Avoid Carbs and Stimulate Amino Acids Uptake

best post workout mealFebruary 19th. 2010 – You’ve probably heard that eating a high carbohydrate meal after training is better than a low carb meal. However, this may not be the case. Keeping post-exercise carbohydrate consumption low can prolong the nutrient uptake window created from training (via increased insulin sensitivity). (1) This is because training increases the muscle cells demand for nutrients, including amino acids, for repair and sugars to replace muscle glycogen.

The resulting increase in insulin sensitivity after exercise enhances the flow of nutrients to the muscle cells in need, as well as increases the use of fat as an energy source since sugars are not available. As glycogen stores fill up, however, the cells ability to take up amino acids (for growth) and fat (for fuel) will decrease.

The idea behind the high carb theory is that when you exercise, you use up muscle glycogen. The most efficient way to replenish your glycogen stores is through carbohydrate intake. If your training frequency has you exercising several times a day or every few hours, you’ll need too replace your energy stores more quickly to prepare your body for the next workout, and eating more carbs post exercise will help. If, on the other hand, you train once per day or several times a week and are more concerned with body composition, a carbohydrate restricted eating approach may prove more effective.

References –

1. Amino Acids & Proteins for the Athlete

Mauro D. Pasquale

Taylor And Francis Group 2008 Pages 356-358

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Lipoprotein Lipase Important for Fat Burning

Lipoprotein lipase important for fat burningJanuary 7th, 2010 – Lipoprotein lipase (LPL) is an enzyme that breaks apart fat (triglycerides) into their fatty acid components for transport and use inside cells.

An increase in lipoprotein lipase activity means an increase in the flow of fatty acids into the cell.  An increase in LPL activity in muscle cells means they will use more fat and less sugar for energy, which is a good thing if you are trying to stay lean.  An increase in LPL activity in fat cells, however, will mean increased fat stores.  There are many factors involved in the regulation of LPL activity, but two big contributors are the hormones insulin and testosterone.

Insulin increases LPL activity in fat cells, while decreasing LPL activity in muscle cells.  (1) Anything that drives up insulin (mainly dietary carbohydrates) will increase the flow of fatty acids into fat cells for storage and cause muscle cells to burn sugar instead of fat.

Testosterone also has a regulatory effect on LPL activity in muscle. Lipoprotein lipase activity in the fat cells of the abdominal region is greater in men than in women, and reduced testosterone levels only increases activity.  Keeping testosterone levels high, however, works to reduce LPL activity in the male abdominal fat cells thus discouraging fat storage in this area. (2)

References –

1. Lipoprotein lipase regulation by insulin and glucocorticoid in subcutaneous and omental adipose tissues of obese women and men.

Fried SK, Russell CD, Grauso NL, Brolin RE.

J Clin Invest. 1993 Nov;92(5):2191-8

2. Good Calories Bad Calories

Gary Taubes

Alfred A Knopf 2007 Pages 397-399

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