The Not Idiots Guide to Nutrition (Complex Advice Made Simple)

The Thinker holding a book about Complex Carbohydrates

Derivative by Jay Ray

Written by Jay Ray

In past blogs, I have discussed the importance of protein consumption for maximizing the results of working out, and my friend and colleague, Cameron, has pointed out how food can affect moods. Now, the focus turns to how inexpensive household food staples can synchronize the body to best respond to exercise and then maintain the rewards.

Nutrition advice in very muscle specific magazines and websites can be quite daunting; the advice is often exacting to the point of being overwhelming, and the diets proposed would necessitate shopping at expensive organic themed grocery stores, the time to eat several small yet elaborate meals every day, and degrees in physiology and chemistry to understand what it all means. The advice is good, but the actual process of tailoring the diet for the active lifestyle doesn’t have to be so complicated, unrealistic, or expensive.

To achieve a better harmony between nutrition and working out, there are two methods that I propose and simplify: 1)integrate healthy, commonplace foods into your diet; 2)understand how different foods affect the body before and after a workout.

When working out, the body looks to carbohydrates stored in muscles, fat-cells, and the liver. The moral of this story is that not all carbs should be vilified; the right kind of carbs supply the body with the energy it seeks during workouts. Before working out, the consumption of complex carbohydrates and protein will give the body the energy it will need and the muscles the sustinence they require to grow bigger and stronger. Life tends to be hectic, so the timing of workouts has to fit within the demands of a busy schedule. Some people workout in the morning, some people workout in the afternoon, and some people workout in the evening. The following complex carb and protein rich foods are affordable, good to eat at any time of the day, and, for the person on the go, many can be toted in a backpack: turkey or peanut butter sandwich on whole grain, bananas, oatmeal, eggs, nuts, dried fruit, yogurt, bagels, fruit juice, milk, and power bars (Clif Bars are a fabulous,vitamin-packed, and inexpensive source of protein and complex carbs — this is not an endorsement but just a tip).

After a workout, the muscles need protein to repair themselves, and the body needs carbs to replace the energy that was expended — but, at this point, simple carbs are better than complex carbs. Complex carbs digest slowly — which is ideal for keeping a source of energy available throughout the day and the workout.  Post-workout, the body wants to quickly replace stores of energy, so simple carbs, which digest fast, are a better option than complex carbs. The following are commonplace sources of simple carbs: potatoes, white rice, apples, strawberries, white pasta, most packaged cereals,and chocolate(!). Whey powder is the best bet for a post workout source of protein because it is liquid and, as such, will be digested faster than solid foods; the idea is to deliver protein to the muscles quickly. But a person has to eat, so, during meals,  try to consume protein that is lean: turkey, chicken, tuna, soy, beef with minimal marbling (look for “loin” or “round” cuts), eggs, and beans. There are many other sources of lean protein, but I have listed the previous examples because they fit my stated criteria of  readily available, affordable sources.

One final note: don’t go to bed hungry: muscles mend themselves during sleep, so it is important to go to bed nourished or else damaged muscles will look to newly formed muscle for the protein needed to repair themselves.


Posted on May 3, 2012, in Body Building, Build Muscle, Eating Heathly, Exercise, Fitness, Fitness and Nutrition, Healthy Food, Physical Health, Preparation, Self Confidence, Vitamins & Nutirents, Work Out and tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

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  1. Pingback: Men Energy workout Diet | Mens Workout Report

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