Hi. For some weeks I've been following the guidelines about this. Sporting after waking up, and not eating carbs after (sometimes don't eating anything at all even for some hours).
Something I wanted to ask is why the sport-after-waking-up thing, and what's the no-carbs-after about.
Then, I'd like to know what's best to do after doing some sport: not eating, eating? Mainly protein? fat?
Thanks for your help, people. If not for paleohacks, I don't know what i'd do!
asked byXhenaro (55)
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on February 20, 2012
at 01:10 PM
Exercising first thing in the morning is for several reasons. It means you have an empty stomach, so you're not wasting oxygen trying to digest food at the same time. It means your cortisol is naturally higher so you can handle the stress better (and keep things in sync with your daily rhythms). It means you're fasted so your energy supply will be a bit more efficient, and you'll be more anabolic and motivated to get out there and hunt down some food. The biggest factor though is that it is assumed people only have time to workout morning or evening, either side of their work day. For many they find it better to do it in the morning instead of waiting to the end of the day and fighting tiredness. But different people have different preferences.
Not eating after the workout is to promote autophagy, the natural recycling of unwanted proteins in the body. Not eating carbs specifically is to force the body to use fat stores to fuel the recovery. Basically it should give better fat loss, but it may take you longer to recover.
What you should do depends on your goals. Many would suggest you want to exercise fasted, and then break the fast with the bulk of the carbs you're planning to eat (and protein). Art de Vany is who you want to look to to find out about continuing the fast for several hours after exercise to take advantage of the situation for health and weight loss. So if you're exercising hard every day, you will probably struggle unless you maximise refueling and eat carbs and protein. The primal approach however suggests you should only be working hard 2-3 times a week, in which case there's plenty of time for you to replenish your fuel supplies through your normal meals. People who usually eat low-carb would suggest eating fat and protein after the exercise because that's a normal meal, but a 'balanced' approach would be to sometimes eat after exercise and sometimes not.
For muscle building or fat loss, the reality is that the latest thinking is that the post-workout meal isn't nearly as important as people thought - unless you're an elite athlete training hard every day. The best thing to do is stick to your normal approach, don't eat until you're hungry, eat what you normally eat when you are hungry, and if you find you're struggling to keep up with the exercise over time you either need to eat more or take a break.
So, eat carbs if you desperately need to replenish glycogen (for example you have another heat to run in the Olympic 100m finals that afternoon). Eat protein to encourage muscle growth (though even if you are looking for growth, occasionally skipping this likely gives benefits similar to intermittent fasting). Eat fat if you are hungry (though if you have a lot of weight to lose, you want to encourage your bodyfat to take up the slack).