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

Triglycerides: High Glycerol Phosphate Makes You Store Fat


December 8th, 2009 – We’ve all heard that carbs make you fat.  When we eat carbohydrates our bodies release insulin, a storage hormone that takes the sugars entering the blood stream and stuffs them into our cells.  What you may not have heard, however, is that on top of insulin, carbs have a unique ability to increase blood triglyceride levels and make us store it as fat.  This ability comes in the form of a simple molecule called glycerol phosphate.

The fat stored in our fat cells is made up of triglycerides.  Triglycerides are composed of three (tri) fatty acids bound to a single glycerol molecule. Glycerol phosphate is a key component in the process of binding free fatty acids together to form triglycerides, as it provides the glycerol backbone that the fatty acids bind to.

Glycerol phosphate is a byproduct of carbohydrate metabolism (by glycolysis).  The more glucose broken down for energy, the more glycerol phosphate we have available, and the more free fatty acids can be bound together to form triglycerides and stored as fat.  In fact, the rate at which the body assembles fatty acids into triglycerides largely depends on the availability of glycerol phosphate.  (1)

References –

1. Good Calories Bad Calories

Gary Taubes

Alfred A Knopf 2007 Pages 388-389

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