Are There Nutrient-Timing Rules?
There are definitely mechanisms in our bodies that help us process foods in certain ways around different times, but are there truly rules that you must follow to get you to your goal?
The answer is yes and no…but I will give you the one thing that holds true in all of these diets when done properly.
Do What Works for Your Body
What I want for everyone to understand is that your body, your workout load, and your schedule in life are all different than anyone else on the planet. That means that what works for you best is truly specific to you! You can send yourself down the “rabbit hole” in deciding what diet works the best because science will show they all work for certain people. These diets will use certain studies to show that theirs is the best while another study will show the same results doing the exact opposite. This shows that WE ARE ALL DIFFERENT, and not just genetically but also socially with our habits.
Timing and Hormones
When you get to searching for what diet works best, you will find the standard 5-6 meals spread throughout the day, intermittent fasting, carb back-loading, carb front-loading, fried carbs, boiled carbs, carbs & grits…sorry, I digress. My point is that all of these and more will show the scientific results of those timings being most effective. Take the anomalies that are Keto and Carnivore out of the picture and there is going to be one major similarity in all of these diets – TIMING.
Post-workout nutrition holds quite steady through all of these diet styles. All of the various styles of nutrient timing are trying to control the hormones insulin and leptin to help us lose the most weight and put on the most lean muscle that we can.
Leptin – Hormone made by adipose (fat cells) tissue to help regulate the amount of energy needed by the body.
Insulin- In very simple terms, it shuttles nutrients throughout your body.
The only problem is that when there is a spike in insulin in the bloodstream after eating, especially with carbohydrates, our body stops producing leptin because we have plenty of energy from our food and do not need to rely on fat stores for energy. That’s right, your body automatically shifts gears on you.
So carbs are bad right?! Not when they’re timed properly!
This is where all of these diets end up in agreement, and that is post-workout. After working out, our bodies are depleted and need to be refueled so we can recover. Using fat stores will not let our bodies recover and rebuild the lean muscle tissue we are trying to achieve. WE WANT AN INSULIN SPIKE POST-WORKOUT! Without all of those shuttles to move nutrients to the damaged muscle fibers, we will remain in a constant state of pain and soreness with no muscle growth. Carbohydrates used in the meals around our workouts are vital for muscle growth in almost ALL traditional diets and need to be used or we are not optimizing our results!
When it comes to how you time all of the other food you consume, that is truly going to be up to trial and error of figuring out what best fits your lifestyle and goals, but one thing is for sure; eating your carbs in that few hours post-workout is a must!