The term “nutrient timing” means precisely what it sounds like. To achieve your performance goals, you eat specific meals at specific times. Nutrient timing includes things like drinking a milkshake after working out in the gym.
It is a nutritional technique in which specific nutrients are consumed at specific periods before and after training to improve intense performance and chronic adjustments.
Nutrient timing entails eating foods at specific times to obtain specific results. It’s said to be crucial for muscular building, athletic performance, and fat loss.
Athletes that utilize this method, which has existed for decades, feel it helps with athletic performance, weight management, and muscle building.
Based on a current policy from the International Society of Sports Nutrition (ISSN), nutrient timing includes the use of meticulous planning and the consumption of whole meals, fortified breakfast cereals, and nutritional supplements.
A Brief History of Nutrient Timing
For almost 50 years, prominent bodybuilders and sportsmen have used nutrient timing, and many facets of it have been investigated.
Dr. John Ivy, one of the world’s leading carbohydrate timing researchers, has authored numerous studies demonstrating its possible benefits. He wrote Nutrient Timing: The Future of Sports Nutrition in 2004.
Numerous nutritional courses and books have since pushed nutrient timing as the primary technique for losing fat, developing muscle, and boosting performance.
However, no conclusive results on nutritional timing have been found.
Limitations of Nutrient timing
- Short-term markers. Blood markers are substances that are secreted in the body in response to a specific situation. They can be employed to determine whether or not a technique is effective. Nutrient timing research has primarily focused on short-term markers instead of the long-term advantages of nutrient timing.
- Athletes as study subjects: Another disadvantage of this research is that the majority of the participants were strictly elite athletes. Because elite athletes follow tight regimens, their outcomes cannot be applied to average athletes.
Nutrient Timing in Athletic Performance
- Nutrient Timing Before You Train
The anabolic window might be less relevant than the pre-workout window.
Based on your objectives, the proper timing for taking some supplements could really help you perform better.
Caffeine, for example, is a performance-enhancing substance that must be used at the right time to have the desired impact.
This is also true for food. A well-balanced, easy-to-digest lunch consumed 60-150 minutes before an exercise may increase performance, particularly if you haven’t eaten in many hours.
Training with less food, on the other hand, may assist you in burning fat, enhance insulin sensitivity, and provide other crucial long-term advantages if your objective is fat loss.
Hydration is also connected to improved health and performance. Many people are dehydrated before working out, thus it may be necessary to consume 12-16 oz (300-450 ml) of water and electrolytes prior to the activity.
Furthermore, vitamins might have an impact on workout performance and possibly lessen the benefits of training. So, while vitamins are necessary nutrients, it may be wise to avoid taking them right before a workout.
- Anabolic Window theory
The anabolic window, often known as the door of opportunity to profit from workout nutrition, is the most significant component of timed nutrition. It is predicated on the idea that your system consumes nutrients perfectly between 15-60 minutes following exercise.
Even while studies on the anabolic window are still far from conclusive, many experts and fitness trainers see it as an important fact.
This theory is based on two principles:
Carb replenishment: Carb replenishment is an important part of the anabolic window because carbohydrates are stored as glycogen in both the muscles and the liver.
According to research, glycogen is replaced faster within 30-60 minutes of doing out, supporting the anabolic window notion.
Your body requires energy following exercise. Carbohydrate absorption is accelerated after exercise. As a result, the body creates additional carbohydrate stores, known as glycogen, and promotes recovery.
Nevertheless, some studies suggest that working out with lower muscle glycogen levels is helpful, particularly if your objective is fitness and weight maintenance.
Protein intake. The second part of the anabolic window is the usage of protein to increase muscle protein synthesis (MPS), which is essential for recovery and growth.
Proteins are broken down in the body while you exercise. Eating protein after an exercise (but not straight away) compensates for this loss and increases protein creation in the body.
While muscle protein synthesis and food replenishment are crucial elements of the healing process, studies show that you don’t need to do this straight after a workout.
In summary, following a workout, consume protein- and carbohydrate-rich foods to replenish glycogen stores. The protein will aid in the healing and rebuilding of your muscles. Following are some instances of carbohydrate and protein-rich post-workout meals:
- Chocolate low-fat milk
- Low-fat yogurt with berries
- Low-fat yogurt with berries
Benefits of nutrient timing
Nutrient timing has various advantages. These include optimizing your body’s response to exercise and nutrient use. The Nutrient Timing Principles (NTP) assist you in accomplishing the following:
- Optimize your fuel consumption to stay energized during your workout.
- Make careful to heal and enhance your muscles to the utmost of your natural ability.
- Eat enough nutrients to make you healthier and able to resist illness, limiting the immune system suppression that comes with rigorous training.
- Recover following your workout so that you have well-fueled muscles for the next exercise, activity, or training schedule.
Simply put, you can boost performance, recovery, and muscle tissue formation by regulating your food intake and altering the nutritional ratio.