Posted 2 years ago

Peri Workout Nutrition

Have you ever wondered why you see people consuming large amounts of carbohydrates around the workout parameters? Are you currently eating chicken and rice and feeling like you are missing out?

Consuming a large percentage of your carbohydrate intake around the workout parameter is a process we call Peri Workout Nutrition. Peri-workout nutrition covers pre-workout, intra-workout and post-workout food intake. We do this for a number of reasons, but I am going to discuss the ones I feel are most important to you.

Firstly, consuming carbs before our training will simply help us fuel the muscle contraction and energy demands that we place upon our body throughout the workout. The outcome of this strategic fuelling is an improvement in performance, as well as a better ability to increase the mechanical load placed on muscles during training. Together, these factors will elicit further muscle damage and as such, will provide the necessary stimulation for new muscle mass being added to our frame, which is ultimately our goal in bodybuilding.

Secondly, consuming carbs during your workout – or intra workout, by using something like highly branch chain cyclic dextrin- will aid in providing readily available fuel whilst you’re training. Furthermore, if we mix our intra workout carbs with some amino acids and sip on this throughout the workout this will allow the recovery process to begin for muscle groups trained earlier in the workout.

But how does that recovery work, and how does it relate to carbohydrates? This question brings me to my third point and by far the most poignant: that consuming large boluses of carbohydrates post-workout will offset muscle protein breakdown and upregulates muscle protein synthesis (building) i.e. the ultimate goal of body building.

As amino acids are the building blocks of protein, we need them alongside carbs for the muscle to begin to recover and build. Thus, by consuming carbohydrates and protein intra-workout, we are facilitating the recovery of muscles trained early in the workout, and then our post workout meal will add to this alongside beginning the repair process for those muscles trained later in the workout.

With this in mind, it’s important to consider that during your training session, your body becomes very sensitive to nutrients – specifically, your body becomes better able to shuttle carbs into muscle cells as opposed to fat tissue or elsewhere. This is because during and after training, our bodies are in a heightened state of insulin sensitivity, and insulin is the very hormone that enables the carbohydrate/nutrient transmission to muscle tissue.

As we know, large boluses of carbohydrates cause a big insulin spike, which is why bagels, cereal or poptarts come into play. The consumption of these high glycemic index carbohydrates causes the desired big spike in insulin, and as a result, the recovery process discussed above, begins.

One other welcomed addition to using peri-workout nutrition is that it can vastly improve dietary adherence and reduce cravings: who doesn’t want to have cocopops post-workout? This, in practice, I have found to be very effective.

In summary carbohydrates consumed in larger quantities around the workout parameter will help performance, offset muscle protein breakdown, upregulate muscle protein building and also improve dietary adherence.

If you’re tired of eating the same old chicken and rice pre or post training drop me an email and book in for your free consultation today.

Vaughan Wilson Bsc Hons