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Are you prioritizing protein post workout?

It is hard for me as i get done, shower and then head to work during the week but research shows female athletes need to consume their protein to help rebuild and repair muscles (and more reasons) post workout in 30 minutes vs. men can tolerate waiting up to three hours.

What does the research say as per Dr. Stacy Sims?

That means nearly half of active, performance-minded women may not be eating enough for their body to perform basic functions like making muscle, regulating metabolism, and maintaining homeostasis after accounting for the energy they use for training.

That’s bad for your health and performance.

Exercise doesn’t work without the nutrition to support it.

Fueling directly around your training can help you avoid going into low energy availability.

While I’ve seen women become more in tune to their pre and during exercise fueling needs, one area that still falls short is recovery. I see too many women who admit to skipping their post-workout snack because they’re trying to lose weight. This is the wrong way to go about it—especially as a woman.

I know the logic seems sound on the surface. It’s easy to think if you delay food postworkout, you will prolong your fat burning (since the body has nothing else left to burn) and thereby you will lose weight more effectively. In fact, the opposite happens. You may end up gaining weight.

By withholding recovery fuel, you put your body in a catabolic state that stalls your recovery, dims your metabolism, and increases your fat storage because the body is afraid it is in a state of famine.Also, kiss lean mass gains goodbye; without adequate energy intake, you might get stronger, but you cannot build muscle.

The better strategy is taking advantage of your recovery window—the time right after exercise when your insulin levels peak, opening multiple metabolic pathways to expedite your glycogen storage and muscle repair process.

During this “golden window” you’re not only primed to transport the carbs you eat straight into your muscle stores, but also to shuttle amino acids into your muscles, where they can repair the damage and build you back stronger.

It’s important to note that as a woman, your recovery window to take advantage of all these benefits is short—about 30 to 45 minutes (whereas men may have up to 3 hours).

After that point, your insulin sensitivity declines, so it takes your muscles longer to absorb the glucose from your bloodstream, and as a result, your overall glycogen storage is lower. In fact, just 2 to 2 1/2 hours later, your glycogen storage rate drops by 50 percent.

Eating immediately after hard exercise delays this decline in insulin sensitivity. That’s especially important for women in the menopausal transition, who may already be more insulin resistant because of the hormonal changes.

Be sure to prioritize protein in that recovery snack. Women even more so than men need protein post workout, and we need it fast.

The sex hormone progesterone exacerbates muscle breakdown in women.

It makes us more catabolic, especially during the luteal phase of our menstrual cycle.

So, you need more protein to protect your muscles and come back stronger.

Women recover faster with 25 to 30 grams of protein (with 5 to 7 grams of BCAAs) within 30 minutes of a hard workout.

Pair some carbohydrates with that protein. The two work in harmony to increase your glycogen storage rates. Research also shows that taking in carbohydrate and protein together postexercise helps to reduce inflammation and can boost immunity.  If you delay calorie intake, you stay in a breakdown state.

Your body won’t start repairing until you take in some food. Even if you eat enough in the rest of your day to meet what your body needs, not eating post-workout acts the same as not eating enough. And on days when maybe you’re running around and not meeting your total energy needs, properly fueling before and after working out can help you prevent going into a state of low energy availability. 

Finally, if you’re planning to make diet adjustments, especially if you’re doing any sort of calorie reduction, consider implementing them outside of your workout fueling – your body will thank you!

How are you fueling before, during and after workouts?


How to find the RIGHT FUEL and the RIGHT TIME?

Energy Intake Recommendations for Women by Dr. Stacy Sims

Instead of worrying about piling enough pasta on your plate the night before a big event, eat enough to meet your energy needs.

The baseline calorie intake for women is 40 to 45 calories per kg body weight.

Within that, here are the carbohydrate ranges I recommend based on exercise duration and/or intensity.

  • For a light or active recovery day, aim for 2.5 grams per kilogram.
  • For short intense days (like CrossFit training), aim for 2.5 to 3 grams of carbs per kilogram.
  • For moderate- to high-intensity training lasting 60 to 120 minutes, you need 3 to 3.5 grams of carbohydrates per kilogram.
  • For endurance training involving two to five hours of intense training per day (distance running, cycling, swimming), you need 4.5 to 6 grams of carbs per kilogram.
  • For extreme intense training of five hours or more per day (Ironman or multisport events), you need 6 to 7 grams of carbs per kilogram.

Dr. Stacy Sims interview with Dr. Gabrielle Lyon…

We already have more of the protein within the mitochondria for using free fatty acids. We also have estrogen progesterone, that shuttle carbohydrate away into the endometrial lining during the high hormone phase. So, we’re already there at that fat adaptation, but we know from research that women who do fed.

Training, so it’s not a full meal. It might be a hundred, 150 calories. We look at, you know, 15 to 20 grams of protein before resistance training, maybe 15, 20 grams of protein with 30 grams of carbohydrate before cardiovascular.

It drops cortisol and allows the body to have adequate access to blood glucose, which then allows women to train harder and then recover.

When we look at the dataset for fed women versus fasted women, fasted women end up with more hormone dysfunction.

Because if we’re doing fasted training, then we start to perturb the Kisspeptin neurons in the hypothalamus.

Women have two areas of Kisspeptin neurons in the hypothalamus because one area is responsible for appetite and nutrient density, and the other is responsible for endocrine function.

If we don’t have enough calories coming in under stress and load, then it down regulates those kisspeptin neurons, which then feeds forward to downregulating thyroid, which again is the beginning of low energy availability.

BUT for the male dataset, we see that fasted training makes them have better metabolic control doesn’t necessarily lead to better performance, but then they’re able to have more free fatty acid available for metabolic use during workout.

Fueling, Training & Performance Tips for the Endurance Athlete

…as long-distance triathletes, we need to train to improve our ability to make use of fat as a fuel source during exercise. Our other fuel source – carbohydrates – are limited in events like Ironman (7), so effectively accessing fat metabolism is vital for keeping us going during the run leg. Indeed, our ability to metabolise fat has been shown to relate to performance in long-duration exercise in research (2, 8).

To realise this objective, we need to consider the appropriate carbohydrate intake around training sessions designed to maximise fat oxidation, as high carbohydrate intake will blunt fat oxidation during exercise (1, 12). We might therefore recommend resisting significant carbohydrate intake before and during relatively easy training sessions targeted at eliciting high-fat oxidation rates.

EndureIQ: How to implement carbohydrate periodization according to your training

Let me now distil that down into a few key practical recommendations, summarised by session type (Endurance, Lower Tempo, Upper Tempo, Threshold, VO2max, and Anaerobic Capacity) in the Table below:

  1. Restrict carbohydrate intake around and during lower intensity activity with low glycolytic demand.
  2. Don’t be afraid to ingest carbohydrates during very long duration sessions (> around 90-120 min) targeted at improving fat oxidation, as this will help extend the duration of those sessions.
  3. During longer tempo-based session when intensity is clamped (e.g., between the first and second threshold), there may be more adaptation to be gained by restriction carbohydrate beforehand. Starting the session with lower muscle glycogen
  4. Fuel more intense sessions with a few extra carbohydrates to support training quality and maximise the stimulus for adaptation.
  5. Ensure adequate overall calories are always ingested, even and perhaps particularly on days when you are having lower carbohydrate intake.

So, give it try, and check out SFuels for all your Right Fuel, Right Time nutritional needs!

What about KetoGains Founder and Protocol?

KetoGains Principle #1: Protein as a Goal

The primary pillar of the Ketogains system is getting adequate protein, similar to what we teach in our Macros Masterclass.  Protein is not only critical for building muscle and losing fat sustainably, but protein-rich foods are also relatively nutrient-dense.

KetoGains Principle #2: Carbs as a Limit

The KetoGains approach with limited carbohydrate intake works well for most people with some level of insulin resistance and plenty of excess glucose stored in their bodies.

Incidences of metabolic syndrome continue to increase, and over 11.3% of the U.S. population had been diagnosed with diabetes as of 2019.  Most people don’t require a high carb intake to fuel their workouts.  However, if you are already super lean with low blood sugars, you may need to add some carbohydrates around workouts.

KetoGains recommends keeping your carb intake relatively low to fuel your activity.

This equates to around 80-200 calories from carbs, which allows you to draw down on your fat stores and unload the extra energy you have on board.  If you’re more active, you will consume more carbs towards the top of this range and vice versa.

Pre-workout coffee or tea fuel?

Ketogains Pre-Workout Coffee

This recipe is inspired by the Ketogains Pre Workout Coffee. You can use it before heading to the gym as a satiating snack to boost your protein intake.  If you are trying to restrict calories then having something in your stomach when you go to the gym will relieve any hunger and help you to feel a bit more energised.

  • The caffeine provides a boost of focus for the workout.
  • Protein powder provides amino acids for muscle repair when your body needs them at the end of the workout.
  • Creatine helps muscle growth as well as mental acuity.
  • Athletes burn through sodium, so the extra salt prevents cramping and performance issues due to low electrolytes.  Using Lite Salt provides some extra potassium along with the sodium.
  • The MCT oil (optional) provides a burst of available energy while still keeping carbs low.  No need to add MCT if your goal is weight loss and you are not about to do some strenuous activity.

Ketogains is powered by Coffee!!!

The Ketogains pre-Workout mix:

  1. 25-30g whey protein
  2. 10-15g MCT powder
  3. 3-5g Creatine
  4. 1-2g “Lo Salt” (sodium + potassium)
  5. Good quality Coffee.
  6. Blend, and take ~30min before training = MAGIC!

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