Sunday, May 22, 2016

This Is How You Kill Your Muscles While Working Out On An Empty Stomach

BODY BUILDING
Before I start, let me make it clear. This piece is for religious lifters and not weekend gym monkeys. So, if your day doesn’t revolve around your gym time, this isn’t for you. Now,
 let’s talk about one thing that’s majorly ignored by most lifters- pre-workout and intra-workout nutrition. First things first- sipping pre-workout supplements and dunking energy drinks before workout is NOT pre-workout nutrition. Not at all! The worst thing of all is hitting cardio sessions on an absolutely empty stomach which is becoming a trend nowadays. If you workout on an empty stomach, forget about gains or effective weight loss.

Understand Meal Timing And Insulin Spikes

The timing of your diet matters. Your muscles are most receptive to protein absorption during pre, intra and post workout. Another major thing is the insulin spike which is at max after you have ingested fast digesting carbohydrates. This pre-workout meal introduces carbs and proteins into the bloodstream and powers a surge of insulin which then turns in glycogen to power the workout. The insulin surge is at max between 30-45 minutes after consumption. Think of insulin as the carrier of protein to the muscles. While the proteins and carbs might be in the blood stream even hours after consumption, the insulin surge doesn’t last that long.

The Necessity Of Intra-Workout BCAA Consumption

Since the body doesn’t have any glycogen, the primary source of energy to feed on, it starts breaking down amino acids from muscles to create glycogen. This is why BCAAs are strongly recommended ‘during the workout’ for serious lifters. Empty stomach is also a playground for Epinephrine and Cortisol. While epinephrine cuts out the creation of glycogen, Cortisol feeds on protein to create glycogen. Hence, the protein and amino acids that should have been used you to build muscle is rather used as fuel to barely keep the body functioning.

Pre-Workout Protein And Muscle Cannibalism

While pre-workout carb consumption is often advised, pre-workout protein consumption is overlooked. It’s during the workout that the muscles are most receptive to protein usage. But if you wouldn’t have any in your system, the muscle become cannibalistic i.e. they will start eating itself. Hence, no muscle growth.

What You Should Be Doing

Protein is intended to build muscle and not provide energy, carbohydrates and fat do that job. To prevent usage of protein as a fuel source and keep the insulin levels optimum, consume a balanced meal consisting of proteins, carbs and fats at least 30-40 minutes before going into a workout. During the workout, sip on BCAAs and post workout, consume a high protein and moderate fat and carb meal. 
Photo: © Thinkstock Photos/Getty Images (Main Image)



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