What You Put into Your Stomach Affects Your Overall Goal...
To eat or not to eat right before, during or after your workout is the age-old quandary. How about an ambiguous and global answer: It depends. The most important question to ask yourself is, what is your main goal? Sure, it’s probably to lose weight. Or be healthier. Not sick as often. Have more stamina on and off the course. Bulk up. Thin down. But you have to pick one. What is your honest to goodness primary goal?
Once your goal is established, our bodies are wired for maximum efficiency through our DNA. According to TheMakingsOfMe, an individual’s metabolic rate for processing carbohydrates and fats determines which route to take to ingest them. “An inactive lifestyle and poor food choices are the primary causes of weight gain, but genetic makeup is also a key factor. Your genetics not only influence weight gain, but they also influence weight loss and dieting. Knowing more about your DNA is an important part of understanding how your body processes, stores and loses fat. Do you have a genetic tendency to be overweight? Is a Mediterranean diet likely to help you maintain a healthy weight? Make better lifestyle choices by learning more about your DNA.”
Another old adage is “One man’s meat is another man’s poison.” For example, one person may be carbohydrate sensitive and not able to metabolize carbohydrates quite as well, while this individual’s body is easily able to burn those fat molecules through the roof. Someone else may be just the opposite and easily be able to eat carbohydrates yet fat adheres to just about everywhere and practically has to be chiseled away with a jackhammer.
So here’s the deal. As we said earlier, it depends. We have always said that it is best to use our body’s natural ability to transition into ketosis and burn fat. Anyone can burn carbohydrates if you work hard and long enough at it. Calories in. Calories out. But who wants to spend all that time and waste energy? The PLATFORM plan is the way to go. We have advanced our methodology and taken into account each individual’s metabolic structures to balance goals with the most effective workout routines and proper nutrition.
According to Ori Hofmekler, “It is the utter depletion of glycogen stores in your muscle and liver which triggers your stress response to swiftly kick in and put your body in a survival mode. It is that extreme energy deficit which turns on metabolic pathways to compensate your body with robust improvements in energy utilization efficiency, repair activities, and resistance to stress. Under such conditions, your body switches from carbohydrate to fat fueling; and energy is shifted from storage to expenditure. It is now known that that shift towards fatty acid oxidation creates an ideal metabolic environment for stem cells regeneration and tissue repair. And while fat oxidation increases and fat synthesis is inhibited, your body goes through massive transformation. The result: decreased body fat, reduced inflammation, increased insulin sensitivity, enhanced repair, and improved immune functions.”
If You’re Resistance Training
So, let’s take a look at some workout routines. The first is resistance training. If you’re doing a heavy resistance workout routine, you may find it more effective to eat beforehand. Because of the metabolic pathways in your body, the majority of a heavy resistance training energy supply comes from carbohydrates and protein via carbohydrates.
If your body is already ketosis-adapted thanks to The PLATFORM methods of exercise and nutrition, your body will more easily and primarily use fat for energy. The best bet is to test it out and see what works for you. If you quantitatively do better (higher weights lifted and/or longer time under tension) and qualitatively do better (you literally feel better during your training session), BOOM! Your body is most likely used to accessing glucose-based energy, and eating before will likely benefit your strength during the workout. However, if you can adapt to doing better without eating beforehand, you will likely have more adaptation toward quickly converting fat to energy upon prompt need.
If your goal is to mostly aimed at building muscle and strength, accessing energy from the food you ate beforehand may be ideal, since you’ll have to access less muscle glycogen and likely be able to move more weight than you would otherwise. However, if fat loss and longevity is the most important target, not having access to glucose during the exercise may benefit you in that the pools of muscle glycogen will be more readily depleted, increasing your insulin sensitivity more and triggering more lipolysis for conversion into the now-missing muscle glycogen.
Although it might be starting to sound like rocket science (and some of it probably is), let’s remind ourselves that our main goal is of ultimate importance and our genetic DNA works with our individual metabolism pathway. So, the last major goal to discuss is speed/agility training.
If You’re Speed/Agility Training
If you’re doing a workout routine that requires quick movements like burpees, or sprints or body weight air squats, it is probably best not to eat beforehand. This is because having food in your stomach while moving in all sorts of directions can cause everything from side stitches (aches in the abdominal region) to nausea. This is the same reason why you were supposed to wait an hour after eating before jumping in the pool (although I think that was just a ruse our parents made up so they could relax a bit from watching us). I’ve personally had to throw up mid-workout (and then finish the workout of course) because I had a full stomach.
If you find you’re able to digest food pretty quickly, doing a workout with a lot of multidirectional movements in space (like jump lunges or “suicides”) may be able to help you perform better. Again, this is not a one-size fits all solution. Just like with the resistance-training workout, measure your quantitative results with your qualitative results and see which makes you feel the most amazing.
So we’re back to where we started. To eat or not to eat. It depends. There are some general rules of thumb but The PLATFORM is here to maximize your number one goal with proper individualization of your workout routine and nutrition regimen.