The Secret to Nutrient Timing for Faster Muscle Growth
Written by 180° MMA
It’s true that the gruelling workout you’ve invested at the local “iron jungle” will stimulate your muscles to grow bigger and stronger. But ultimately it’s your diet that will provide the “building blocks” for this new growth.
However, there’s more to a bodybuilder’s diet than mountains of canned tuna and protein powder. Timing your meals just right will provide you with a competitive edge that will allow you to build muscle faster and help burn those extra layers of fat covering up your hard work.
When you wake up, you’re at the end of a 7-9 hour fast and your muscles are screaming for nutrition. Start off with a potent protein drink for fast absorption mixed with some complex carbs for fuelling your day.
(For my “top secret recipe” of the world’s best mass building breakfast, check out my “top tip” at the end of this article!)
1-2 Hours Before Your Workout
You’re about to send your muscles into the “combat zone” so shouldn’t you provide them with the ammunition they need to “take the hill”?
Load up on some complex carbs that will provide the long lasting fuel you’ll need to power through your intense workout. Add a full dose of protein to provide a ready source of amino acids and give your muscles a head start on the growth process as you stress the muscle cells during your workout.
Immediately After Your Workout
You’ve used up the glycogen (stored carbohydrates) in your muscle cells as fuel for your workout and if you don’t replenish them fast, you’re bound to short circuit your growth.
Within 45 minutes to an hour after your workout you need to down a high-glycemic, high protein drink while your body is primed for fast absorption. Take in between 75 – 100 grams of sugar and about 25% of your day’s total protein requirement along with a healthy dose of monounsaturated fats to help stimulate testosterone production.
This is actually a key time to really pack on mass so don’t be afraid to get a little crazy here! In my “Optimum Anabolics” program I actually include a potent post-workout regimen of around 200 grams of high glycemic carbs and 20-30 grams of health fats to kick-start a mass-building hormone release. It works!
You’re about to enter another long period of fasting at bedtime, but it’s also a prime time for your body to repair and build muscle. The problem is that your metabolism slows way down when you sleep so a large meal before turning in has the potential to trigger fat storage.
To provide the building blocks your body needs for growth while minimizing fat storage, eat a light meal consisting of slow-digesting protein and some easily digestible carbs. A bowl of cottage cheese with some fruit is ideal or mix a scoop of protein powder (one with casein in it is best) into some milk or water. Be sure to avoid high carbs and fat calories at this time.