I’ve noticed recently that some workouts seem easier to get through than others – I don’t mean that the exercises are too easy [if you’re reading Kieran/Chris] I mean that on some days I can do more reps in the same time, or simply lift more weight. I train consistently and put in maximum effort every time so I wondered if what I was eating could be affecting my performance. Apparently that’s a resounding yes!

Kieran gave me his ‘nutrition bible’ to read through and what I learnt in the first chapter alone blew my mind. For instance, did you know that the average 150lb body is made up of over 1 trillion cells? That’s amazing enough but I also learnt that every single process that happens in the body begins on a cellular level – obvious when you think about it, but when do you?!

Every one of those 1 trillion cells needs the amino acids from protein in order to carry out its basic functions like producing enzymes, hormones, neurotransmitters and antibodies. When we eat protein our digestive system breaks it down into the individual amino acids which then circulate via our blood to cells. Without adequate protein our bodies just can’t function very well and when you consider that most people only get around 60-70% of their ideal daily protein intake it’s no wonder we’re not in the peak of health i.e. lean, disease-free and full of energy!

Apparently when we eat our protein is as important as getting enough; our bodies can only store so much and so needs regular replenishment. It’s much better to eat small portions throughout the day and it’s essential to do so after exercise consisting of weight training, interval, and endurance training lasting 45 minutes or longer. In simple terms, eating protein within 2 hours of exercise helps your body to rebuild muscle tissues broken down during your workout and combined with carbohydrate replaces the energy you spent.

The benefits of ‘post-workout nutrition’ seem to work for everyone, regardless of gender or age and include:

  • Improved recovery
  • Less muscle soreness
  • Increased ability to build muscle
  • Improved immune function
  • Improved bone mass
  • Improved ability to utilize body fat

So next time you hit the gym (or pound the pavement) give this post-workout super-smoothie shake a try… Pina Colada Super Smoothie

Definitions

Enzyme: a substance that helps catalyze chemical reactions.

Hormone: a compound created by once cell that travels to, and stimulates another.

Neurotransmitter: a substance that transmits nerve impulses across a synapse.

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