I read and hear claims of increased muscle gain from protein supplement companies: Grow larger and stronger if you eat or drink our product after your work-out. Many cancer patients (including me!) have trouble regaining muscle mass during and after therapy. Since I almost always exercise after my evening meal, I had started drinking a vitamin and calcium enriched protein shake after exercise. Recently, a naturopathic advisor suggested this wasn’t necessary–that it was better to eat protein early in the day–and since it takes so long for your body to break protein down, a high protein after work-out meal wasn’t important. This excerpt from an article by a leading alternative nutritionalist, Dr. Mercola, supports the high protein/low carb meal or snack after exercising:
Many of the health benefits of aerobic exercise are due to the most recent exercise session. The nature of these benefits can be greatly affected by the food you eat afterwards.
Differences in what you eat after exercise produce different effects on your body’s metabolism.
Specifically, the study found that exercise enhanced insulin sensitivity, particularly when meals eaten after the exercise session contained relatively low carbohydrate content.
Interestingly, when the research subjects in this study ate relatively low-calorie meals after exercise, this did not improve insulin sensitivity any more than when they ate enough calories to match what they expended during exercise.
This suggests that you don’t have to starve yourself after exercise to still reap some of the important health benefits.
Enhanced insulin sensitivity means that it is easier for your body to take up sugar from your bloodstream into tissues like muscles, where it can be stored or used as fuel.
You can read the entire article, as well as subscribe to Dr. Mercola’s free newsletter by clicking on the following link: What you eat after exercise matters!
I will comment further about Dr. Mercola’s natural style of nutrition tomorrow. Feel good, keep smiling and eat lots and lots of vegetables! Pat