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How soon after working out it is necessary to eat?

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  • How soon after working out it is necessary to eat?

    I'm doing HIIT or weight training workouts 3-5 times a week, and the only time they fit into my schedule is in the early morning before work. However, I've also been trying IF-ing, and discovered that what works best for me is to skip breakfast, and eat two bigger meals later in the day (say at 2pm and 8pm). If I try to eat breakfast and lunch, rather than lunch and dinner, I inevitably end up munching in the evenings and ruining the fast.

    My understanding is that after working out, it's best to consume a high protein meal within ~30 minutes, and if I'm working out at 7am but fasting till 2pm, this is obviously not going to happen. I could simply alternate IF days and workout days, but I'm battling to shed the last few pounds of fat, and I'd like to IF more than the one or two days a week that I don't work out. So my question is, is it harmful for me to work out and then not eat for several hours? I just wasn't sure, so I figured I'd try to get an answer before deciding whether/how to rearrange my fasting/workout schedule

    Thanks for the help everyone!

  • #2
    I've heard you should eat something within 20 minutes of a workout. From what I understand is the body releases a hormone to start breaking down muscle tissue for energy if it doesn't get fuel.

    This could very well be "Conventional Wisdom" rearing it's ugly head though. Someone much more knowledgeable than me may say otherwise.
    There are two wolves fighting within a man's heart, one is Love, the other is Hate. The one that wins is the one you feed.

    My friends, love is better than anger. Hope is better than fear. Optimism is better than despair. So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic. And we'll change the world. - Jack Layton

    The Primal Adventures of Griffin - Huzzah!

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Griffin View Post
      I've heard you should eat something within 20 minutes of a workout. From what I understand is the body releases a hormone to start breaking down muscle tissue for energy if it doesn't get fuel.

      This could very well be "Conventional Wisdom" rearing it's ugly head though. Someone much more knowledgeable than me may say otherwise.
      There may be some truth to that but I think it's mostly something propagated by paranoid bodybuilders. I assume the body would go after damaged proteins first, like it would anyway.

      After a short and intense workout, the body releases human growth hormone which is a fantastic thing to have circulating around. However, consumption of food severely inhibits the release of the hormone. Waiting 45 minutes to an hour post-workout seems to be ideal, especially if you engage in low-impact activity like walking during that time.
      You lousy kids! Get off my savannah!

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      • #4
        I've heard you should eat something within 20 minutes of a workout.
        Not true. Def. CW!

        Read this:
        Modern Gospel: Fitness Info We can Live Without | The Lean Saloon
        Ancestral Nutrition Coaching
        Pregnancy Nutrition Coaching
        Primal Pregnancy Nutrition Article

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        • #5
          There's no way Grok chowed down after evading a predator. He crawled into a hole and sat extremely still, probably for several hours. Not that Grok is God or anything. Just saying, a good workout doesn't have to include food. I eat liver after I haul my 80 pounds of water up the 30 foot hill near my house and carry them back home, but that's to simulate a hunt. When I'm doing chinups and pushups, I might not eat until hours later. And I'm pretty fit by most standards.

          Our livers have more than enough glycogen to accommodate a hard workout. That's what it's there for. As long as you eat eventually, say within a day, I can't imagine any serious detriment to your body. Especially after we've trained our bodies to use fat so well!
          Crohn's, doing SCD

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          • #6
            sweet, thanks for the help everyone!

            -Anne

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Knifegill View Post
              There's no way Grok chowed down after evading a predator. He crawled into a hole and sat extremely still, probably for several hours. Not that Grok is God or anything. Just saying, a good workout doesn't have to include food. I eat liver after I haul my 80 pounds of water up the 30 foot hill near my house and carry them back home, but that's to simulate a hunt. When I'm doing chinups and pushups, I might not eat until hours later. And I'm pretty fit by most standards.

              Our livers have more than enough glycogen to accommodate a hard workout. That's what it's there for. As long as you eat eventually, say within a day, I can't imagine any serious detriment to your body. Especially after we've trained our bodies to use fat so well!
              Dude, can you PLEASE STOP the Grok-woulda stuff? We have this cool stuff called science and accumulated experience now, which really has more explanatory power than made up stories about a mythical hairy dude.
              If you are new to the PB - please ignore ALL of this stuff, until you've read the book, or at least http://www.marksdailyapple.com/primal-blueprint-101/ and this (personal fave): http://www.archevore.com/get-started/

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              • #8
                Originally posted by tfarny View Post
                Dude, can you PLEASE STOP the Grok-woulda stuff? We have this cool stuff called science and accumulated experience now, which really has more explanatory power than made up stories about a mythical hairy dude.
                tfarny you and I didn't agree often, but I like your comment.

                The answer is as simple as a glass of chocolate milk as the best source of replacing the carbs and proteins after a HIIT workout.

                Proven by science

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                • #9
                  BBC iPlayer - Frontiers: Muscle Wastage

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                  • #10
                    I posted this in another thread dealing with post workout nutrition.

                    Post workout nutrient timing is actually very important. You have about a 45 minute window post workout where your muscles are most open to adaptation. Depending on what type of workout you just did that could either be an increase in added muscle or mitochondria etc. Especially after a hard workout, your muscles are in a catabolic state and if you want to switch to an anabolic state you need to get in nutrients. The best way to stop catabolism is by increasing insulin as it is a very anabolic hormone. Thus, post workout it is actually beneficial to consume some type of simple sugar. I'm not saying eat a whole loaf of white bread, but a low fiber high sugar fruit like banana or kiwi or orange is extremely beneficial.

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                    • #11
                      "Our livers have more than enough glycogen to accommodate a hard workout. That's what it's there for."

                      This is just wrong I'm afraid. We don't have a ton of glycogen in our livers, and the only time they are released is when you are about to fall over dead.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by pdoerner3 View Post
                        I posted this in another thread dealing with post workout nutrition.

                        Post workout nutrient timing is actually very important. You have about a 45 minute window post workout where your muscles are most open to adaptation. Depending on what type of workout you just did that could either be an increase in added muscle or mitochondria etc. Especially after a hard workout, your muscles are in a catabolic state and if you want to switch to an anabolic state you need to get in nutrients. The best way to stop catabolism is by increasing insulin as it is a very anabolic hormone. Thus, post workout it is actually beneficial to consume some type of simple sugar. I'm not saying eat a whole loaf of white bread, but a low fiber high sugar fruit like banana or kiwi or orange is extremely beneficial.
                        or chocolate milk

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                        • #13
                          hmmm isnt there a article about chocolate milk being the next best energy drink for athletes (mainlly endurance athletes) i cant think of it...
                          i always eat some eggs right after i work out. im not super hungry when im done working out but my body tells me a just need protien!!!
                          maybey im crazy, but i was always told to fuel after i workout, so i always do it right afterwords.

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                          • #14
                            "hmmm isnt there a article about chocolate milk being the next best energy drink for athletes (mainlly endurance athletes) i cant think of it..."

                            Because chocolate milk has simple sugar, protein and fat, its basically a whole meal in drink form. My lab actually did a few studies with choc milk.

                            There is a study, I don't know by whom, where they look at nitrogen balance post resistance workout and feeding with protein with or without insulin injections. Both groups had similar nitrogen deposition, due to the protein, but without the insulin, they were still in negative nitrogen balance due to high levels of muscle breakdown. Insulin works to reverse muscle breakdown.

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                            • #15
                              nice! i want some now! ha ha seriously i might think of adding that to my post workout

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