fuel source), protein and healthy fats. If you don’t have an early workout, you can go big at breakfast. Opting for something like a veggie omelet accompanied with peanut butter on whole wheat toast, a piece of fruit, yogurt, and oatmeal with berries and nuts, can kick-start your day. But even if you do have a morning training session, you should still eat something. A banana with peanut butter or an apple and string cheese are light snacks that can help your body wake up and give you a boost heading into the gym.

  1. TOP OFF THE TANK BEFORE YOUR WORKOUT

What you eat in the two-hour window before your training can have a huge impact on your performance. Not eating at all is one of the biggest mistakes you can make, because training on a completely empty stomach often results in the wheels coming off in the middle of a workout. But if you chow down on the wrong things, your body will be stuck in park when you need to be in drive.

Fuel up with a snack or small meal one to two hours prior to your workout so your body is primed to perform. Your focus should be on taking in simple, easily digested carbs—which your body uses for fuel. (For examples of simple and complex carbs, see the sidebar “Fueling Field Guide: Simple Vs. Complex Carbohydrates” on page 15.

  1. REFILL THE TANK AFTER YOU TRAIN

Your workout isn’t finished when you walk out of the gym or off the track. Training, especially strength training, breaks down the muscles in your body so they can grow stronger and more powerful later. Following an intense workout, the goal is to switch your body into muscle-building mode (called the anabolic state) by consuming nutrients that will help repair muscle fibers, making them thicker and stronger. The ideal way to do this is to eat within a half-hour of the end of your workout. (You definitely don’t want to wait longer than an hour.)

A good post-workout snack provides you with 4 grams of carbohydrates for every gram of protein it delivers. Many post-workout shakes deliver this ratio, making them a convenient way to get the nutrients you need to stimulate muscle growth. Aim to consume 20 grams of protein and 80 grams of carbohydrates following activity.

  1. MAKE PIT STOPS EVERY THREE HOURS

The “three-meals-a-day” schedule isn’t ideal for athletes, who tend to have higher metabolisms and burn through calories fast. Instead, eat four to six small meals and snacks throughout the day, aiming to take in a balance of all three macronutrients—carbs, proteins and fat—at every meal. This approach will provide you with more sustained energy throughout the day and ensure you’re getting the amount of nutrients you need without having to stuff your face at a single sitting.

  1. CRUISE WITH CARBS

Carbs are your main source of fuel during exercise. Having too few carbs in your system will leave you feeling like you’re moving under water—slow and plodding instead of fast and explosive. Broadly speaking, carbs come in two forms: simple and complex. Complex carbs, which break down slowly and provide a long-lasting energy supply, typically come from whole plant foods. These carbs are high in vitamins, minerals and fiber, and confer a huge number of long-term health benefits, including a lowered risk of obesity and disease. Simple carbs tend to be high in sugar but low in nutrients and fiber. Your body digests them faster, so they deliver energy very quickly.

FUELING FIELD GUIDE: SIMPLE VS. COMPLEX CARBOHYDRATES Complex carbs take your body longer to break down than simple carbs, which makes them a good choice for long-lasting, sustainable energy with no crashes throughout the day. Simple carbs are a better choice shortly before a workout, when they can give your body a blast of easy energy to help power you through your training session, or immediately after training when they can help quickly refuel your muscles. Eating simple carbs at other times throughout the day isn’t a great idea, however, because they induce fat storage. Opt for simple carbs if you’re within 30 to 60 minutes of a workout and complex carbs throughout the rest of the day.

Complex Carbs include:  Whole grains like brown rice, oatmeal, quinoa and oats Foods like pasta, breads and cereals in whole grain form. Look for the words “whole wheat flour” to be high on the ingredient list to ensure you’re getting a food high in whole grains. Starchy vegetables such as sweet potatoes, potatoes, corn and pumpkin Beans and lentils Green vegetables

Simple Carbs Include: Fruits like bananas, oranges, apples and grapes White bread Fruit jellies or jams Honey Dried fruit Pretzels Crackers

  1. POWER UP WITH PROTEIN

Unless you eat enough protein, you won’t build muscle. Without muscle, you’re like a car with no horsepower—you simply won’t have the raw power needed to go fast.

Aim to eat roughly one gram of protein for every pound of body weight per day. For example, if you are a 175-pound athlete, take in about 175 grams of protein throughout the day. How do you know how much protein is in the foods you’re eating? A good guideline is that a palm-sized portion of lean meat contains approximately 30 grams of protein.

When picking your protein, remember that grilled beats fried. Fried foods are laden with more calories and fat, which will slow you down over the long haul. Try to keep your protein clean and simple—for example, opt for a grilled chicken breast over one that’s battered and deep fried.

FUELING FIELD GUIDE: PROTEIN CONTENT OF POPULAR FOODS People commonly associate protein with meat, but there are other ways to get protein. Certain vegetables, grains, legumes and nuts all pack solid amounts of protein.

  1. RACE WITH A RAINBOW OF FRUITS AND VEGGIES

In the race to fuel your body for speed, fruits, vegetables and legumes are neck-and-neck with protein sources in terms of importance. Fruits and veggies are nature’s nutritional powerhouses. They’re stuffed with vitamins, minerals and fiber and they’re low in calories.

The average American, however, eats far too little produce. Between 2007 and 2010, only one in every 10 kids in the U.S. ate the recommended amount of vegetables per day, and only four in 10 consumed the recommended value for fruit. This is a problem because athletes cannot reach peak performance on protein alone. Micronutrients

4 ounces of skinless chicken (about the size of a deck of cards): 40 grams of protein 6 ounces of cod or salmon: 40 grams 6 ounces of tuna in water: 40 grams 4 ounces of lean pork: 35 grams 4 ounces of lean red meat: 30 grams 6 ounces of tofu: 30 grams 1 cup of cottage cheese: 28 grams

1 cup of black, pinto or garbanzo beans: 15 grams 1/2 cup of whole almonds: 15 grams 1 cup of quinoa: 8 grams 2 tbsp. of peanut butter: 8 grams 1 cup of milk (fat-free, 1%, 2%): 8 grams 1 cup of peas: 8 grams 1 egg: 6 grams 1 cup of spinach: 5 grams

such as the vitamins and minerals provided by produce help support important functions within the body, including the delivery of oxygen to hard working muscle tissues during activity.

Simply put, there’s no better chef than Mother Nature. Naturally occurring foods are incredibly nutrient-dense, meaning they serve up a ton of vitamins, fatty acids, protein and fiber with a small amount of calories. Sure, some processed foods have some of these same nutrients, but your body is generally better able take in nutrients from whole food sources. Try to “eat the rainbow.” Consuming fruits and vegetables of different colors provides you with a wide range of nutrients.

  1. SUPPLEMENTS AREN’T A SHORTCUT

Popping pills and downing powders can’t make up for a poor diet. If you’re pairing vitamin pills with a double-bacon cheeseburger, your body won’t be fooled into thinking you’re eating a balanced meal. Your body isn’t as effective at drawing in nutrients from supplements as it is nutrients from real food. Furthermore, supplements aren’t well-regulated in the U.S., meaning there’s a good chance that what you put in your body when you pop a pill won’t match up with what’s advertised on the label.

SUPPLEMENTS CAN BE VERY USEFUL when used to supplement a good diet.  Protein powder is a convenient way to reach your daily intake goal, and most are generally seen as effective. Some athletes are deficient in important micronutrients like magnesium and omega 3 fatty acids, so the use of supplements to get on track with those nutrients is fine. The bottom line: A cabinet full of supplements will never beat a fridge full of healthy food, but can be a difference maker to very active athletes.

Visit My ARBONNE page (http://KevinHaag.arbonne.com) if you are interested in purchasing nutritional supplements.  I have tried them all and stay affiliated with Arbonne because I believe they are the healthiest and most trustworthy company out there.  I recommend the protein Power and The PhytoSport Line for Athletes.

  1. WATER KEEPS YOU RUNNING

You’ve probably heard that your body is roughly 65 percent water. That alone should tell you how important H20 is to your health and wellbeing. And though every living being on earth needs this magic fluid, it is especially important for athletes. It transports oxygen and nutrients throughout the body, aids in muscle contraction, fights fatigue and regulates body temperature. Being even slightly dehydrated can have a direct and profoundly negative impact on your performance. Studies have shown that just a 2-percent level of dehydration (i.e., losing 2 percent of your body weight in water) is enough to impact how you feel and play. And the more dehydrated you become, the more your performance will nosedive.

A good goal is to drink half your body weight in ounces of water per day. If you weigh 160 pounds, you should take in 80 ounces of water during the day. While that sounds like a lot, it’s just the equivalent of 10 small glasses. To get there, get in the habit of drinking water with every meal, and carry a water bottle with you throughout the day. Sip it when you feel thirsty, and refill it when it goes empty. Several containers include fluid markers on them, so you can know exactly how much water you’re taking in. Soon you’ll be hitting your hydration goal without a second thought.

  1. PICK THE 85-PERCENT BLEND

Nobody’s perfect, and trying to eat 100 percent healthy 100 percent of the time is a recipe for a breakdown. You’ll be more susceptible to getting overwhelmed and giving up on eating healthy altogether.

That’s where the 85-percent rule comes into play. If you can eat the right foods 85 percent of the time, that’s good enough to have a huge impact on your performance and body composition. The other 15 percent of the time, you can sample different foods and indulge in some of your not-so-nutritious favorites. That way you’ll get most everything you need, most of the time—including an occasional reward for all of your hard work.

You don’t have to beat yourself up just because you had cake and ice cream at your friend’s birthday party. Healthy choices should make up the majority of your meals, but you can still enjoy your life and the role that food plays in it!

 

THE FEED FOR SPEED: WHAT TO PUT ON YOUR PLATE

Foods that are high in valuable nutrients are supercharged for speed, and are great choices for fueling your tank on a regular basis. Other items should be seen as an occasional treat, otherwise you should toss ‘em to the curb

TANK ‘EM EAT THESE FOODS

  • Fruits
  • Vegetables
  • Beans and lentils (black, brown, garbanzo)
  • Whole grains like oatmeal, quinoa, amaranth, brown rice, millet and couscous
  • Peanut butter and other natural nut butters
  • Lean jerky
  • Healthy oils such as coconut oil and extra-virgin olive oil
  • Whole wheat and whole grain items such as pastas, breads, cereals. Look for the words “whole wheat flour” to be high on the ingredient list.
  • Fish like salmon, tuna and mackerel
  • Whole eggs
  • Unprocessed or low-processed nuts Greek yogurt
  • Lean chicken, beef and pork

TOSS EM – EAT RARELY IF EVER

  • Soda (both diet and regular)
  • Fast food
  • Potato and tortilla chips
  • Deep fried foods (donuts, General Tso’s chicken, onion rings, etc.)
  • Snack cakes
  • Candy bars
  • Ice cream
  • Overly-dressed proteins (cheesesteaks, country-fried chicken, bacon cheeseburgers)
  • Sugary cereals
  • Alcohol
  • Baked goods high in sugar

 

phytosport nutrition

K2 – Athletic Performance Eating

Posted on Updated on

Performance Eating Guidelines

Fast Foods – 5 Eating Rules for ELITE Sports Performance

  1. START YOUR DAY AT THE FUEL PUMP

When you wake up in the morning, your body hasn’t received any nutrients for roughly eight hours. Trying to perform without eating breakfast is like a NASCAR driver trying to win the Daytona 500 on an empty tank—it simply isn’t possible.

An ideal breakfast for an athlete delivers a balance of carbs (your muscles’ preferred fuel source), protein and healthy fats. If you don’t have an early workout, you can go big at breakfast. Opting for something like a veggie omelet accompanied with peanut butter on whole wheat toast, a piece of fruit, yogurt, and oatmeal with berries and nuts, can kick-start your day. But even if you do have a morning training session, you should still eat something. A banana with peanut butter or an apple and string cheese are light snacks that can help your body wake up and give you a boost heading into the gym.

2. TOP OFF THE TANK BEFORE YOUR WORKOUT or GAME

What you eat in the two-hour window before your training can have a huge impact on your performance. Not eating at all is one of the biggest mistakes you can make, because training on a completely empty stomach often results in the wheels coming off in the middle of a workout. But if you chow down on the wrong things, your body will be stuck in park when you need to be in drive.

Fuel up with a snack or small meal one to two hours prior to your workout so your body is primed to perform. Your focus should be on taking in simple, easily digested carbs—which your body uses for fuel. (For examples of simple and complex carbs, see the sidebar “Fueling Field Guide: Simple Vs. Complex Carbohydrates” on page 15.

3. REFILL THE TANK AFTER YOU TRAIN

Your workout isn’t finished when you walk out of the gym or off the track. Training, especially strength training, breaks down the muscles in your body so they can grow stronger and more powerful later. Following an intense workout, the goal is to switch your body into muscle-building mode (called the anabolic state) by consuming nutrients that will help repair muscle fibers, making them thicker and stronger. The ideal way to do this is to eat within a half-hour of the end of your workout. (You definitely don’t want to wait longer than an hour.)

A good post-workout snack provides you with 4 grams of carbohydrates for every gram of protein it delivers. Many post-workout shakes deliver this ratio, making them a convenient way to get the nutrients you need to stimulate muscle growth. Aim to consume 20 grams of protein and 80 grams of carbohydrates following activity.

4. CRUISE WITH CARBS

Carbs are your main source of fuel during exercise. Having too few carbs in your system will leave you feeling like you’re moving under water—slow and plodding instead of fast and explosive. Broadly speaking, carbs come in two forms: simple and complex. Complex carbs, which break down slowly and provide a long-lasting energy supply, typically come from whole plant foods. These carbs are high in vitamins, minerals and fiber, and confer a huge number of long-term health benefits, including a lowered risk of obesity and disease. Simple carbs tend to be high in sugar but low in nutrients and fiber. Your body digests them faster, so they deliver energy very quickly.

FUELING FIELD GUIDE: SIMPLE VS. COMPLEX CARBOHYDRATES Complex carbs take your body longer to break down than simple carbs, which makes them a good choice for long-lasting, sustainable energy with no crashes throughout the day. Simple carbs are a better choice shortly before a workout, when they can give your body a blast of easy energy to help power you through your training session, or immediately after training when they can help quickly refuel your muscles. Eating simple carbs at other times throughout the day isn’t a great idea, however, because they induce fat storage. Opt for simple carbs if you’re within 30 to 60 minutes of a workout and complex carbs throughout the rest of the day.

Complex Carbs include:  Whole grains like brown rice, oatmeal, quinoa and oats Foods like pasta, breads and cereals in whole grain form. Look for the words “whole wheat flour” to be high on the ingredient list to ensure you’re getting a food high in whole grains. Starchy vegetables such as sweet potatoes, potatoes, corn and pumpkin Beans and lentils Green vegetables

Simple Carbs Include: Fruits like bananas, oranges, apples and grapes White bread Fruit jellies or jams Honey Dried fruit Pretzels Crackers

5.  POWER UP WITH PROTEIN

Unless you eat enough protein, you won’t build muscle. Without muscle, you’re like a car with no horsepower—you simply won’t have the raw power needed to go fast.

Aim to eat roughly one gram of protein for every pound of body weight per day. For example, if you are a 175-pound athlete, take in about 175 grams of protein throughout the day. How do you know how much protein is in the foods you’re eating? A good guideline is that a palm-sized portion of lean meat contains approximately 30 grams of protein.

When picking your protein, remember that grilled beats fried. Fried foods are laden with more calories and fat, which will slow you down over the long haul. Try to keep your protein clean and simple—for example, opt for a grilled chicken breast over one that’s battered and deep fried.

 

Breakfast Ideas

Posted on Updated on

8 High-Protein Breakfasts You Must Try!

Throw away your alarm clock and toss out your bland morning shake. These 8 protein-rich breakfast recipes are so good they’ll be enough to get you up and going!

When you’re trying to fit more protein into your diet, eating just whole foods can be a jaw-tiring, stomach-filling challenge. In search of more high-protein items to increase their daily protein intake, many people make the right choice of supplementing with quality protein powder. Where they often go wrong, however, is in their approach.

I see too many people fall into the cycle of chugging bland protein shakes in between equally bland meals of chicken and broccoli. Eventually, they end up hating the thought of having to slam down another shake to hit their macros. If you’ve fallen into this trap—or feel yourself teetering near the edge—the athletes of MET-Rx and I are here to help you switch things up and find the best alternative uses for your favorite protein powder!

If you’ve been slamming a shake for breakfast, consider this article your protein salvation. Jump out of bed in the morning and give one of these absolutely delicious protein-packed recipes a shot.

1

BANANA PROTEIN MUFFINS

Who doesn’t love baked goods in the morning? (No one I know.) This mouth-watering recipe is a favorite from four-time Olympia Figure champ Nicole Wilkins’ kitchen. No need to hit the bakery—or blow your fitness goals—when you can make this tasty breakfast option in your own oven.

INGREDIENTS

LARGE BANANA: 1


EGG WHITES: 3/4 CUP


NONFAT, PLAIN GREEK YOGURT: 1/2 CUP


OATS: 3/4 CUP



SUGAR: 2 TBSP (OR SPLENDA BAKING SUGAR)


OPTIONAL: EXTRA BANANA SLICES FOR THE TOP OF THE MUFFIN


DIRECTIONS
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Pop all the ingredients into a blender and blend until smooth.
  3. Spray 12-tin muffin tray with cooking spray. Divide mixture evenly among 12 muffin tins. Place a thin slice of banana on top of each muffin.
  4. Bake for 20 minutes or until an inserted knife comes out clean. Enjoy!

NUTRITION FACTS
Serving size: 1 muffin
Recipe yields: 12 servings
Amount per serving
Calories 81
Fat1 g
Carbs12.3 g
Protein5.9 g

2

PUMPKIN VANILLA OATMEAL

Eating the same old oatmeal every morning is no fun. Mix things up with Nicole’s new twist on oatmeal. In just five minutes, you’ll have a new love and appreciation for the oats you’ve grown to adore!

INGREDIENTS

ROLLED OATS: 1/2 CUP


WATER: 1 CUP


CANNED PUMPKIN: 1/3 CUP



PUMPKIN PIE SPICE: 1/2 TSP


MAPLE SYRUP: 1 TSP (OR SUGAR-FREE SYRUP)


CHOPPED PECANS: 1 TSP


CHOPPED RAISINS: 1 TSP


DIRECTIONS
  1. In a medium-sized, microwave-safe bowl, combine the oats and water. Pop them in the microwave for two minutes.
  2. Remove oats from the microwave and stir in the canned pumpkin, protein powder, pumpkin pie spice, and maple syrup. Top with raisins and pecans. Enjoy!

NUTRITION FACTS
Serving size: 1 bowl
Recipe yields: 1 serving
Amount per serving
Calories 298
Fat9.4 g
Carbs41.9 g
Protein16.2 g

3

BROWNIE OVERNIGHT PROTEIN OATMEAL

Just when you thought your protein-oatmeal barometer had reached the peak of awesomeness, and that a protein-rich breakfast couldn’t get any better, I’m here to prove you wrong. This chocolate-loaded dish is one of Nicole’s overnight-oat favorites. Add this amazing oatmeal recipe to your breakfast arsenal and pull it out when you’re craving a little something sweet!

INGREDIENTS

UNSWEETENED ALMOND MILK (OR LOW FAT MILK OF CHOICE): 1/2 CUP


NONFAT, PLAIN GREEK YOGURT (OR MASHED BANANA OR PUMPKIN): 1/4 CUP


UNSWEETENED COCOA POWDER: 1 TBSP (OR MORE, TO TASTE)


SEA SALT 1 TSP


STEVIA OR SPLENDA: 2 PACKETS


OLD-FASHIONED ROLLED OATS: 1/2 CUP



DIRECTIONS
  1. In a small bowl, mix all of the ingredients together.
  2. Divide between two small bowls, mugs, or mason jars.
  3. Cover and refrigerate overnight so that the oats soften and absorb the liquid.
  4. Top with chopped nuts or topping of choice! Enjoy cold or microwave for 30-60 seconds to enjoy warm!

NUTRITION FACTS
Serving size: 1 bowl
Recipe yields: 1 serving
Amount per serving
Calories 283
Fat7 g
Carbs36.5 g
Protein23 g

4

PROTEIN PANCAKE MUFFINS

Any protein breakfast recipe roundup would be seriously lacking without powered-up pancakes. Celebrity chef Gavan Murphy, otherwise known as “The Healthy Irishman,” has whipped up some of the finest-tasting pancake muffins in all of the land. Check them out for yourself!

INGREDIENTS

UNSWEETENED ALMOND MILK: 1-1/2 CUPS


RIPE BANANA: 1


ALMOND EXTRACT: 2 TSP


EGG: 1


DIRECTIONS
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Mix all ingredients together in food processor, or if making by hand, mash the banana until smooth. Add all remaining ingredients and mix thoroughly to make sure there are no lumps.
  3. Spray muffin tin with canola oil, coating all sides. Fill each muffin tin 1/4 way to the top.
  4. Bake 15-20 minutes or until a toothpick comes out clean when pierced into a muffin.

NUTRITION FACTS
Serving size: 1 muffin
Recipe yields: 10 servings
Amount per serving
Calories 53
Fat1.4 g
Carbs10.4 g
Protein3.9 g

5

CHOCOLATE PEANUT BUTTER COOKIES

Who said that in order to stay in shape you had to lay off the sweets? Not in this case! Here’s a cookie recipe from Chef Murphy that uses protein powder and healthy fats to make dessert meet your macros.

INGREDIENTS

NATURAL PEANUT BUTTER (OR MET-RX POWDERED PEANUT BUTTER): 1/4 CUP


RIPE BANANA: 1


CHOPPED WALNUTS: 1/2 CUP


QUICK OATS: 1/2 CUP


UNSWEETENED SHREDDED COCONUT: 1/2 CUP


EGG WHITES: 2


DIRECTIONS
  1. Preheat oven 350 degrees F.
  2. In a large bowl, mash banana until smooth.
  3. Add remaining ingredients and mix until combined.
  4. Lay a sheet of parchment paper on an oven tray and spoon bite-sized portions of cookie mix onto tray.
  5. Bake for 15 minutes.

NUTRITION FACTS
Serving size: 1 cookie
Recipe yields: 6 servings
Amount per serving
Calories 184
Fat10.8 g
Carbs14.2 g
Protein10.5 g

6

COCONUT VANILLA PROTEIN CREPES

You don’t have to go to France in order to eat an amazing crepe. In fact, thanks to Chef Murphy, you can make them right in your own kitchen! Bon appétit!

INGREDIENTS: CREPE MIXTURE

EGG WHITES: 4


INSTANT OATS: 1/2 CUP


RIPE BANANA: 1



VANILLA EXTRACT: 1/2 TSP


INGREDIENTS: FILLING INGREDIENTS

NONFAT GREEK YOGURT: 1 CUP


NATURAL PEANUT BUTTER (OR MET-RX POWDERED PEANUT BUTTER): 2 TBSP


GROUND CINNAMON: 1/2 TSP


VANILLA EXTRACT: 1/2 TSP


HONEY OR AGAVE: 1 TBSP


DIRECTIONS
  1. Put all crepe ingredients in a blender, and mix for 30 seconds. If mixture is too thick, add a tablespoon of water until a smooth, pourable batter consistency is achieved.
  2. Cook crepes in coconut oil for 20 seconds each side in preheated pan.
  3. Fill each crepe with banana and yogurt filling.

NUTRITION FACTS
Serving size: 1 crepe with filling
Recipe yields: 1 serving
Amount per serving
Calories 608
Fat7.5 g
Carbs71 g
Protein65 g

7

CHOCOLATE PEANUT BUTTER PROTEIN CUPCAKES

Model, actor, and Body Fortress athlete Mike O’Hearn doesn’t have much time to spend in the kitchen baking. But when he decides to make himself a tasty breakfast treat to kick-start the morning, he whips up these bad boys. Try them for yourself, and let your inner superhero loose!

INGREDIENTS

OAT FLOUR: 1 CUP



UNSWEETENED COCOA: 6 TBSP


EGG WHITES: 4


NONFAT GREEK YOGURT: 1/4 CUP


UNSWEETENED ALMOND MILK: 1/2 CUP


BAKING SODA: 1/2 TSP


VANILLA EXTRACT: 1 TSP


STEVIA: 1/4 CUP (OR NATURAL SWEETENER OF YOUR CHOICE)


SEMISWEET CHOCOLATE CHIPS


DIRECTIONS
  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F, and spray cupcake tin with nonstick cooking spray.
  2. Mix all ingredients together using blender or food processor, and divide evenly into 12 cupcake tins.
  3. Bake for 12-15 minutes.

NUTRITION FACTS
Serving size: 1 cupcake
Recipe yields: 12 cupcakes
Amount per serving
Calories 141
Fat3.6 g
Carbs12.6 g
Protein13.9 g

8

SUGAR-FREE CHOCOLATE CRAZE PUDDING

When you’re in a time crunch and need to get out the door as soon as possible, having a quick breakfast already prepared will help you resist the urge to walk out the door on an empty stomach. I keep a bowl of this delicious pudding in the refrigerator at all times for just such occasions!

INGREDIENTS

WATER: 16 OZ.


JELL-O SUGAR-FREE INSTANT PUDDING: 2 TBSP


DIRECTIONS
  1. Mix 1 packet of MET-Rx Meal Replacement Chocolate with 16 ounces of ice-cold water.
  2. Blend at low speed for 20 seconds.
  3. Add 2 tablespoons of your favorite Jell-O Sugar-Free Instant Pudding.
  4. Blend at high speed for 1 minute, refrigerate for 1 hour, and serve.

NUTRITION FACTS
Serving size: 1 bowl
Recipe yields: 1 serving
Amount per serving
Calories 260
Fat3 g
Carbs20 g
Protein39 g

5 Reasons Athletes should stay away from CrossFit and PX90

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Being surrounded by Crossfitters, I often get asked about the program.  Here is a recent post I found which will help explain some of the differences between Crossfit and Sports Performance Training.

Because they’re so challenging, standardized workout programs like P90X, Insanity and CrossFit have become popular with fitness enthusiasts in recent years. But should a 25-year-old ex-jock’s workout look like a developing adolescent athlete’s? A workout isn’t always the right choice just because it’s hard or popular. Here are five reasons why standardized programs like CrossFit and P90X aren’t appropriate for high school athletes.

1. No Coach

DVD workouts like Insanity and P90X are appealing because they can be performed alone at home. While this approach is simple and convenient, it presents major problems for athletes. A big part of learning skills such as footwork drills or plyometrics is correction through a trained coach’s observations. Without a coach present, athletes can form bad habits that hurt their performance and lead to injury. Plus, many of these programs are high intensity. Without a coach to act as a guardrail, high-intensity workouts can increase an athlete’s risk for injury.

2. No Screening

Since many standardized workout programs don’t require a coach, athletes don’t get the benefit of pre-screening processes. These tests make sure athletes don’t carry strength or movement imbalances caused by seasonal play into their training. Building strength on top of these imbalances can greatly increase an athlete’s risk of sport injury. Both the American Academy of Pediatrics and the National Strength and Conditioning Association recommend an orthopedic pre-screening before starting training.

RELATED: Should Youth Athletes Strength Train?

3. Random Programming

Most standardized programs are randomized. In P90X, one day may be plyometric based, another will be yoga and so on, with the only goal being to get a good workout each day. CrossFitters pride themselves on “not knowing what is coming next,” and the program bills itself as “planned randomization.” Unfortunately, athletes need repetition, practice and progression. They need to start at an easy skill and increase difficulty once they’ve mastered that skill. They can’t do this with random daily activities.

4. No Mechanical Lessons for Speed, Lateral Movement and Deceleration

Athletes don’t just need to run and jump, they need to learn how to move correctly. According toPeter Twist, movement is one of the three pillars of youth development. Companies such asVelocity Sports Performance, EXOS, IMG Academy and K2 have become famous for training even the best collegiate athlete to move better. Neither P90X nor CrossFit contain systems for teaching these skills.

5. Maximum Lifts

CrossFit is big on max lifting attempts—their boxes sponsor max-out week events and post results nationally. Both the National Strength and Conditioning Association and the American Academy of Pediatrics agree that adolescent athletes should never perform maximum attempts until their skeletal growth is finished at the end of puberty. The consensus is that the increased risk of injury outweighs any gains made through maximum lifting.

How Does Training Preventing Knee Injuries

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Question: How does your performance training prevent Knee Injuries, more specifically ACL tears?

Short Answer: Through exercise and stretching, we make sure the muscles are balanced, the knee and hip rotate correctly and the athlete knows how to move, especially decelerate, correctly as full speed.

             Answer: The not so short answer is…..

 First, why do these injuries occur?

Let’s focus on the ACL, because this the injury we love to prevent.

The ACL is a small ligament that runs diagonally inside the knee and connects the upper leg (femur) to the main shin bone (tibia). It’s job is to prevent the knee from twisting or moving side-to-side more than just a few degrees. When pushed beyond its relatively small limit, the ACL can either be partially stretched or ripped completely.

In a sports setting, the ACL almost always gets torn during a one-time event. This can occur due to contact with another athlete or during non-contact moments where the knee may be pushed out of position from a high level of force placed on it. Non-contact situations where this normally happens are during cutting, pivoting, out-of-control stopping, and awkward landings on jumps.

Surprisingly, about 70% of ACL tears in young athletes occur during non-contact events. Female athletes are between 3 and 8 times more likely than males to tear their ACL. With nearly 150,000 tears occurring annually in the United States alone, training program must focus on prevention

How to Prevent ACL Injuries With Your Youth Strength Training Program

 One big piece of preventing ACL tears is to focus on both the ankle and hip joints. Knees basically go where the ankles and hips send them, so ‘prehabilitation’ measures focus on those areas.

For the ankle, it is crucial that young athletes limit the amount of side-to-side movement that occurs in that joint. Either during one leg standing postures or when running, the more their ankles roll the better the chance it will push their knees either in or out during faster-paced athletic events. Athletes who tend to roll their ankles a lot may be much more susceptible to knee injuries when they get bigger, faster and stronger in their later years.

The hip joint needs to both be flexible and strong to function correctly, making it a little harder to train. For the flexibility side, stretches that specifically target the hips may be needed for those with limited ability to do a deep squat. Very young athletes (ages 11 and younger) are almost never in need of these, but once the teenage years approach and growth spurts really kick in, more stretching may be warranted.

 Youth Strength Training Program

 Strengthening the hips can be tricky, because most athletes with weak hip muscles have learned to move in a way that shifts the stress to their stronger leg and back muscles. You’d think a basic exercise like a squat would work the hips very well, but not for those who are leg-muscle dominant already. Isolated strength for the hip muscles plus relearning other exercise patterns, such as squatting, must both be done to stabilize and protect the knees.

Just as important in this equation is for young athletes to learn how to move properly. Being able to efficiently absorb the force of gravity when landing on a jump can lower your ACL tear risk substantially, and is relatively easy to learn for most focused and dedicated athletes. In addition, controlling momentum during stopping and cutting movements will further decrease your risk. These skills tend to take much more repetition to improve on, but it certainly can be done.

Although it is true that the younger someone starts improving these skills the better chance it will lower their future injury risk, it is never too late to build the strength, flexibility and movement skill required in sports with a great youth strength training program to keep your knees stable and safe.

A program to build a bullet-proof athlete should include teaching and training the following:

  • Active / Dynamic Warm-up drills to warm-up muscles and joints
  • Strength Training, including Power Movements for explosiveness
  • Single Leg, multi-plane  and rotational exercises
  • Hip rotations and Core Patterning Drills
  • Conditioning work including acceleration and deceleration drills

Call me if you have any questions.

The Eating Rules

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eating rulesBurn More Calories than you consume.  I WISH IT WAS THAT SIMPLE!

Though scientifically true, this rule is usually a recipe for disaster; it is a simple way for dieticians and doctors to tell overweight, lazy people that they must start exercising, or simply get off their butt and start moving.
“If you want to lose weight, you must create a calorie deficit,(i.e. burn more calories than you take in.),   However, when you burn more calories than you take in – where does your body go to get the extra energy it needs? It takes it from body tissue…both fat and muscle.  Body fat is nothing more than a layer of energy that your body is storing.  We need to tap into the layer of energy that is lying on top of your metabolic engine.  

Dieting without exercise will always slow down your metabolism

The following are some basic rules that help most of live and healthier life.

1)       Eat protein with every meal.  Everyone has their opinion on how much, but as close to 1 gram of protein per pound of bodyweight divided equally amongst your daily meals. So if you weigh 150 lbs, you should eat 25 grams of protein with each meal. 25 x 6 = 150. Protein will control your insulin levels, which effects fat storage and energy.

2)       Eat every 3 – 4 hours. Cutting calories can raise your levels of the stress-related hormone cortisol, which can increase belly fat storage. Calorie restriction leads to metabolic adaptations which are responsible for 99% of weight-loss plateaus. Eating the right foods on a timely basis will keep your body burning.

3)       Eat within an hour after you exercise. Eating a combined protein and carbohydrate meal with 90 minutes after exercise nearly doubles the insulin response, which results in more stored glycogen. This translates to better recovery and more energy.

4)       Drink water.  Drinking plenty of water has particular benefits for your midsection. It helps keep your stomach full so you don’t overeat, and it helps flush out excess sodium to prevent belly bloating. (Eating more potassium-rich foods, such as tomatoes and bananas, will also help in this area.)

The following 2 are not rules, But great ideas to implement.

5)       No carbs 1 or 2 days a week.  Carb cycling is a trick bodybuilder’s use to keep their bodies guessing.

6)       Cheat Day is HUGE.  Eat whatever you want 1 Day a week.  This is important because it has been proven to help people stick to a healthier eating routine.  Plus deprivation sucks!!!  Your diet isn’t what you eat sometimes, it is what you choose to eat to help you thrive.  

What should I eat?  Whole Foods!

Paleo, South Beach, Atkins, Beach Body, etc all proclaim ONE SIMPLE TRUTH!  Whole foods are what you should be eating!

So what are whole foods? We live in a society that eats so much processed and manufactured food that I think there’s some genuine confusion about what qualifies as a whole food. Whole foods are food in its natural state; You’re getting it intact, with all of the fiber, vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients that are in the food.

Basically, it’s the healthy whole food, rather than the bits that remain after refinement and processing. Eating healthy whole foods has all sorts of benefits.  Their nutrients may help to keep your immune system strong and protect you from disease including

  • cardiovascular disease
  • many types of cancer
  • type 2 diabetes

They also contain phytochemicals, the general name for natural compounds in plants.   They help in different ways.  Some are antioxidants, which protect cells against damage.  Examples of antioxidant phytochemicals are flavonoids, carotenoids, and lycopene. Usually, the term whole foods is confined to vegetables, fruits, and grains.  But any dietitian will agree that eating a skinless chicken breast is preferable to eating processed chicken nuggets.

The Synergy of Healthy Whole Foods

One of the biggest advantages of eating whole foods is that you’re getting the natural synergy of all of these nutrients together. We know that when they’re eaten in food, they have all sorts of health benefits. There’s another thing.  We simply don’t know all of the nutrients in a food that make it healthy. Nutrition science is always discovering new components of foods, things that we didn’t know are there.  Many of them are not even available in supplement form.

Avoiding Additives in Food

The nutrients lost during refinement are not the only disadvantage of eating processed foods.  What’s added can also be a problem. A lot of health conscious people are wary of the preservatives and chemicals that are added to processed and manufactured foods.  These foods are loaded with salt, sugar, and saturated and trans fats. With all of the extra fat and sugar in processed foods, the calories can quickly add up and lead to weight gain.  But eating more healthy whole foods may actually help you lose weight.  The natural fiber in many vegetables, fruits, and grains may fill you up without adding many calories.

The Cost of Whole Foods

There’s another bonus to eating healthy whole foods.  Although the name may now be synonymous with that fancy grocery store, whole foods are much cheaper than processed foods.  They’re also available everywhere. A bag of healthy brown rice is going to be cheaper than a fancy prepackaged rice mix. The other key to a healthy diet is variety.  Don’t get caught up in nutritional details and just eat a wide variety of fruits, vegetables, and whole grains.  Not only is it simple, but it’s the best way to be sure you’re getting all the nutrients you need.