What’s the most important meal of the day when it comes to muscle building or fat loss?

Question:

What’s the most important meal of the day when it comes to muscle building or fat loss?

A.) Your post-workout meal (within 15 minutes after you train)
B.) Your pre-workout meal (within 1.5 hours before you train)
C.) During your workout
D.) A,B,C (they are equally important)
E.) None of the above, breakfast is the most important meal of the day.

Answer:

E.) Breakfast. After a 7-9 hours of sleeping you must “break” the “fast” with breakfast.

But aside from breakfast because that should be common sense.

What is the most important meal of the day?

I am confident saying the POST-WORKOUT MEAL is your next MOST important meal of the day when it comes to building muscle and losing fat.

Why?

— Prevents muscle breakdown (no muscle loss)
— Increases protein synthesis (muscle growth)
— Increase in insulin sensitivity (more nutrients shuttled into muscles)
— Glycogen restoration (energy levels restored)
— Increases metabolism (lose more fat)

From the research about post-workout meals:

“A recent 12-week study says that those who failed to consume a post workout meal immediately after their workouts suffered a lower metabolism, loss of fat free mass, and had clear indications of muscle loss – while their counterparts (those who consumed a post workout recovery meal) significantly lost more fat, increased lean muscle, improved their metabolism, and increased dynamic strength.”

There is too much “academic debate” when it comes to post workout nutrition and many people are confused about what actually makes a quality post-workout meal. Let’s sort out through some of theconfusion:

“Is the pre-workout meal more important then the post-workout meal?”

I just read a study (Tipton et al., 2001) that DID state that pre-workoutnutrition dramatically increases muscle blood flow and protein synthesis.

The study showed the elevation in muscle growth was TWICE as much when observed with the same drink taken post workout! That’s like having two workout drinks for the price of one because the effect last for an hour after the workout!

Personally, I don’t have time to get caught up in the academic debate of which one is the “best” so I just do both! I make 2 serving of my pre-made workout drink called “Workout” and drink half of it 15 minutes before I train and then slam the second half right after my workout.

“What if my goals are fat loss? Is a post-workout meal still important?”

There are two takes on this:

1) You need your lean muscle mass to burn fat in the long term. Having a post-workout drink will prevent muscle breakdown which will contribute to an elevated metabolic rate. Since you just worked out super hard, you need to replenish your energy levels so spiking your insulin is no big deal.

2) A post-workout drink will consist of fast digesting carbs which will spike your insulin levels (excellent for muscle growth) but insulin causes fat storage and takes away time in the day that you could be burning fat.

Personally, put the text book away, when I’m dialing down for a contest, Icut my post-workout drink and stick to low glycemic carbs after my workout (oatmeal or low glycemic fruit) because I do not want my insulin levels spiked at all.

Bodybuilders and fitness models follow this approach too. So if your goals are fat loss, I would say that you just need to stick to a protein shake mixed with some low glycemic fruit like an apple or even better, some oatmeal.

“Should I use whole food or buy a fancy “pre-made” post-workout drink?”

If your goals are to primary lose fat then stick to whole food nutritionafter your workout or a protein shake plus oatmeal or low glycemic fruit as mentioned above.

While eating throughout the day for fat loss or muscle growth, you want aclean balance of carbs, proteins, fat and fiber. These meals provide a steady stream of energy, control blood sugar levels and maintain a steady supply of amino acids and healthy intake of “good fat.”

When it comes to the “workout window” (anything from 15 minutes before your workout to 1 hour after your workout), you want to use almost the exact opposite strategy of your normal meals, specifically for muscle building.With pre-workout, during the workout and post-workout meals you actually want a fast digesting liquid carb to create an insulin response, which shuttles nutrients, proteins and carbs back into your muscles for recovery.

So while my meal plans preach high fiber, low glycemic carbs and healthy fats, with workout nutrition, you actually want NO fiber, NO fat and HIGH glycemic carbs and QUICKLY digesting protein (protein powder) to accelerate muscle repair and elicit protein synthesis (muscle growth). Fat and fiber slow the absorption of the carbs and proteins which is not good.

“What about ratios of carbs and proteins?”

Pretty much all the research agrees that a 2 to 1 ratio of carbs to protein is the way to go. This appears to be the most effective combo to maximize muscle growth, repair and metabolism.

Specifically you want 0.4 grams of protein per kg of body weight for protein intake and you want 0.8 grams of carbs per kg of body weight for carbs.

So if you are an 80 kg male, you will need 32 grams of protein powder and 64 grams of liquid carbs mixed together.

If you were ultra skinny, you could take this exact mixture 15 minutes before your workout and then again 15 minutes after your workout.


“Skinny Guy Secrets To Insane Muscle Growth”
Vince DelMonte specializes in teaching skinny guys how to build muscle and gain weight quickly, without drugs, supplements and training less than before. Vince DelMonte is the author of No Nonsense Muscle Building : Skinny Guy Secrets To Insane Muscle Gain found at: www.VinceDelMonteFitness.com

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