The latest buzz words in sports nutrition is “nutrient timing”. I used to think the key to body recomposition was simply making sure the calories going in the “pie hole” did not exceed what was expended by exercise. That didn’t really work for me and a number of other strategies failed as well.
Nutrient timing comes down to what and when you eat in relation to your training. I have previously written of my experiences with the Warrior Diet, written by Ori Hofmekler. A number of years ago, Ori personally taught me the principles of what to eat, when and why it works. I again would strongly recommend reading Ori’s work on the topic. My results were striking.
Additionally, I have read an abstract from the International Society of Sports Nutrition. Take a look; the bold was added by me for emphasis:
International society of sports nutrition position stand: nutrient
J Int Soc Sports Nutr. 2008 Oct 3;5(1):17. [Epub ahead of print] Links
Kerksick C, Stout J, Campbell B, Wilborn C, Kreider R, Kalman D,
Ziegenfuss T, Lopez H, Landis J, Ivy J, Antonio J.
ABSTRACT: Position Statement: The position of the Society regarding
nutrient timing and the intake of carbohydrates, proteins, and fats
in reference to healthy, exercising individuals is summarized by the
following eight points:
1.) Maximal endogenous glycogen stores are best promoted by following
a high-glycemic, high-carbohydrate (CHO) diet (600 – 1000 grams CHO
or ~ 8 – 10 g CHO/kg/d), and ingestion of free amino acids and
protein (PRO) alone or in combination with CHO before resistance
exercise can maximally stimulate protein synthesis.
2.) During exercise, CHO should be consumed at a rate of 30 – 60
grams of CHO/hour in a 6 – 8 % CHO solution (8 – 16 fluid ounces)
every 10 – 15 minutes. Adding PRO to create a CHO:PRO ratio of 3 -
4:1 may increase endurance performance and maximally promotes
glycogen re-synthesis during acute and subsequent bouts of endurance
3.) Ingesting CHO alone or in combination with PRO during resistance
exercise increases muscle glycogen, offsets muscle damage, and
facilitates greater training adaptations after either acute or
prolonged periods of supplementation with resistance training.
4.) Post-exercise (within 30 minutes) consumption of CHO at high
dosages (8 – 10 g CHO/kg/day) have been shown to stimulate muscle
glycogen re-synthesis, while adding PRO (0.2 g – 0.5 g PRO/kg/day) to
CHO at a ratio of 3 – 4:1 (CHO: PRO) may further enhance glycogen re-
5.) Post-exercise ingestion (immediately to 3 h post) of amino acids,
primarily essential amino acids, has been shown to stimulate robust
increases in muscle protein synthesis, while the addition of CHO may
stimulate even greater levels of protein synthesis. Additionally, pre-
exercise consumption of a CHO + PRO supplement may result in peak
levels of protein synthesis.
6.) During consistent, prolonged resistance training, post-exercise
consumption of varying doses of CHO + PRO supplements in varying
dosages have been shown to stimulate improvements in strength and
body composition when compared to control or placebo conditions.
7.) The addition of creatine (Cr) (0.1 g Cr/kg/day) to a CHO + PRO
supplement may facilitate even greater adaptations to resistance
8.) Nutrient timing incorporates the use of methodical planning and
eating of whole foods, nutrients extracted from food, and other
The timing of the energy intake and the ratio of certain ingested
macronutrients are likely the attributes which allow for enhanced
recovery and tissue repair following high-volume exercise, augmented
muscle protein synthesis, and improved mood states when compared with
unplanned or traditional strategies of nutrient intake.
I have been enjoying my organic chocolate milk (3:1 ratio) after my heavy lifting days. It’s not as satisfying as a cold beer, but it is good enough!