ANTIAGING NUTRITION - ENERGY FOODS
Energy And Exericse
Exercise is as important to an antiaging program as
nutrition. As more demand is placed on the body, energy
must be available in effecient manner to support high
demand as well as sustain the body during the prolonged
recovery period and normal daily activity.
Energy replenishing diets aim to boost the energy during
high demand periods without upsetting the normal ongoing
metabolism or increasing the tendency to gain fat. Energy
diets are not so much about the type of food you eat,
its more concerned with how much you eat and when.
Glycogen is the main fuel for fast muscle fibers; strength,
speed, and velocity. Glycogen replenishment [also known
as carb loading] is a key to full muscle recuperation
from prolonged or intense exercise, and is used widely
by endurance athletes. Failure to replenish glycogen
stores is typically associated with “flat”
muscles, plus a loss of strength, speed, velocity and
the capacity to resist fatigue.
The process entails a few days of carbs depletion [very
low carb diet] followed by a few days of carb loading
[high carb diet]. This cycle is designed to pump maximum
glycogen into the muscle tissues at the time it is needed.
Carb depletion - Depending upon the
level of exercise intensity and pre-exercise glycogen
stores, muscle loses its initial glycogen storage within
10-30 minutes of sustained intense exercise. That’s
total depletion in the duration of a workout. Muscle
initial glycogen loss can average between 300-500 calories
Carb loading – peak muscle
capacity is reached post-exercise. This is the time
to replenish glycogen stores. Proper post workout meals
result in full glycogen replenishment within only a
few hours. Studies have shown the net rate of glycogen
resynthesis is highest in the first 30 minutes of recovery,
and then it significantly decreases by 62% throughout
the remaining 4.5 hours of recovery. The best recovery
routine is using a series of mini-meals over the 4 hours
following intense exercise:
- Every 60 minutes following exercise have a mini-meal
consisting of 25-30g of carbs and 15-30g of protein.
- Four small recovery meals provide 100-120g carbs
and up to 120g of amino acids for glycogen loading
within 3-4 hours.
This regime avoids insulin spikes, which trigger undesirable
fat gain. Prolonged and frequent carb feeding may cause
over secretion of insulin (hyper-insulinaemia); leading
to insulin resistance and metabolic problems, including
an undesirable fat gain. To avoid this, one should take
advantage of a post-exercise small recovery meal to
provide a swift full glycogen loading with no side effects.
For weight training, carb depletion for a few days
is too restrictive to the muscle, leading to loss of
muscle mass and strength. Instead use shorter cycles
of glycogen depletion-loading, on a day in, day out
basis. To avoid muscle waste during a low carb day,
it’s highly recommended to increase fat consumption
for that day, thus compensating for the missing carbs
with fat fuel.
It’s Not How Much, Its What and How Often
Finding a good balance to maintaining energy, building
muscle and burning fat requires your to manipulate your
What to Eat - eat an abundance of
low Glycemic Index Foods and restrict high Glycemic
Index (GI) foods. See lists of GI Foods here.
How Often - eat 6-meals a day. This
stabilises blood sugar levels and provides a constant
supply of amino acids and energy to your body.
The Glycemix Index (GI)
The glycemic index (GI) measures [on a scale of 1-100]
the quality of carbohydrate foods; how quickly they
are broken down into glucose. Widely used by diabetics
to manage their blood sugar, it is now recognised as
an effective way to maintain energy and lose fat. Read
more on glycemic
How to Use GI in Antiaging Wellness Program.
This gets a little confusing, but stick with me –
all will be clear at the end.
Some High GI foods such as rice cakes, carrots, potatoes,
watermelon or grape juice are termed "unfavorable"
as high GI foods, rely on eating such carbohydrates
by themselves in a fasted state, to burn fat.
The antiaging wellness program is aimed at improving
body composition [losing fat and gaining muscle]. This
requires a combination of fats, carbs and protein. Eating
protein and fat with carbohydrates slows down absorption,
thereby effectively rendering these High GI foods as
Low GI foods.
This effectively renders the
Glycemic Index ineffective for our purpose of fat-burning
and muscle building nutrition.
The Mediterranean diet works particularly well - it
is well balanced; providing extra energy boosts necessary
for body building without unbalancing caloric and energy
For more information on managing
your bodies energy to prevent tiredness.
NEXT: Proteins For Muscle