When you train, the food you eat and when you eat it will have a big effect on the results of your workout. You can vastly improve your nutrition—that’s ‘nutrition, not ‘diet’—if you understand how your metabolism works. The ‘M’ word doesn’t always have to do with speeding it up or losing weight. Editor Wina Sturgeon says to concentrate your efforts, don’t flutter around like some kitchen magpie looking for food. Editor Wina Sturgeon says you can even plant your own garden and get any county bounty you plant—what a prize!
As an example, look at what happens when you do a tough resistance workout.
Because weight workouts are anerobic, they mostly use the contents of your muscle cells rather than the contents of your lungs and bloodstream. To simplify: lifting weights uses up amino acids, the building blocks of protein. This leaves your metabolism hungry for—you guessed it—protein. The muscles will forage savagely for protein (amino acids) for about a period of 40 minutes to an hour after workout activity stops.
If you already have protein in your bloodstream, the muscles will happily replenish their aminos by absorbing it, then use it to rebuild the muscle. But if there’s little to no protein in your blood, the muscles will actually begin to digest themselves to get the protein they need. Meat, even human muscle meat, made of protein.
This is one big reason people don’t make gains. They don’t eat protein before a workout, and they have a beer or carb snack after their workout. To keep losing fat and building muscle, eating the right food at the right time is essential.
But here’s the big problem with meat: it takes a long time to go through the digestive process. If you eat a big burger or even a steak after your workout, it won’t get to your muscles within the limited time they’re looking for, and ready to absorb, the aminos from the meat protein.
There are two main ways to give your metabolism what it needs within the necessary time frame. You can consume whey, a quick-acting, quickly digested supplement, after your training session. Or, you can eat meat an hour or two before your workout. A before-workout meal (remember, at least one or two hours before) gives your system time to digest enough of the meat so that A: You’re not training on a full stomach, and B: There will be a ready supply of available protein for your muscles to absorb.
An excellent replenishing source of all the amino acids you’ll use during your session is turkey. Thighs and legs have more meat on them than wings. A fast and healthy way to cook it is under an oven broiler.
DELICIOUS BROILED TURKEY:
Select a package of turkey legs or thighs with the least amount of visable fat
Trim off fat, if there is any. Remove skin if desired
Season on both sides with lemon pepper, garlic powder or other desired flavorings
Put on a small broiler rack that has a tray or sheet of tin foil underneath to catch drippings
Place 4-6 inches from broiler element
Broil six minutes on each side