Eating and Hydrating for Combat Sport Athletes: Nutrient Timing, The Key To Unlocking Your Potential Part 3

Posted: Friday, 25 May 2012 by Strength&Nutrition24/7 in Labels: , ,

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This is where the fun begins!!!
This article will help improve the performance of every athlete.

Over the 24 hour day, your muscles go through a constantly changing growth cycle, there are times when they are actively involved in producing energy, times when they are recovering, and other times when they are growing. In order for your muscles to function at their peak ability, we need to cater to each of these scenarios, to do this we need to provide the muscles

with the adequate and proper nutrients at the appropriate time.

In every scenario we can guide our muscles metabolic pathways to produce and replenish our muscle glycogen (stored glucose) and synthesize muscle protein. By providing the body with the right nutrient mixture to the muscles at the right time, you can greatly enhance your rate of recovery (18-24+hours) and improve muscle growth, strength, and power. This all adds up to making one deadly warrior

Nutrient Timing
Three Main Phases of Nutrient Timing

The energy phase
This phase is the time in which your exercise takes place. During this period of time, your muscles need to release enough energy to produce muscle contractions. Most people are not familiar with the idea of consuming carbs during the workout. Just today, I was in the supplement store talking with another customer as we waited in line for the cashier.  He was talking about how he was excited to find a protein with almost no carbs. By consuming high glycemic carbs, you prevent the depletion of muscle glycogen stores, which helps extend endurance, and to maintain blood glucose levels which help delay fatigue.

We are going to go beyond just supplying the body with carbs in this phase. Research has demonstrated that when you ingest protein with carbohydrates, specific amino acids, and vitamins will be able to spare your glycogen and achieve greater endurance (go harder for longer), reduce and avoid the increase of cortisol for longer (cortisol causes the breakdown of muscle), help prepare muscle enzymes for a faster recovery following workout, and reduce the risk of immune system shutdown.

The anabolic phase 
In this phase, everyone is familiar with but significantly lacking in knowledge. This is the time immediately following training. This phase is the 45 minute window following your workout, if you provide the correct combination of nutrients, you will initiate a heightened level of muscle damage repair and glycogen replenishment.

For those who have been following me, you are probably thinking: why are you suggesting us to have high glycemic index carbs?

Well after exercise, your muscles are like a dried out sponge. They are so desperate for carbs and protein. If you ingest these in the 45 minutes after training, your muscles will put them to immediate use and you don’t need to worry about putting on fat. This being said, don’t go overboard.

Often after training, I see clients begin to wonder and hang out with friends.... they decide to go shoot some hoops and miss out on this 45 minute window when their muscles are extremely insulin receptive. It is simple, just make a shake and then go play. After these 45 minutes have gone by, your insulin sensitivity quickly drops. As you can see in the image below

Actually, if you completely miss the 2 hour window, your body becomes insulin resistant and adds 18-24+ hours to your recovery time.

The most common thing I see with athletes and clients is to ingest a plain protein shake that has no carbs. The effectiveness of whey without carbs is incredibly reduced. I mean, it is shocking at how less effective it is.

So, soon as you finish reading this article, I suggest you go to your local supermarket that has a beer making section and purchase dextrose. This is super cheap and the most effective sugar to use for your training.

The growth phase
This phase takes place after the anabolic phase and lasts until the next training time. As the name of this phase implies your muscle begins to grow by increasing the number of contractile proteins and the size of the muscle fibers, as well as fully replenishing muscle glycogen.

Research has demonstrated that all three of the times are extremely important. However, most people will choose to skip the energy phase.... this is a poor choice. That is the last phase you want to skip, it has been found to be of even greater importance than the anabolic phase.

The application in the image below will cause an incredible improvement in your training. However, I will go over in the next article possible alternatives that have been suggested in recent research. Such as, covering whether protein or essential amino acids are better? Also, if chocolate milk could be a viable post workout replacement drink.

I highly suggest reading Nutrient timing by John Ivy. It is a must read for everybody interested in taking their training to the next level

If you are interested in the International society of sport nutrition’s stand point on nutrient timing 
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Part 1
Part 2