Pre/During/Post Workout Nutriton
Before discussing pre/during/post workout nutrition, it’s important to analyze why you are working out in the first place. If it is simply to burn calories for weight loss or maintenance, then your workout is inherently counterproductive to optimal metabolic function which for many is a huge factor in weight gain. Calorie restriction or creating a calorie deficit will stimulate your body to convert fat and protein for energy in order to maintain short term survival. However, to prevent you from literally “consuming” yourself, your metabolism will automatically slow down to reduce the rate at which it utilizes energy. Therefore, the amount of calories you “burn” in a single workout, you must consume plus a bit more in order to meet your metabolic needs to prevent a caloric deficit and stimulate that catabolic response. In order to burn 800-1000 calories in one workout, you would have to run through your stores of glycogen in both the muscles and the liver which in itself will force a stress response and conversion of fats and proteins to glucose for energy. Understand, most people are not storing glycogen efficiently anyway so even a low intensity workout for some can cause an immediate stress response.
So, for the sake of metabolic function, we can agree that burning calories or weight loss should not be our goal during our workout. So what it?
Your workout should have two primary goals:
1) use exercise (physical and mental STRESS) to induce physical changes that improve function, movement or sport performance.
2) minimize the hormonal response to the STRESS caused by the workout to maintain metabolic function
Goal #1 should be accomplished with a qualified exercise coach that can properly design workout variables such as reps, sets, load, rest and tempo to maximize response and minimize the stress of the workout itself. This is both science and art, but mostly science. When designing programs, we NEVER count the amount of calories burned during a workout session. Read goal #1 again.
Goal #2 can be accomplished through nutrition. If sugar (glucose) is our primary and most efficient source of energy, then it is important that we not only have taught our bodies to utilize this source, but that we have adequate supplies in reserve to sustain us through our workout. Your nutritional base should already include adequate use of fruits and root vegetables along with correct proportions of proteins and fats in order to maintain your supply of glycogen in the muscles and liver. In anticipation of an intense workout, consuming foods that are anti-inflammatory as well as foods that contain needed sugar will help “top off” your supplies. This is critical since most people who have been on any kind of “diet” with low carbs, high proteins or restricted caloric intake usually do not store glycogen in the liver well.
Since glycogen stores will be consumed rather quickly in a moderate to intense workout, you should replenish your supplies during your workout to prevent the stress response and conversion of fats and protein for use as energy.
So….what should we eat or use during the workout?
Everyone is different and will require unique ratios. However the combination of proteins and carbs during and 30-45 minutes after a workout provide huge benefits in controlling inflammation, protecting the muscle and replenishing the stores of glycogen. Carbs can be most tropical fruits, but pulp free OJ provides fructose as well as magnesium and potassium which helps regulate blood sugar and mitigate the stress response. During the workout try using a mixture of pulp free OJ, gelatin, carbonated water, and pickling salt. Use tropical fruits and other non-inflammatory proteins such as dairy, eggs, white fish for post workouts to obtain additional nutrients not included in your “during” workout mix.
2016 World Champion Thoa Nguyen demonstrates part 1 of a hip mobility drill used in our series of drills that will be presented at "THE ART AND SCIENCE OF MODERN POOMSAE TRAINING" course (MPT 101). This drill is practical for any sport but especially useful in developing mobilty required for Sport Poomsae atheltes.
Want more? Consider attending the next MPT course or become a Horizon Athlete.
John Daniels to Instruct new Kali / Arnis / Escrima / Jeet Kune Do classes at Horizon Sports Facility
When it comes to martial arts experience, John Daniels may be the best kept secret in the Pacific Northwest if not the entire US. His training resume and extensive list of instructor and "grand-master" level ranks place him among the elites of the martial arts industry. Many instructors base their "teaching credentials" on their training experience and rank obtained under a well-known or famous "master." John Daniels has extensive training under at least 15 legendary instructors such as: Dan Inosanto, Roberto Presas, Ernesto Presas, Al Dacascos, Cacoy Canete, Arjan Chai Sirisute, etc. The list goes on.
For more information on John Daniels or other Martial Arts class at Horizon Martial Arts, visit www.HorizonSportsMA.com or CLICK HERE.
One of the reasons we have had such great success with our fitness training system is not because of the focus on the end result, but because of the focus on the consistent adherence to a process based on science, experience, and as well as the end results. Our nutrition program is no different. The results (good health and proper weight) are the symptoms of the creation of an environment that nurtures a functional metabolism with nutrients being provided in the right combinations, at the right frequencies, by wholesome and natural food sources that are easily recognized by our bodies.
How do we know what is "right?" Most people wait until they are well down the road to disease, illness, or injury before recognizing that what they have been doing is not working. Fortunately, there are some things we can do right now before we go down that road. To keep this from being a dissertation, I'll provide some simple steps to follow.
1) Recognize the symptoms - Many who experience the "symptoms" of poor nutrition simply do not understand or won't admit that the cause of those symptoms may be a result of what they are eating and/or their lifestyle. They look at common issues like: joint pain, back pain, GI problems, blood pressure, high blood sugar, and so on; and they attribute these things to growing old or some other reason. Even worse, some look at everyone else around them and figure it is normal. It's not!!! If you experience any of these symptoms, something needs to be addressed immediately. It could be a medical condition. However, until your nutrition is "cleaned up," how can your doctor really know the cause. Notice I didn't say address the symptom and play whack-a-mole with your body.
2) Create the proper environment - Analogies are never perfect but he's one that may help you visualize what we are trying to accomplish. If a yard is full of weeds, you can run around spraying the weeds which not only damages the ground and the grass, but the weeds eventually pop up again and again. Or, you can create an environment for the grass to flourish which provides a less suitable environment and suffocates the weeds. At the very least, the weeds are kept to a level where the grass is lush and healthy and the yard maintains a certain stability or "vegetational homeostasis." I made that term up but this is just an analogy after all. The environment we want to change in our bodies is the manner in which we create and use sugar for energy. Essentially, are you utilizing dietary sugars/carbs as your primary source of energy (good) or are you breaking down protein and fat to create the sugar needed for energy (bad)? The later method should be reserved for "fight or flight" situations and is not the type of metabolism we want to maintain throughout the day. Stress induces that state which is why so many people have compromised metabolisms and trouble with weight and overall health.
3) Track your responses - Your temperature is one of the best indicators of your metabolic state. If you take your temperature first thing in the morning and 20 minutes after your eat, you will begin to get a picture of how your body reacts to your meals. If your temperature is below 97.8 then you need to start making changes to your macro-nutrient ratios, frequencies, and food choices. In order to do this, YOU MUST LOG YOUR MEALS! There is no way around this part. In the past we recommended an excel spreadsheet which provided a nice pie chart, caloric intake, and macro-nutrient ratios. Unfortunately, you had to look up every ingredient and fill in all the details at each meal Today, with tools like CRONOMETER, there really is no reasonable excuse for not tracking your meals so you can easily make the adjustments needed to create the proper environment. I'm including a link to that app below.
4) Make adjustments - Now that you have all the data from step 3, simply begin making adjustments with your macro-nutrients, frequencies, and food choices. Use the food list in the Horizon HUB as a guideline for what foods are pro-metabolic. If you are experiencing any GI issues, eat only from the GREEN column. As your gut heals, you can slowly integrate from the YELLOW column in moderation. Everyone should stay away from the foods in the RED column. That alone will significantly reduce inflammation and improve your health. I'm including a link below to "The Metabolic Blue Cookbook" by Josh and Jeanne Rubin. In addition to some great recipes, it provides really good information on the concepts we utilize with our nutrition programming.
Follow the steps outlines to improve health and subsequently maintain a healthy weight. You "get healthy to lose weight, you don't lose weight to get healthy." If that doesn't quite make sense yet, make an appointment with your coaches for more explanation. If you would like learn how to access the Horizon HUB and the tools for fitness, nutrition, and mental & lifestyle management, CLICK HERE.
DESIGN YOUR SUCCESS!
(The ability to focus is a skill and like many skills, it's much easier to learn it correctly the first time and early on than to re-learn or establish it later. Over the years in working with youth sports, I have noticed a growing population of kids that are unable to absorb simple information being presented because they are incapable of staying focused for even a brief period of time. In some cases, parents and doctors resort to medications to "calm" their brains just to allow them to function throughout the day without being disruptive in school or other activities. Sure, there are some cases where medications are needed but I have found more often than not they are a band-aid to other underlying issues. The environment we as parents and coaches provide will do more to help kids develop and nurture focus than anything else. Here are some tips you can use to make a positive impact on their development of this skill:
1. SET AN EXAMPLE
If you as parents are unable to demonstrate the ability to focus, concentrate, or listen, then it will be much more difficult for your child to copy that positive behavior.
2. ASK YOUR CHILD TO LOOK AT YOU (or anyone else) WHEN YOU SPEAK TO THEM
Eye contact is important for your child to stay engaged and listening. If you allow them to constantly get distracted, it will become and accepted habit. It's your job to remind them to look at you.
3. REQUIRE A RESPONSE
A simple "yes mom," "yes dad," or "I understand" is not only an acknowledgement that they have heard, understand what you have said, but creates a stronger commitment on their part to follow through with what you may have requested of them.
4. MINIMIZE OVER-STIMULATION
By that I don't mean not to challenge them or expose them to new things. I'm talking about video games, smart phones, certain television programs, and even multi-tasking activities. When you continually raise the level of visual and mental stimulation in a kids brain, simple, slow, and relatively mundane activities (like talking with a parent) becomes unbearable. It's not unlike jacking them up on sugar and then ask them to sit still. It's not necessarily a hyperactive child. It may be that their brain is simply adapting to the stimulus and environment provided. By the way, YOU CONTROL THE ENVIRONMENT!
5. DON'T OVERLOAD THEIR SCHEDULES (Rest & Recovery)
Parents these days are so concerned with providing every opportunity for their child to "succeed" that too often their schedules become unmanageable and leave little time for rest and recovery for them and the kids. These days many sport seasons overlap and with unfortunate and growing trend of year-round specialization, it's not uncommon for an athlete to be involved with 3 sports at some point during the year. Truth is, it really does not help the kids and leads to early overuse injuries and burnout but that's a topic for another article. Likewise, inadequate rest and recovery has a dramatic negative affect on brain function and behavior.
6. CREATE "MANDATORY BOREDOM" TIME
When kids are young, we parents get used to "keeping them busy" throughout the day. Whether it's organizing activities or sticking them in front of the TV with a movie, we get in the habit of keeping them occupied to avoid the inevitable chaos that occurs with a bored child. As they get older, however, it's important that they have a chance to think, ponder, dream, create, etc. without parents micro-managing every moment of their day.
Here are some things to watch out for:
- too much hi-tech television shows/movies (compare old westerns to transformers)
- constant need for music
- smart phone and social media obsession
- no hobbies (other than sports)
HOW DO YOU RETRAIN KIDS THAT ALREADY LACK FOCUS?
Incorporate the 6 points above into your lifestyle and household.
STRUCTURE & ROUTINES - Some people "feel" that telling kids what to do and when to do it doesn't allow them to be spontaneous or creative. However, kids flourish in a structured environment and it actually gives them more time to be creative if done right. Stop telling kids what to do throughout the day. Give them chores to do and then the rest of the time is theirs with respect and limitations given for the items listed above. If you have tasks that you want them to do outside of their assigned chores, write them on a white board with a big check box next to it. Completing and checking tasks off a list actually raises the endorphin levels in the brain and can become addictive. Imagine that! Your kids addicted to doing tasks.
TEACH IN BLOCKS or "CHUNKING"
Whether you are a coach, teacher, or parent, it's important to remember that teaching kids is not just about passing on the information. You should do it in a manner and pace so they not only understand it but they FEEL confident and competent with the material. Be creative, teach in pieces and then put them together. You will find that they learn much quicker and can better retain the information or skills.
SET CLEAR BOUNDARIES, EXPECTATIONS, AND CONSEQUENCES
Kids aren't "born to be bad." Sometimes what we see as poor or disrespectful behavior is simply a matter of the child not understanding how their actions affect others. Take the time to explain that first and then consider providing consequences for future infractions.
DON'T ASSUME IT'S THE CHILD!
It's not an easy thing to swallow when you realize that you are the source of your child's behavior and lack of focus. But, if you try to find solutions with that possibility in mind, you will probably come up with better solutions. Consider how you communicate. Is it with thoughtful purpose or are you mimicking how a parent communicated with you when you were a child?
DON'T SAY DON'T!
We know our job is to guide our kids and direct and encourage them to make decisions that ultimately allow them to experience some form of happiness. In that light, if someone asked you for directions from Seattle to Los Angeles, would you say: "don't go east, you'll end up in Denver." Or, "don't go west unless you plan to swim there." Of course not. You'd tell them take I-5 south until you reach the land of the crazies. You'd tell them what TO DO instead of what NOT TO DO. Eliminates the guessing and the need for trial and error. In the case of sports, visualization is a powerful tool to create the results you want. If say something like, "don't swing at a high pitch," what do you think they are going to do. Yep, swing at the high pitch every time. What they see in their mind they will do. Start making mental notes on how often you say don't and see if you can come up with a better way to express your point.
FOCUS is a skill but also a symptom of an environment that allows encourages that skill to develop and minimizes the obstacles. Hope this gives you some food for thought. Feel free to leave comments or ideas from your own experiences.
Horizon Executive Coach
Performance and Corrective Exercise Specialist
Holistic Lifestyle Coach
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