By now most of us have heard the catch phrase “nutrient timing”.
What exactly does that mean?
Basically nutrient timing addresses the dilemma faced by both strength and endurance athletes: "What should I eat and when should I eat it?". Regardless of the sport, the objectives of nutrient timing are the same:
- Replace glycogen
- Minimize protein breakdown
- Increase protein synthesis
Sounds great, right? So where do we go from here? Let's start from the beginning. Nutrient timing really consists of three phases:
- Phase I - During the workout
- Phase II - Within 45 minutes of completing workout
- Phase III - The rest of the day
Okay. Now we have the "when". It's time for the "what". Let's start with Phase I. The best choice here is a high-glycemic carbohydrate / whey protein drink. During this phase, high glycemic carbohydrates stimulate insulin and significantly increase protein synthesis. Phase II begins immediately upon completion of your workout. Within an hour, you'll need to consume a post-workout meal. Phase III is pretty easy to figure out. It's simply the rest of the day.
So, now we need to get into specifics. Remember, these are only generalizations. These ratios can/will change depending on your specific goals (i.e. gain muscle or lose fat).
- Phase I - carb:protein = 2-3:1 (example: 16 oz water, 30g carbs, 15g protein)
- Phase II - carb:protein = 1-2:1 (this can be in liquid or whole food form)
- Phase III - Generally, most folks do well sticking with lean proteins, veggies, and healthy fats during the rest of the day.
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