Sadly we’ve come to the end of this epic trilogy. I know it’ll be hard, but do your best to wipe your tears away so you can read the words on the screen and acquire some more great info from my brother, Nate.
If you missed Part I click HERE.
And HERE for Part II.
We left off talking about pre-workout nutrition and are gonna pick up today with post workout nutrition.
JF: What about post workout nutrition? What are your recommendations there?
NM: Well, Eva Mendes is a great post-workout recovery snack…oops, off track again…
If you train in the later afternoon or evening than it’s a no-brainer. You go low-carb throughout the day, train, and then eat all of your carbs in the post-workout window.
If you train in the morning or at lunch, it is a little more complicated (and open for debate).
While from a purely physiological standpoint, it may be correct to have the majority of starchy carbs in the immediate post-workout window, from a psychological and functional standpoint, I still believe most carbs should be placed at night.
You could go with the traditional insulin-spiking carbs post-workout, but I find this to be problematic for a lot of clients because of the resulting rebound hypoglycemia and blood sugar/brain functioning crash.
If you’re a professional meathead or diva that’s fine, but if you have a cognitively demanding job it is no bueno.
JF: Yeah, that’s definitely a problem I’ve experienced when trying that and have had clients notice the same thing.
NM: Yeah, so for the “day-walkers”, I’ve been going with a source of protein and 1-2 pieces of whole fruit post-workout. This allows you to refill some glycogen stores and provides amino acids without over-spiking insulin and triggering that rebound hypoglycemia we talked about.
Then you fully re-stock your depleted muscle glycogen stores with the starch chow-down, throw-down at night. “Now can you dig that, sucka?”
JF: Oh, I can dig it.
NM: On a side note, immediately post-workout is the one time you don’t really need insulin to get carbs into the muscle cell. Muscular contractions translocate glucose transporters (GLUT4) to the muscle cell membrane, and facilitate glucose uptake into the muscle cell. It’s called the insulin-INDEPENDENT phase of glycogen restoration.
It’s kind of like me and Jason showing up to the hottest club in Vegas WITH a bunch of hot bikini babes. If it were just us two sausages, we’d be denied access (well at least I would, maybe not Jay, he’s kind of a celebrity).
JF: I was gonna say, speak for yourself there, son.
NW: But with a basket full of beautiful melons, we’re walking right in.
JF: That is true. And I do like beautiful melons.
NM: You and me both. Back to nerd-talk. What you want is fast-digesting carbs post-workout, not necessarily insulin-spiking carbs. And although fruit is low glycemic, it is one of the fastest digesting carbs. This is why it can work well for “day-walkers” — quick glycogen restoration without a blood sugar crash.
JF: You’re one brilliant bastard.
So you save the starches for night where that rebound hypoglycemia can (a) help you fall asleep (any competitors out there going no-carb at night suffering from insomnia?), and (b) If timed right, actually trigger growth hormone release.
But that’s another story for another time…
All of that was in terms of pure dietary approaches, which is the area I’m most passionate about studying and teaching. And becoming an expert in that area alone can take a lifetime (as I’m discovering).
In terms of liquid nutrition and advanced supplementation protocols, I must admit, I’m really not the expert. Would a targeted supplement protocol enhance the already cool benefits of this dietary structure? Maybe. Is it absolutely necessary to achieve results? I don’t think so.
JF: I like your style.
NM: But again, I haven’t put a lot of time into researching and studying that topic. What I usually do with those questions is refer them to my colleagues who do study that stuff on a day-in, day-out basis. Don’t go to the plumber if you want and electrician’s advice. Fair enough?
JF: Great answer. Now, if someone were training strictly for size and strength instead of fat loss would you change your pre or post workout recommendations at all?
NM: Well for this style and structure of dieting, believe it or not, it wouldn’t change all that much. For example, one study showed that training fasted boosts some of the signals for muscle growth in the post-workout period.
So while the details of peri-workout nutrition might not change, obviously, the OVERALL, big picture diet would. Total calories would go up to make sure we were in a surplus as opposed to a deficit. Since protein should always be set at optimal levels to build or maintain muscle, then one or both of the energy macronutrients (carbs & fat) would go up based on individual metabolic factors.
In practical terms, it would just be bigger portions at meals, not necessarily an overhaul in dietary structure (unless you have a racehorse metabolism and/or huge energy demands).
For example, Little Shitake Miyaki is in a mass building phase. Last night I ate a pound of grass-fed steak and three pounds of potatoes. Fuck Lucky Charms, that was truly “magically delicious”.
JF: Haha. Sounds it. So let’s wrap this up here with one final question since I don’t think the Renegade Nation can handle any more dopeness at this point. You’re killin ’em. What are your preferred diet and supplement strategies for combating inflammation?
First off, let me just say that inflammation is not always a bad thing, especially for an athlete. Inflammation is a natural part of the immune system response to tissue damage — say, muscular damage from training.
So pro-inflammatory foods (like steak and eggs high in arachidonic acid) normally labeled bad foods, can be an integral part of the anabolic recovery process from training.
Perhaps that’s why the legendary Vince Gironda favored steak and eggs during intense training phases.
But for shits and giggles lets say there is a specific circumstance where we need to make the diet as anti-inflammatory as possible — whether it be a specific medical condition (cardiovascular disease), debilitating joint pain, or just a hemorrhoid on your ass the size of a grapefruit.
To me, controlling inflammation is more about what you don’t eat then what you do eat. So a better starting point and overall strategy is to eliminate some of the pro-inflammatory foods that have become the norm in modern day diets, rather than searching for miracle anti-inflammatory compounds.
The easiest way to do that is to use Paleo nutrition as your base (again, great theoretical instructional tool, but not meant to be dogmatic creed).
So eliminate pro-inflammatory foods like sugar, high fructose corn syrup, high omega-6 vegetable oils, most cereal grains, and to stir up some controversy — dairy foods (which I believe can be one of the most inflammatory foods for some). That alone will make a huge difference for most chronically inflamed people.
From there, we may need to look at our protein sources. As I said, Gironda’s steak and eggs meal can be highly anabolic because of the pro-inflammatory arachidonic acid. But if trying to maximize the anti-inflammatory properties, we may need to lean more towards the anti-inflammatory EFA’s like EPA and DHA from fish.
If your overall inflammation is caused by insulin resistance, then we may need to take the carbs down somewhat until insulin resistance improves. Here’s why:
Contrary to what many believe, insulin itself is not pro-inflammatory, it is actually anti-inflammatory. Glucose, or more specifically glucose backed up in the bloodstream is what can be inflammatory.
So for a hard training athlete with good insulin sensitivity (and especially after training, fasting, or the combination of the two), a high-GI starch like Jasmine Rice is NOT problematic.
Insulin will do its job of clearing glucose and amino’s from the blood, deliver it to the starving and damaged muscle cells, and provide all of the anti-catabolic/anabolic benefits. This is Sport/Bodybuilding Nutrition 101.
However, for someone who has some degree of insulin resistance (due to being sedentary, fat, making poor food choices, etc.), a high-GI starch like Jasmine Rice, or any starch for that matter, can be problematic. This is really where Paleo Nutrition 101 and starch bashing is actually relevant/spot-on.
With insulin resistance, insulin is no longer doing its job of clearing glucose from the blood. Because of this, if you flood the body with glucose from starch, chances are it won’t get into the muscle cell, and will back up in the bloodstream. This is where you get chronic inflammation and disastrous health consequences.
A pure Paleo Diet without any starch may be the best call here until insulin resistance improves.
The diets of healthy athletes need to be different than someone suffering from a disease state. Makes total, perfect, common sense right?
JF: Yes it does. Well, my friend, that’s all I’ve got for you today. Thanks again for sharing this killer info with The Renegade Nation and for entertaining us along the way. If you want more incredible nutritional info be sure to check out Nate’s Feast Your Fat Away by clicking HERE.
NM: It was my pleasure. Thanks Jay.
NOTE: Jay is no longer accepting guest post. Please do not submit a request for one.