Nutrient timing is important in your fitness goals. It determines when to consume carbs, fats and proteins to help improve your overall body performance. Nutrient timing also helps you achieve the physical results you want.
Eating the right things at the right time can enhance your results.
Carbs have gotten such a bad name which is not necessarily true. Its not carb consumption that makes people fat, its the excess of it especially excess of simple carbs which are bad for you when over consumed. Carbs are our energy source but people eat so much sugar and wrong carbs that it leads to weight gain and then they blame carbs for it. Here are some healthy carbs you should eat: Quinoa, brown rice, sweet potato, whole wheat bread, whole wheat pasta, lentils, oatmeal and some others.
Those to avoid or minimize are white bread, white pasta, candies, sugary stuff, white flour and others. Unlike the healthy complex carbs, these ones spike your insulin levels so fast and then drop them fast. Thus leaving you feeling hungry fast. Have you noticed after eating sugary cereal for breakfast that you are hungry not too long afterwards? its cause of this. Its advisable that you have something like oatmeal with fruits or eggs for breakfast.
So when can we eat carbs?
Its best to consume most of your carbs in the morning since you are just waking up from a night of fasting thats why its called BREAKFAST lol. Your body has a higher tolerance for glucose at this time too so that helps. Eating most of your carbs before and after workout helps reduce storing carbs in your body. The body tolerates them better during this times. You can have some carbs for lunch of course but less than breakfast and then dinner will be less. So Breakfast > Lunch > Dinner carbs!
Eat some healthy carb right before workout to give your body the necessary energy to fuel your muscles before workout. Some people may workout later in the day or at night, so this will also change your carb consumption ratio. The carbs at breakfast should be the highest as opposed to late at night. Try to avoid or minimize late night carbs unless you are working out at night because your body could end up storing it as fat.
Next, you have post workout, you again need carbs and proteins to refuel your muscles, recovery and energy. Post workout is also when you can preferably (if you must) consume those simple carbs like sodas, desserts etc since they can give you that quick energy. however this is not an excuse to go overboard
One point to remember with the carbs is portion control, just because you can take carbs pre or post doesn’t mean its a reason to forget portion control. Also, just because these are the best times to eat carbs doesn’t mean eating carbs at other times of the day will kill your whole progress. For instance maybe you were unable to eat pre and post workout due to time crunch, you won’t go on and starve yourself of carbs all day.
Finally your carb ratio will be higher or lower depending on your fitness levels, physical activities on those days, active or sedentary lifestyles and level of body fat.
Again, its best to study your body and know what works best for you. Some people are able to eat carbs at anytime of the day and get their desired results. Thus its not for everyone
Protein is essential for growth and the building of new tissue and the repair of broken down tissue. Proteins help build your muscle and keep you fuller for a longer period of time. Protein sources include chicken breast, ground turkey, eggs, cottage cheese, salmon, beef, greek yoghurt.
Depending on your level of activity, your protein intake should be about 0.8-1g of protein per your body weight in pounds.
Unlike Carbs, proteins do not have as many timing rules to pay attention to. Thus you can eat them anytime of the day. However one important time to consume them is right after workout within an hour. Your muscles need protein to repair them thus you need a protein source like whey protein powder. Whey protein is great for post workout because it is fast digesting. For vegetarians, there is Plant based like soy protein, hemp or rice powder. It also provides provide antioxidant benefits, and heart health benefits. This type of protein can be used both pre and post workout or anytime throughout the day
Another time to consume proteins will be at night. Since you shouldn’t eat much carbs at night, protein and fat could be used for dinner. Its great to have some protein before going to bed because your body also repairs itself while sleeping thus we need some protein and also fat to slow down the protein digestion. Casein protein is a slow digesting protein thus you can use it as a meal or before bedtime. It keeps you fuller longer and keeps a constant supply of protein in your body to supply the muscles with proper nutrition for hours after drinking it. There is also Egg protein which is slow digesting so you feel full longer and ideal at night to keep yourself full and fueled during sleep.
At night you can also consume lean protein sources such as eggs, chicken breast, greek yoghurt or any other forms of slow digesting protein. In general consume proteins every 3-4 hours which can include meals and snacks
I posted an article on fat consumption some months ago
I talked about the types of fat and which was best to consume.
Include healthy fats like Nuts – unsalted and raw walnuts, almonds, cashews, oils like grapeseed, coconut, olive, flax seed, sesame oil, seeds and avocado. AVOID mayonnaise, butters, yellow cheeses, creams, whole milk, corn and canola oils and partially hydrogenated oils. You could implement the good fats in salads too. Fat consumption will keep you fuller longer, prevent you from binge eating thus helping to manage your weight and also increase your good cholesterol HDL levels
Fats are slow digesting and keep you fuller longer. This is a good thing, however it also makes them wrong to be consumed after workout because they will slow the protein digestion. You want the protein to digest fast after working out to feed your muscles. They are however great at night with proteins since you want to slow the protein digestion while you sleep. Its usually best to also avoid taking them when consuming a lot of carbs so the carbs are digested fast enough too. This means, at night you can consume meals high in healthy fat and lean protein
Again, unlike carbs, protein and fats do not have strict timings to consume them.
Anyway peeps, those are just a few things to watch out for when thinking carbs, protein and fat!