Nutrient timing is the practice of eating certain foods at certain times in certain amounts to get maximum results with bodybuilding nutrition. For years, professional bodybuilders and athletes have employed the idea of nutrient timing as a means to help with increased bodybuilding, increased fat loss, lean muscle gain, increased strength and even increased stamina. Using the concepts of nutrient timing and proper nutrition is crucial to successful bodybuilding nutrition and training.1
In order to apply the concepts of nutrient timing correctly, it is important to know which nutrients are best ingested at which time. Carbohydrates such as pasta, bread, rice, cereal, and some snack foods such as nuts, beans, and other vegetables and fruits are best eaten immediately before the workout. These foods will provide an immediate energy boost to the body, allowing for more rapid muscle building or weight lifting. Fatty foods, such as meats, processed meats, butter, cream cheese, ice cream, and other dairy products are best consumed after the workout for their ability to slow down the body’s breakdown process, which allows for more efficient use of nutrients.
The reason that foods need to be consumed at particular times is because the anabolic and catabolic phases of the bodybuilding nutritional process occur at different times. At the anabolic phase of the workout, muscle mass is the most developed and the body is at its most adaptable.2 At this time, carbohydrates and fats are both converted into energy and are the only sources of nutrients available to the body. If consumed after the anabolic phase, fats will be burned, but muscle mass will not be developed, because the muscles have no need for them.3
What is Nutrient Timing For Bodybuilders and Exercises?
What is nutrient timing? Basically, it is an approach on timing when to consume different macronutrients according to the human body’s requirements. The key and most effective nutrient timing scheme is understanding when to consume proteins and carbohydrates. This means that the type of food that you eat is not as important because you can get the same amount of calories from different sources. So it is better to consume high-protein foods at breakfast time and carbohydrates at mid-afternoon.4
One of the biggest reasons why nutritionists came up with the idea of nutrient timing is so that people can understand how to have a diet that meets their needs but provides all the necessary nutrients in the right amounts at the right time. As one of the three fundamental requirements for an athlete in general, proteins are needed to build and repair muscle tissues. It also provides energy for muscle-building exercises, which is critical especially for endurance athletes and weightlifters who have intense physical activities throughout the day. Carbohydrates on the other hand provide the body with the energy it needs to perform all the activities that we need to do every day.
The principle of nutrient timing is simple. When you consume a source of calories and carbohydrates at different times of the day or week, you can expect to gain weight or lose weight depending on your body composition. In essence, you can turn any meal into a competition. You can eat the same meal with different foods and then come back to the same meal and expect different results. So you can be sure to consume high protein foods before and after workouts to gain muscle, and consume carbs before and after workouts to lose fat. Nutrition has become a big part of every athlete s diet and training routine.5
What Are the Benefits of Nutrient Timing?
There are many benefits of nutrient timing in a bodybuilder’s diet. One of the primary benefits is the ability to control nutrient absorption at the right time in the diet. Nutrient timing also allows you to ensure your nutrient requirements for the day are met. Here are the other benefits of nutrient timing as it pertains to bodybuilding nutrition.
The benefits of nutrient timing include maximizing your anabolic window, allowing your body to respond to workout sessions to its maximum potential, and maximizing the release of growth hormones. The “anabolic window” refers to a time frame in which the muscle can receive as many anabolic hormones as possible. The problem with many people’s diets is that during this period, the food intake is largely ignored; thus not allowing the muscles to receive all the anabolic hormones that could potentially result in hypertrophy. NTP help you accomplish the following:
- Maximizing your anabolic window. An anabolic window is the time frame in which the muscle can receive anabolic hormones from a workout session.6 Most people believe that meal timing is all about when you eat your last meal (fast). This isn’t true. A single nutrient is not enough to promote growth. To see the benefits of meal timing, a bodybuilder needs to consume five key nutrients at different times during the day.7
- Skipping Breakfast. Contrary to popular belief, breakfast is not an effective weight-loss strategy, and in fact, it actually holds you back. What’s more, if you skip breakfast, you will have significantly less energy than when you consume your meals in the morning, and so the benefits of nutrient timing greatly reduce.
- Minimizing your post-workout hunger. When it comes to eating, many people think that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. However, there is a huge physiological reason why you should be having a large intake of nutrients before your workout, and that is when your metabolism is going through its peak performance. Post-workout meal timing will maximize your post-workout metabolic rate, thus helping you burn fat much faster. If you’re an athlete, nutrient timing might be even more important to keep your performance up and your diet in check.
So, what are the benefits of nutrient timing? For athletes and other people who want to gain strength, build lean muscle mass, and lose body fat, eating right is crucial. However, many professionals recommend eating breakfast – but not every morning – because your metabolism is especially sensitive when you’re just starting training and working out. So it really matters what time you eat breakfast, but for many professionals, it really does matter, especially when it comes to maximizing their training efforts.
The Importance of Nutrient Timing For Bodybuilders
When considering ways to increase muscle mass, one of the most important things you can do is make sure you’re feeding your muscles at the right times. This can be done by taking a look at the importance of nutrient timing.
First of all, it is very important to remember that there is a relationship between nutrient timing and protein intake. When you are planning your meals, it is best to plan ahead by making sure that the meals are well planned and well-balanced. Your meals should always come with a variety of different foods and a balance of different nutrients. This helps ensure that your body has the proper amount of everything it needs to support muscle growth. If you don’t have the correct nutrient intake, this doesn’t mean that you can’t develop big muscles.
Before you can answer the question, it is also important to consider whether or not you’re having a good enough supply of carbs in your diet. Carbs are essential when it comes to gaining muscle and keeping it maintained. It is a good idea to eat around four or five small to medium-sized carbs per meal and try to mix them up. If you eat too many carbs at once, it is best to split your carbs up so that you do not get overwhelmed with a lot of carbs at once.
When you are thinking about nutrient timing, it is important to understand exactly what insulin and glycogen are. Insulin is necessary when the body is trying to break down sugars and stored fat cells. This provides the body with the fuel that it needs in order to produce energy and carry out other metabolic functions. When there is too much insulin in the blood though, it can cause problems and cause the body to hold on to stored sugar rather than breaking it down into fuel for the muscles.
Glycogen is created from glucose and is found throughout the body. However, in the absence of glycogen, the liver produces glycogen to provide the muscles with the energy they need to work.8 Catabolic state plays a big part in how glycogen is used in the body and whether or not nutrient timing matters. If you are in a catabolic state, meaning you are using the muscle fibers for energy rather than the fat cells for glucose, then timing your meals to get your carbohydrates and proteins to the muscles before they enter the catabolic state will give you the best results.
What does this have to do with nutrient timing? Well, when you are in a catabolic state, the level of insulin in your blood increases, which means you can no longer take glucose to meet the demands of your muscles. In order to make up for this, the muscles hold on to stored fat. This creates a situation where the diabetic’s insulin levels do not break down the glucose properly. When insulin fails to perform this task, glucose can be stored in the fat cells for later use and this is where the problem begins.9
Precision Nutrition / 2021
NASM Blog / 2021
SlideServe / July 14, 2014
1 “Does Nutrient Timing Matter? A Critical Look – Healthline.” 3 Jun. 2017, https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/does-nutrient-timing-matter Accessed 13 Jul. 2021.
2 “Catabolism vs. Anabolism: Hormones, Body Weight, and Exercises.” 7 Mar. 2018, https://www.healthline.com/health/catabolism-vs-anabolism Accessed 13 Jul. 2021.
3 “Nutrient Timing.” https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5596471/ Accessed 13 Jul. 2021.
4 “Nutrient Timing: What to Eat Before and After a Workout – NASM Blog.” https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5596471/ Accessed 13 Jul. 2021.
5 “International society of sports nutrition position stand: nutrient timing.” 29 Aug. 2017, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5596471/ Accessed 13 Jul. 2021.
6 “Anabolic Window: What It Means and Whether It Exists – Healthline.” 22 Jun. 2020, https://www.healthline.com/health/fitness-exercise/anabolic-window Accessed 13 Jul. 2021.
7 “The Anabolic Window: How To Optimize It For Growth (IT MATTERS!).” 9 May. 2020, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK21190/ Accessed 13 Jul. 2021.
8 “Glycogen Metabolism – Biochemistry – NCBI Bookshelf.” https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK21190/ Accessed 13 Jul. 2021.
9 “Fundamentals of glycogen metabolism for coaches and athletes.” 10 Feb. 2018, https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC6019055/ Accessed 13 Jul. 2021.