So this brings up a very very important hormone, Insulin. Like growth hormone, insulin can help you build lean muscle. Insulin is released from your pancreas when you eat proteins and carbs. That insulin travels through your bloodstream and attaches to insulin receptors in your muscle cells. The reason you want to have a fast digesting carb post workout, is to spike that insulin. When those baby insulin receptors open in the muscle cell, that insulin delivers glucose, creatine and amino acids that help build muscle. Sometimes you see bodybuilders eating gummy bears after a serious pump. This is why!
Insulin does have the same effect on fat cells. The more you spike your levels, the more your fat cells will open for storage. This is why it’s important to eat slow digesting carbs to keep your blood sugars steady. Ideally, you probably have a healthy functioning pancreas and healthy glucose levels.
Take away- before working out, slow carbs about thirty minutes before (if you like things in your stomach during the workout). Most meals your carbs (if you are eating carbs) should be slow digesting. The only time you are looking for higher glycemic index carbs (sugars, gatorade, white bread, gummy bears) are directly after a workout or if your trying to add mass, 30 minutes within waking up. 30-80 grams of fast digesting carbs paired with at least 40 grams of protein should do it for most of you.
We just began offering Driven Nutrition at CrossFit Tantrum. The whey protein (grass fed) also has 5g BCAA’s and 2 g of Leucine. This blend is is great for post WOD nutrition. The BCAA’s, Leucine and Whey will spike insulin levels to replenish muscle glycogen, but it’s also safe to drink between meals (not post-WOD). Studies show the combination of these three ingredients do not hinder fat loss in the long run. (I’d do 2 scoops to get a bit more protein after the WOD). It only has 5g of carbs (1 scoop), so you are good to add a fast digesting carb to increase the release of insulin. (Fast digesting: angel food cake, plain bagel, sugary cereal). Just stating the facts, not saying I agree with someone eating fruity pebbles after a workout! Leucine does wonders on hindering your appetite, and again, the combination of whey, leucine and BCAA’s will help your body recognize insulin (higher sensitivity), so it’s pulled to your muscles and not fat storage. Get on the regimen of supplementing with this stuff.
I hope this helps a lot of you! Feel free to comment and share!
Disclaimer 🙂 This advice is for most of the general population. If you have Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes, read this with caution and seek further advice from a professional (well, that is me), but it’s important to know that this is for informative purposes only!