Monday, February 1, 2010

Post-Workout Nutrition: Trial and Error

With all the fitness and nutrition blogs out there, it's virtually impossible to find an idea that someone else on some other blog doesn't argue against. Now, discounting all the kids who's level of expertise is their high school biology class (and keep in mind, I can't even claim that, I never paid attention in that class. I am a scientist, but biology is the one discipline of science that I have/want nothing to do with), it's still hard to figure out who's right and who's wrong.

So, what better way to approach the problem of determining what combination of food and fitness is best for myself than to simply experiment -- like a real scientist. Can different methods/practices be combined and still produce good results? We shall see.

 I recently adopted a weightlifting routine posted on a bodybuilding website. Why? Why not? I don't really have anything to loose. When bodybuilders are "bulking" they usually eat a ton of food and then worry about shedding excess bodyfat later. So, the question is, can I use this routine (geared towards strength/muscle mass gains) in conjunction with my primal lifestyle and still get good results (i.e. lean body mass gains)? Well, I look more ripped than I did a month ago, but that isn't really saying anything.

Last semester I decided to implement a 1-2 hour fast after my workout because of the implication that not eating increases the amount of HGH released. Supposedly, the insulin response created by consuming food decreases the HGH response. I did this with pretty good results, but given that virtually every bodybuilding site in existence preaches endlessly about the importance of consuming carbs and protein immediately after for glycogen uptake and protein synthesis, I decided I'd give it a try and see if the results were any different.

I have been consuming a simple post-workout shake that is made with frozen fruit, coconut milk (or whole milk), and whey protein isolate. 
The basic recipe is:
1 piece frozen fruit (i.e. 1 banana, 1 peach, 4-6 strawberries, 1/2c blueberries)
1/2c liquid (coconut milk, whole milk, half and half, almond milk, or any combination thereof)
1 scoop Natural Factors French Vanilla Whey Protein Isolate

I think I've definitely gained a bit of muscle, but it's hard to know whether that can be attributed to a change in post-workout nutrition or simply doing a workout that pushes me further. Stay tuned for more posts as I play around with my routine and nutrition.

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