If you’re interested in getting the most out of your workouts and your nutrition, you must know about nutrient timing. As a matter of fact, nutrient timing has been around for quite some time now. However, it hasn’t been utilized or spoken about much. 

The premise of nutrient timing is that our body can process specific foods at specific times better than others.

In this article, we’re going to describe why you need nutrient timing in regards to working out, how you can get started with nutrient timing, and common mistakes that people make when getting started using nutrient timing.

Why Is Nutrient Timing Important After Working Out?

If you want to stay lean or recover between workouts, considering nutrient timing as part of your nutrition plan can give you the desired results. 

When we talk about nutrient timing with respect to working out, we’re talking about your carbohydrate and protein intake timing (Anon., 2018)

This is important because our bodies can process glucose better after we have worked out. 

If you analyze any diseases or pathologies, you will find that most of them stem from abnormal blood glucose levels with diabetes.

Diabetes (Anon., n.d.) is managed by a hormone called insulin released from our pancreas when we have too much blood sugar in our stream.

Insulin is used to pull the sugar out of the blood and into the muscle or liver storing glycogen.

Although this has been termed a pathological state (Anon., n.d.), it is beneficial when we are trying to create an anabolic or post-workout effect.

Think about it. When you’re working out, and after you’re done you’re looking to repair the muscles and tissues for an anabolic response, not break it down further, which the workout did.

You want to increase your carbohydrates and protein load during this time.

This will cause a spike in insulin, which will take the sugars and store them into the muscle and the liver as glycogen.

The benefits of having the nutrient timing after working out are it increases your insulin spike, which then increases your anabolic measures. Still, it’s also going to increase your healing and post-workout effect.

How To Get Started With Nutrient Timing?

If you’re serious about timing up your nutrition for maximum absorption post-workout, here are a few tips that you can do right away to help you to get the most out of it.

  1. Plan out your meals.

If you’re not planning, you’re guessing and leaving it up to chance. If you’re going to maximize your nutrition timing, you need to plan out your meals immediately after your workout.

One of the best ways you can do this is by creating a weekly calendar, the days that you’re working out.

Before you go and workout, pick up those foods and bring them to the gym because the sooner you acquire those foods, the better.

  1. Protein Intake

While you are planning out your meals for the week, make sure to include high protein foods.

We need to increase our protein synthesis and anabolism with high protein foods. Foods high in protein may include chicken, beef, tofu, lentils, protein shakes, edamame, or eggs.

In essence, we want to acquire the food in more of a liquid state because it takes a slower time to process when the food is not broken down.

This is why most people take protein shakes because it’s quick and easy and can easily move into the bloodstream in the form of amino acids, which is the, one of the monomers of protein.

  1. Carb Intake

Secondly, we are also going to want to mix foods high in carbohydrates after our workout.

Ideally, highly glycemic foods are best because they will elevate our blood sugar faster.

In return, this will help you get that sweet tooth out of your diet.

A high glycemic food would be a banana. Bananas raise your blood sugar fast, and insulin is required to pump into your bloodstream from your pancreas, pulling that excess sugar into your muscle and liver in the form of glycogen.

Some other means of healthy carbohydrates include sweet potatoes, rice, quinoa, fruit, and oats.

Now, these are all dependent upon what your ultimate goal is with your post-workout nutrition.

Why Nutrient Timing Matters…

There you have it. There’s a step-by-step process on how and why you may need to consider using nutrient timing to get the most effect out of your post-workout routine.

If you do apply the information above, you’ll feel less sore after your workouts, but your body will be able to maximize its muscle growth and repair processes.

Although insulin and diabetes have a bad reputation, insulin is needed to build up your muscle tissue.

And if you apply these principles above when your body needs it the most, you’re going to maximize your workout and body nutrition.

 

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References

Anon., 2018. Glucose Control: Why Timing Your Exercise After Meals Matters. [Online] Available at: https://health.clevelandclinic.org/exercise-and-your-glucose-levels-does-timing-make-a-difference/[Accessed 24 02 2021].

Anon., n.d. How is the pancreas involved in diabetes?. [Online] Available at: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/325018[Accessed 24 02 2021].

Anon., n.d. Pathological condition. [Online] Available at: https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/mathematics/pathological-condition[Accessed 24 02 2021].