Does when you eat really matter? Could this affect your ability to stay lean and build muscle? An overwhelming amount of research indicates that nutrient timing is essential to muscle growth and repair. Planning your meals ahead of time can help you build lean muscle, lose fat, and recover faster after intense training.
Nutrient timing is based on how your body handles the protein, carbs, and fats in food at different times. These principles are not very important for the average person who isn’t following a strict workout routine. However, it can make all the difference in the world for a bodybuilder or athlete looking to build muscle and strength.
Some foods should be consumed at certain times of the day. What to eat depends entirely on your fitness goals. Those who want to build lean muscle and keep body fat levels low need complex carbs pre-workout, simple carbs and protein post workout, and casein or other source of slow digesting protein at bedtime. To lose fat and preserve muscle, reduce your carb intake and consume more protein throughout the day. Avoid eating carbs in the evening. These rules may vary from one person to another.
The Benefits of Nutrient Timing
The key to successful nutrient timing is to eat the right foods when your body needs them the most. After exercise, your muscles are depleted of glycogen and need energy to recover. This is the best time to have a meal rich in simple carbs and quality protein. On non-training days, there’s no need to replenish muscle glycogen stores, so you can keep your carb intake low.
What and when you eat affects your overall performance as well as your ability to build muscle. Determine your fitness goals and then plan your daily meals around your workout. This approach will help you get the most out of your workout and reach your maximum potential.