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How best to fuel up for intense workout?

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  • How best to fuel up for intense workout?



    Hi, I'm pretty new to all this; been eating low-carb/quasi-PB for 2 weeks (>80gm/daily of carbs).


    I've been taking 2 spinning classes per week for the past 10 months and I don't want to stop doing this.


    But it's been a bit hard making through the session:


    Monday I ate a banana ~45 min before the class. I did okay but petered out ~5 minutes for the class ended. I took a glutamine capsule with water after the session. No issues with recovery, muscle cramps or anything.


    Wednesday I ate a good-sized handful of Sahale seasoned almonds instead of the banana. I did okay again, mostly made it through...it was a very intense session. This time, no glutamine with my water, and it was 1.5 hrs before I ate my PB dinner. I was so burned out/low-blood-sugary that I could barely function before my dinner, and even afterwards. I couldn't sleep through the night, and I woke up with a migraine. (THis sometimes happens after Spinning class when I get dehydrated or blood sugar too low).


    How should I be eating/recovering from these intense workouts, so i don't feel like something the cat dragged in? I normally drink ~8 glasses of H2O on spinning days and these two days above were no different; this used to work in my pre low carb days?


    thanks for any input

    I'm a quitter...but I'm back now.

  • #2
    1



    Canarygirl, I do 60-80 mile rides on the weekend, training for the Sam's MS150 charity race. I had to get The Paleo Diet for Athletes by Loren Cordain, which has endurance athletes taking in high-glycemic carbs before and after races. Cavemen did not run for hours on end, so we have to cheat a little.


    I eat a Clif's Bar and drink some whey an hour before riding, drink a sport's drink like Gatorade during, and keep eating Clif's Bars every hour or so during the ride. I take in banana and whey after, and stay Primal the rest of the time.


    I gotta say that the rides are actually slowing down my weight loss. On weeks when I get rained out, and I just do weight-lifting and sprints, I seem to lose a lot more weight. I'm down 25 pounds so far.

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    • #3
      1



      How long are these classes? How are they structured?

      You lousy kids! Get off my savannah!

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      • #4
        1



        Whenever I get clients I ask them what their favorite type of exercise is, regardless of what they say, I tell them to keep doing it. So if spinning is your favorite, then don't quit because some might call it "chronic cardio." That's not a shot at primal, just saying.


        As for how to keep you going at it, it sounds like you might not be fully adjusted to fat as fuel and its' causing you to burn out... your body would rather spare glucose for your brain then for your muscles right now...


        You could do Protein + carbs(fruit) before and after to make sure those symptoms subside. You'll eventually adapt and might not need the pre/post WO carbs but its a possibility for now.


        Why'd you ditch the glutamine? Unless you're trying to get into ketosis I don't see a problem with glutamine after. It's better absorbed if you open the cap in water or under your tongue FYI.

        sigpic
        In Pursuit of Healthiness, Only to Achieve Happiness!: www.livingnotsurviving.com

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        • #5
          1



          Thanks for the feedback everyone. Primalchild, these are 1 hr classes with a "warm up" (hah!), short stretch, hard at it (mixing up sprints, endurance, hill climbs, "circuits," different positions, the usual...), and 5 minutes stretching at the end.


          Ahmed, I didn't take the glutamine because I started doubting the rationale for taking it; like, would it raise my blood sugar? Did I want that? In hindsight, I did want that.


          I will take the advice of having some protein/carbs before and after the WO, and keep taking that glutamine.

          I'm a quitter...but I'm back now.

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          • #6
            1



            I take Endurox-R (for greater than 1 hour or "intense" work-outs). It has 50g of carbs in it(2 scoops), but I can tell a difference if I do or don't take it. Even when I do dake it, I just use one scoop (25g carbs) and I still am ok afterwards.


            Give it a try!

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            • #7
              1



              roasted pureed butternut squash is my pre-intense exertion primal carbs of choice. it powers me through long runs & heavy lifting sessions.

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              • #8
                1



                Last night I went to my Monday spinning class. This time I ate one of those 'fruit and nut' bars that they sell at Starbucks, about 1 hr before the class. It had 16 gm of carbs, plus protein and fats. I thought it would be a good choice. This time I made it all the way through the class without petering out. (No glutamine again...I forgot it.)


                ~90 minutes after the class I had a dinner of chicken in curry-coconut milk, green veggies, a bit of dark chocolate for dessert.


                I didn't sleep all the way through the night again, and woke up feeling very groggy and burned out. I still feel that way. So that is 3 classes in a row that I am not feeling good afterwards, which never used to happen to me on my previous high-carb fare.


                Also, my Tanita bodyfat scale showed my weight as stable but my bodyfat % going up another half % point making a grand total of 2.5% increase in this reading since starting PB 2 weeks ago. I'm a bit worried I might be tearing down my muscle tissue in lieue of adequate glycogen/glucose for these workouts.


                I commit to having 50 gms of carbs next time, prior to the workout. Otherwise, I'm starting to not enjoy it anymore due to the after-effects.


                Thanks, Brit, for the recommendation on Endurox-R. I will check it out.

                I'm a quitter...but I'm back now.

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                • #9
                  1



                  Those "fruit & nut" bars are held together with lots of sugary syrups that aren't doing you any favors/contributing to that crash feeling upon waking. I recommend a small sweet potato or some butternut squash (repeating myself i know) pre-intense workout (at least 1/2 hour before).

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                  • #10
                    1



                    Lolly, I go to workout straight after work in fact it's a mad dash to get to the class on time, so no time to prepare/cook a sweet potato or squash. I guess I could bring cooked ones and eat cold before the workout....would this really be better than a piece of fruit? (scratches head)

                    I'm a quitter...but I'm back now.

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                    • #11
                      1



                      there are less sugars in the veggies and still plenty of quality carbs. you could pre-cook & scoop into a portable vessel. i like to mix mine with a blob of coconut milk, cinnamon & some chopped walnuts for a little extra nutrition/taste. i think you will need to experiment with what works for you but don't let being "on the run" cause you to make less than optimal fuel choices.


                      while not primal, i always found a protein shake w/glutamine immediately post workout really helped recovery...honestly (and i'll get flamed for this)....more than real food.

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                      • #12
                        1



                        thanks. obviously I need to work harder at doing this correctly.

                        I'm a quitter...but I'm back now.

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                        • #13
                          You're going to have to give it more than two weeks for your body to adjust to burning fat i/o carbs. I think the rule of thumb is six weeks, but it took me longer, but now I don't know how I functioned otherwise. Keep in mind that everything I'm saying is from the point of view of someone who has adjusted and has experimented with his routine for about 18 months.

                          I workout in the morning and don't eat anything beforehand and for an hour afterward. I've found that if I eat less than a few hours before a workout, I don't have that whole "killer focus" thing going on like I do if I go in hungry. I tend to feel "wrung out" afterward, but I'm fine again after the hour break, and I figure that's about the time it takes for my body to replenish itself out of fat stores, so I go ahead and eat. My workouts tend to go from 0.75 - 1.5 hours depending upon how close I am to a meet. I'm a powerlifter, (training every other day w/extra off days as I need them) and I trail sprint one to three days a week on my off days. (Usually goes like this: 5 - 10 mins warmup, 10 - 15 minutes of sprints, however long a hike it takes me to get to the end of the trail. 20 - 45 mins.)

                          I personally think you're still too much into the whole CW gotta carb-up to workout thinking. If you were getting ready for a triathlon, I could see it, but an hour-long spinning class? Even when my friends and I go mountain biking and I know I'm going to be out there a few hours, I usually just eat a sweet potato and/or load up w/fruit the night before. Seriously, I hate to eat less than 5 hours before a workout.

                          I may be a unique case, but this is what's worked for me for a while now.

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