Food Is Your Friend


Don’t Fear Food

It's virtually impossible, no matter what you eat, to gain any fat in the post-workout period, which is roughly defined as the hour-long time frame after you finish lifting weights. While gaining fat during this period is highly improbable, it's highly probable that you will build some muscle during this same time frame, especially when your body receives the protein (and calories) it requires.

It all has to do with insulin, the hormone that carries glucose and amino acids to muscle cells. Broadly speaking, insulin has two choices, it can either shuttle glucose and protein to storage in fatty tissue and the liver, or it can deliver those nutrients directly to muscle cells where they're used to fuel, repair, and grow muscle. The path it takes is determined by exercise; if you're lifting weights or just finished lifting weights, insulin will take the nutrients directly to muscle instead of storing it.  Muscle is particularly sensitive to insulin during this workout/post workout period, so if you want to build muscle/curves, it's imperative that you eat during what we call the "peri-workout" period, which is comprised of the period just before, during, and after a resistance workout. So temporarily forget your calorie fears. Temporarily forget your carb fears because this is when you need to provide your muscles with the material it needs to build those curves. In general, have a protein/carbohydrate drink about 45 minutes to an hour before a workout and a substantial amount of protein and carbohydrates after a workout. In a perfect world, you'd also sip a protein/carb drink during the workout, too, but at the very least, make sure you don't skimp on that post-workout meal.

 The Juice Queen

I’m not talking about drug use; I’m talking about pulverized, concoctions of kale, seaweed, wheat grass, and whatever other vegetables or fruits the juicer is able to create. Vegetables and fruits contain simple sugars and more complex, harder-to-digest carbs. However, when you blend up fruits and vegetables, you're breaking down all those normally hard-to-digest carbs into very small pieces. Drink that stuff down, and you're virtually bypassing much of the digestive process.  All of those sugars are presented to your bloodstream, and your pancreas releases a surge of insulin to counteract all that sugar. Insulin shuttles off some of the sugar to muscle cells and the rest are stored (in the liver or as body fat), but then insulin levels dip below baseline, and you get hungry again fast. If you give in to that hunger, you're ingesting more calories than you might normally have while extra, and unnecessary calories get stored as fat. What's more? if you do the juice thing often enough, you may develop some insulin resistance, which is the first step down the path to Type II diabetes. I'm not suggesting that you give up all juices. Drink them in moderation, eat them in their unpulverized, and natural state, or add a scoop of protein to your drink. The protein will prevent the big insulin surge, and in addition, gives your muscles some extra building blocks.




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