At times it is difficult to maintain and fulfil proper nutritional goals. You feel exhausted and worn out trying a plan that does not drive you for a long time. You end up despairing and feed yourself recklessly as if to disapprove a plan you had laid before. Yet one thing is particular, that you cannot manage stress in the name of feeding to waver it off. It is an ultimate excuse that ought not to keep on.

We are sure of this today, that you don’t need exhaustive measures to keep your nutritional goals achieved. Just try the 11 steps we are providing for your best pleasure. In terms of eating food, nobody is perfect. Everybody finds himself/herself subsiding in a certain diet not intended in the name of managing his/her goals. Sometimes we miss it, sometimes we get it. Though only what is working is better to stand for an achievement of personal nutritional goals. This article provides the best ways which might be either positive or negative to your practices, but it has a solution to achieving your nutritional goals. The following ways will help you achieve your nutritional goals.

  1. Reach Your Main Goal By Focusing on Your Short Terms

With a big goal put in place, you can unnecessary slip into an eating habit that can put you off from your target. Instead of focusing on a bigger amount of weight loss you can set a very small goal first to be progressive. For example, for me to hit 199 pounds, I had to lose 200 pounds – probably a huge goal. I realized I couldn’t make it so I had to set minimum weights easy to achieve. I did 5 pounds loss of weight, so after some weeks, I had lost five pounds. The start was much more difficult than the continuous because I had now learnt the tips to keep working.

So, however much time it has been on my minimal weight reduced, I have found five pounds loss manageable. I need to lose 75 pounds more, but it will be a process as I have been applying. I appreciate my cooking skills too in this process; I have found these to be full of impact and is life-changing method to use.

  • Learn to Cook

You must know how to cook to choose a category of nutritious foods. When your goal is to lose weight and don’t know how to cook, you are bound to eat out, though it is very expensive. You may eat out but lose your nutritional requirements.

When you get your favourite food from your next to home restaurant, don’t rush into unnecessary eating until you know what value of nutrition it may contain. Otherwise, you may jump on eating food that is reversing your nutritional goals.

It is better to think on your choices of food. Cooking regulates what you eat and makes you avoid unnecessary weight gain. It makes you have the culture of good healthy habits and establishes a commitment to realize your goals.

  • Begin Food Logging

Just start logging in your food intake daily. With a coach on my weight loss and food logging, I had a lot to engage. However at times I had 500 calories intake over what I thought was my intake.

I logged my food using MyFitnessPal. I can say it was quite easy. With it, you can scan your food using a barcode with decent search engine. My logging habit has become something of normality.

However, I can advise you not to change your eating habits except logging them. Change your food after a consistent logging. A plan can only be created when you have a baseline of your eating habit.

  • Be Realistic

I chose food for nourishment rather than entertainment. I am sure that you can maintain your normal or same diet but still shape your weight into your desired. For instance, you don’t have to completely do away with sugar. The main mission here is to stop over-eating the sugar and restrict the weight from adding up the scale. So, just find where your balance falls and stop taking excess blindly!

At least be realistic and take control of your eating. You will be realizing how much danger you dipping into when you continued in excess intake. In short, you may not need 44-ounce of mountain dew and you also need to stay away from breakfast burrito. If you make one at home, being healthy is made on your control.

  • Use Money For Your Health Mission

Stop using money unless it is necessary. If you are choosing to lose your weight but spare the money in your pocket, you are minimizing your chance of reaching there. It is like striking your ego. Register for gym membership, buy some worthy shoes and set your kitchen appealing and ready for better, healthier foods preparation. It is not difficult adapting some Instagram-worthy foods. Take entire control of your health and keep your pocket pouring out for it.

  • Check on Impact as you continue

It is just a concern to measure the impact of your nutritional progress. Is it helping you or further worsens you? Use few steps to measure the level of your impact. They may involve; your mental health logs, your food logs, how your clothes fit on you, direct body measurement and logging the scales and exercises done on daily basis.

Don’t juggle up these, try one thing at a time and continue with another and another even to maximum steps being adapted in your habit. You can start logging your food first and it will clear up the logging contentions.

  • No one is perfect – Not even you

Please understand that no one is perfect. Sometimes I go weird to over-eat. I have also lied a couple of times on my food log. But this did not limit my progress. Every day I seek to do my best. Don’t linger about your mistake on certain lie or missed mark. Instead, go about your day specially. Note your mess and plan not to repeat it.

You can achieve anything you plan. Do the best you can and meditate on your goals frequently.

  • Make a plan

Use your TDEE as a rough guide to get close enough to your goals. Afterwards, have an action plan that will guide you realize your defined goals. Have a formula like, ‘hitting x calories with at least 3 servings of fruits or veggies in a day, 30 minutes of exercise daily’. It can render you actionable goals which you can confirm on your checklist by black and white listing.

You will realize progress if you will work harder on your plan. You are likely getting to your goal if your logging is right and you follow through your plan.

  • Keep Riding

Trust the process and keep riding out your plans and objectives to your goal. Every moment you accomplish a small goal, it makes you quite closer to your major goal. If you attempt something healthier today, then you have achieved a healthier struggle of the day. It may reflect at the end. One small habit may transform you to a bigger healthier habit. Then start something new after another habit is successfully changed. You will be going for it. Very simple.

  1. Be Accountable

Be a captain of your own ship. When you do anything, ask your inner man if that is right. Coach may even assist in this. Maybe find a friend, a coach or anybody that can put you on accountability and instruct them not to pester or hide your mistake at anytime. If you are real with them, they may have the courage to help you through this process.

  1. If Possible, Stop Lying to Yourself

Don’t lie to yourself. Stop eating carelessly and still sarcastically complain about your weight. When you eat foods like chips and soda, you are likely to add the measure of your weight. This is a baseless complain. If you strictly desire to lose your weight, do the following;

  • Use 30 minutes every day to move your body
  • Increase your sleep
  • Stop eating a lot of crap foods
  • Diet with more fruits and veggies into your diet and learn to cook
  • Have abundance in your grocery store
  • Regularly log your food
  • Expose yourself on sun
  • You can also lift some weights if you want to build muscle – its allowed
  • Try cooking a steak or bacon instead of eating a McDouble

Changing the habits at times become difficult, for example, habit of eating crappy convenient foods. But bad habits must be broken to have an impactful session. Make substitutes where substitutes can rhyme well, for example, with soda, try fruits or fruit juices for healthiness.

Understand that there is no giving up in this and no fad diets should be entertained. Adapt to a very new and special lifestyle with healthier diets and expectations. Also quit lying and stop feeling sorry for yourself but make a positive progress.

When’s the best time to take your protein shake? There’s been mixed messages on the topic for a while now, but a new study is claiming that you should be slurping it down right before you settle down to sleep.

According to a new review published in Frontiers in Nutrition, your time spent sleeping is a special nutritional window for making the most of muscle gains. Even better, they’ve said that the extra calories from this high-protein snack won’t necessarily increase body fat.

While you may not have had a glass of milk before bed for a couple of decades, should you be making a shake to take to bed? Find out what the review had to say…

Snijders’ Casein Study

Dr Tim Snijders, Assistant Professor at Maastricht University in the Netherlands, says that, “Several one-night studies have shown that pre-sleep protein intake increases muscle protein synthesis during overnight sleep in young adults.” This has driven his idea that “Over a long period, a pre-sleep protein supplement can maximise the strength and muscle mass gains during regular resistance exercise training.”

Putting this into practise, his study in 2015 began to suggest that he could be on to something. He took 44 young and healthy men and put them on a 12-week lifting programme. Half of them were given a protein shake to have before bed, with 30g of casein and 15g of carbohydrate, while the other half just had an energy-free drink.

The study found that the training was successful in that both groups improved their one-rep max and grew the size of their quadriceps. However, the group that took casein and carbs before bed gained significantly more muscle strength and size.

Unfortunately, this proves little more than increasing your protein and calorie intake increases muscle mass, not that taking it before bed has any specific benefit. Another study has tested this and found that fat-free mass gains over 8 weeks of unaltered training in regular lifters were greater (+1.2kg vs. +0.4kg) when supplementing with casein before bed, but the sample size was small, so the results can’t be seen as statistically significant.

This isn’t the end of the story, though…

Many more participants in this study would be needed to see if supplementing with protein before you sleep can have a real difference, however there are a few other indicators that could help Snijders’ case. He’s noted that taking on some protein before you got to sleep could improve your protein intake distribution over the space of a day.

Unlike blood glucose levels, the body doesn’t store and release more amino acids (the building blocks of muscle protein) when their blood levels get low. Having protein before you sleep could boost your blood levels of amino acids, meaning that your body can work on building muscle overnight as it has the right tools.

Could it increase fat mass or decrease appetite?

The review reckons that neither appetite or fat mass would be affected by supplementing with protein before bed. Snijders says, “In one study, we found that the consumption of ample amounts of protein (60g whey) before overnight sleep did not alter the muscle protein synthetic response to a high-protein breakfast the following morning.” In other words, the body could still use the protein from breakfast just as effectively as having had no protein the night before.

According to preliminary studies, protein before bed won’t make you fat either — although larger groups of test subjects are needed to ensure this. Snijders reports that in an 8-week study that looked at morning vs. evening casein consumption, “the additional intake of protein calories did not result in any increase in fat mass despite the fact that exercise volume didn’t change.”

He also commented that, “Another group found in 11 young active men that a pre-sleep casein shake actually increased the rate of fat burning the following day. This might be because casein ingestion reduces the insulin response to subsequent meals, which pushes your body to use more fat.”

Take Home Message

So, what can we take from this? There’s definitely much more research that can be done on sipping on a shake before bed before we can know for certain that protein before bed builds serious muscle mass. However, there’s no evidence from this review that a scoop of casein could be bad for those gains, so why not give it a go and find out for yourself?

Pharmaceutical and food industries have today been so committed to the production of dietary supplements. Identified as most required and important, protein powders, drinks and bars have been intensively manufactured to meet the dietary population needs of the public. The most important product found in these dietary products is whey, a dairy product. Whey also have different forms through which they are identified, for example, whey isolate and whey concentrate.

Whey protein, a product from dairy, is the most common type of protein present in popular dietary supplements. In quick understanding, it is the fast-digesting dairy product protein. This article provides a comparison between whey isolate and whey isolate and indicates the one which higher nutritional value.

Whey protein

Milk is the source of a greater proportion of proteins present in protein drinks, bars and powders. Whey is the remaining liquid which is obtained from processing milk to form cheese or yoghurt.  It contains proteins which are fast-digesting, hence the name whey protein. Unprocessed milk constitutes of about 20% whey protein and 80% casein proteins which are slow –digesting. Both casein and whey proteins are considered to be of high- quality as they are made up of all the amino acids which are vital for proper functioning of the body.

To increase the production of new protein in your muscles, whey is definitely considered. Many types of whey protein supplements exist in the market today but only two are common; whey isolate and whey concentrate. The two differ from the processing techniques and nutritional content. Each has a specific technique that refines them.

Difference between Whey Isolate and Whey Concentrate

The differences that exist between whey isolate and concentrate is by the variation in the processing methods. The collected by-product of cheese and/or yoghurt (liquid whey) undergoes several steps of processing to increase the protein content in it. After achieving a sufficient concentration of protein, that liquid is dried to form a powder of whey concentrate. This consist approximately up to 80% protein weight while the remaining 20% is dominated by carbohydrates and fats.

And when the whey liquid is processed in a way to reduce the fat and carbohydrate content of whey, a 90% whey isolate powder is produced. This kind of whey is more protein in weight than any other nutrients. Therefore, whey isolate processing produces a product that is high in protein but very low in fats and carbohydrates per serving. But, both whey isolate and concentrate preserve the same types of amino acids in their content composition since they are even obtained from the same proteins.

The differences depicted from a 100-calorie serving of both whey isolate and whey concentrate are as follows: While whey isolate has 23 grams of protein, whey concentrate has 18 grams. When whey isolate has 1 gram of carbohydrate, whey concentrate has 3.5 grams of carbohydrate. When the fat content of whey isolate is 0 grams, whey concentrate has 1.5 grams. And while whey isolate has a gram concentration of up to 1 gram lactose, whey concentrate has a lactose concentration of up to 3.5 grams. And in terms of cost, whey isolate is much higher-priced as whey concentrate is lower-priced.

Whey isolate may be the recommended choice for the lactose-intolerant individuals because they have very little concentrates of lactose content. They have a generally lower total carbohydrate content. However, the lactose amount in both forms of whey products are likely to be used by lactose intolerant persons. Cost difference is quite distinct in both the whey products. Evidently, whey isolate product is more expensive than whey concentrate. Based on the level of purity and concentration, whey isolate is likely to be more in its protein dosage at its little quantity level, while whey concentrate might require you to take a larger quantity to achieve same dosage as of the whey isolate.

Sub-Summary: Whey isolate apparently undergoes a much more processing compared to whey concentrate. This effects into quite higher protein content but less fats and carbohydrates. And whey isolate is generally more expensive than whey concentrate.

Both Forms Have Similar Benefits

Studies validate the importance of whey proteins on general active people health-wise. One of the study depicted that whey protein supplements (both isolate and concentrate) had improved on lean mass and strength of the 192 individuals who were actively exercising. However, no strong evidence indicated whey isolate and whey concentrate had impacted differently on their bodies, irrespective of the noted minor differences in nutritional contents.

Abundant source of protein for intake that is universally recommended are mainly derived from high-quality sources such as dairy, poultry and eggs. It is importantly noted that factors defining intake is individual’s total daily intake. If an equivalent dosage of whey isolate and whey concentrate is used or taken, they are likely to produce similar effects because of high-quality proteins in them.

Individuals limiting fats and carbohydrates may need whey isolate supplements because of the less concentration of those nutrients in the supplement. Here, whey isolate may produce a difference from whey concentrate which has 20% of fats and carbohydrates. Most supplements in this way are processed with in-concentration of whey isolate and whey concentrate for s desired effect by the body of the users.

Sub-Summary Research may supports beneficial effects of whey protein for active individuals but there is lack clear evidence on differences exhibited in the effects whey isolate have over whey concentrate.

Conclusion

Whey protein are essential ingredients of dietary supplements because they are fast-digesting proteins for humans. We have two forms of these proteins; whey isolate and whey concentrate. Biggest difference between whey isolate and whey concentrate is in the processing. Whey isolate as an end product of processing has more protein content than whey concentrate. However it has less carbohydrates and fats per serving. Even so, the nutritional difference noted are quite small, almost negligible, and there is hardly a strong support to support the difference in their effects.

In terms of those limiting fats, whey isolate is good due to its less carb and fat contents. It provides a necessary therapy for fat limiting. However, it is more expensive. If you take a higher dose of whey protein, it produces a same amount of protein as in whey isolate at slightly lower quantity. However, it is of lower cost advantageously. Whey protein will help you (irrespective the form) to meet your protein intake goals because of the high-quality protein they have.

‘Macronutrients provide energy in the form of calories and make up the three major components of food – carbohydrates, fat and protein. These are required in large quantities by the body, hence the term ‘macro’ Macronutrients helps us grow, develop, repair, give us energy, and make us feel good. They each have their own role and functions in the body. Macronutrients refer to the three basic components of every diet — carbohydrates, fat, and protein — with a bonus fourth, water. Macro, meaning “large,” alludes to the fact that these nutrients are needed in larger quantities. Almost every food has a combination of macronutrients, but the difference lies in the composition of these macronutrients.

Difference between counting macros and counting calories

Calorie counting is a simple tactic and generally shows positive results. Unfortunately, it can also be misleading. Keeping track of calories, as opposed to what makes up those calories, can be harmful to your body despite the weight loss. Calorie counting is an easy, one-step system. Determine the number of calories you need to eat per day and simply keep track of your daily intake. The general guidelines for determining the number of calories you should be consuming in order to lose weight is based on your age, weight, and the average amount of physical activity performed daily.

In counting macros, the amount of macros a person should be consuming in order to lose weight is calculated based on age, weight and gender. The number of protein, carbs, and fat allowed per day are converted into grams. To accurately count your macros, it is recommended to use a kitchen scale. It can be done without a scale, although it is not as precise.

What are the benefits of counting macros?

  1. We learn more about our food

By tracking your macros over a period of time, perhaps keeping a record of daily intake for a week or two, one can understand exactly what they are eating. It is very easy when you are simply focused on counting calories, to overlook the nutritional content of the foods you are consuming. Many people will overeat if they aren’t watching themselves closely and taking notes. And some, as crazy as it may seem too many, don’t eat enough unless they hold themselves accountable to a certain number of calories each day. In these cases, counting macros might be a good option to make sure you’re eating the right number of calories for your goals whether it is to gain muscle, lose fat, or for post-workout recovery. By comparing this information they can better evaluate the results and make changes to enhance success. Without doing this, one may not understand where they went wrong, what macro balance works best for their bodies, or how to improve their results. 

  • We can customize our diet

They can be used in conjunction with some diets to make sure your ratios are where they need to be. While you are measuring and calculating your intake, there tends to be a greater awareness of what you are eating and how often. For this reason, people tend to learn about their hunger and fullness cues.  This often leads to a greater recognition of how to feed your body so that you feel satisfied, and not over full.  Even if you are only using this method for a shorter period of time, the long term knowledge of how to satisfy your hunger with a balance of food will come in handy down the road.

  • Balanced Diet

 By “tracking macros” you will be able to gain a greater education about what nutrients you are feeding your body, and where you might be lacking. This method does have the ability to provide you with a great opportunity to optimize your health, and pay attention to many ways to improve your diet.  A lot of times, once we start recording what we eat, we realize that certain things might be sneaking in or even missing. For example, often time’s people think they are getting in enough protein but once they start putting the pen to paper, they realize they are not. Or others swear they “don’t eat that much sugar,” Counting macros will help you know these things.

What are the cons of counting macros?

  1. Low quality food

When we pay too much attention to numbers, it becomes easy to slack on the quality of our food. You can make your numbers look “good” with some bars and a Big Mac, but is that really in the spirit of what you’re after? The calories and macros may resemble a good balance, but the quality is lacking.

  • Time Consuming

 If you are hungry at this moment, think about one of those weddings you attended with stacks of food everywhere. Food is tied to our social life, emotions, and memories. Putting numbers to it can take the soul out of our food. It becomes a numbers game and it is easy to go overboard worrying about it. It takes a lot of time removing the enthusiasm involved in enjoying a meal. Tracking your macros or eating a macro diet can help you feel empowered and in control of your personal nutrition. However, it can be difficult to do all the time and may simply require more effort than is actually required for most people. “It’s something I typically look at in the short term. I’d never expect someone to track their calories/macros forever. Many people have success following a macro diet. Unfortunately, when they stop counting macros, they experience a weight rebound because healthy eating habits were not developed

Should we still count macros?

Counting macros “can be beneficial for competitive bodybuilders or athletes, where research has shown consuming certain proportions of protein, carbohydrates, and fats can optimize athletic performance. Counting macros “can be beneficial for competitive bodybuilders or athletes, where research has shown consuming certain proportions of protein, carbohydrates, and fats can optimize athletic performance

Tracking macros can be positive or negative depending on the client. On the one hand, it can be very helpful and eye-opening for clients to take a look at where the calories are coming from in their diet. On the other hand, some people can get a little too obsessive with tracking their macros and this strategy would be completely inappropriate to use in clients with disordered eating patterns

Don’t Stress

Tailor make them according to your needs depending on your body type, you will need a specific ratio of macronutrients. You need to attain the ratios that are ideal for supporting your body type. These are not specific to any fitness goal.

Just because nutrition is vital after workout, it still has to be gotten right in order to achieve a desired effect. Otherwise the feeding malpractices observed from among gymgoers is terrifying. Simply because they want to build muscles they want to dominate their nutrition around immeasurable protein diet. They have as well turned into a protein machine adapting poor nutrition and poor workouts as well.

Also, the existing numerous myths about lifting weight forms a corrupted medium where gym attenders misuse various concepts in the name of becoming bulky. It is stereotypical in nature that even when they know the right diet, the right workouts and right adaptabilities, they are still going to do the wrong they are used to.  Cynthia Sass, a nutritionist based at New York and Los Angeles, states that nutrition assurance of the sport-maniacs is dependent on the length and intensity of the workouts, their goals and how they have scheduled their meal intake – I mean the next meal time.

For a workout to be efficient, we have to see how nutrition is essential to heap up the required energy and/or muscular protein. After a workout you need to replicate energy and beef up your body.

Post-Workout Nutrition

Post-workout nutrition is a nutrition therapy meant to bring back or replicate the lost energy, nutrients and strength after an exhausting workout. During the workout, an individual is likely to los electrolyte balance. He is also likely to have worn out the muscle contractile sensitivity due to exhausted energy. Post-workout nutrition serves best to adjust the body for both short-time and long-time adaptability.

Benefits of Post-Workout Nutrition

The rationale behind nutritional consideration after workout is based on the fact that nutrients are required in the body at different times and on different organs all together. This cannot be so unless different types of activities that an individual practices are screened or examined. The unit to understanding workout and nutrition is in knowing the intensity and nature of activity, and how long does the activity take. So when you consume nutrients after the workout, it will improve the body composition, performance and overall recovery yes, but it ought to cover essential loss by the body and even to cater for an increased muscular development as required by weightlifters. Therefore, one must consider the diet they are using prior to the workout, during the workout and after the workout. It is as important as drinking water for quenching thirst.

Numerous studies have been done regarding this subject, one of them majorly known as important factors of sports participants. The studies have taken a wide range of themes that extend to nutrition. For an instance, we have adequate research articles on athletics and recreational weightlifters having been done severally to a level of common knowledge to the society. Though much more studies need to be done to more specific themes on specific individuals with different biochemistry.

Benefits that have so far been noted regarding to post-workout nutrition are as follows:

  1. The individuals on vigorous exercises are likely to feel less of muscle soreness as compared to going without post-workout nutrition.
  2. The individuals recover quite faster in comparison
  3. Capacity to build muscles is enlarged in an individual. They are therefore likely to grow bigger in time when they maintain healthy post-workout nutrition.
  4. Individual are likely to have improved bone mass due to nutrients seeping into the bones after the shredded bone composition.
  5. Individuals build their immune systems better than before.
  6. Individuals have increased ability to fuel their body by burning fats in their body.

From a bigger picture, workouts tend to damage the muscle tissue and burn fats that are used as fuel in the body. This process is a metabolic connection that makes one stronger, fitter, leaner and muscular. Then post-workout nutrition comes in to repair muscles as fast as possible. When the body is building up the muscles, old tissues are replaced with new proteins. This is the process of protein turnover. Post-workout nutrition aids in effective and efficient protein synthesis.

To ascertain muscle building a positive protein balance has to be reached. This means that protein-source building blocks need to be available for muscle hypertrophy to be effectual. Generally, post-workout nutrition should include a balanced diet for balanced nutrients depleted and especially carbohydrates.

When to Skip Post-workout Nutrition

You can skip post-workout nutrition if you quickly went through a workout session at the gym. What you need is water for rehydration.

You can also skip post-workout nutrition if the workout was not that intense to be in high need of energy or nutrient replication. For example, if you went out for yoga class, you don’t need any protein or carbohydrate stuff afterward. And when you are aiming at losing weight, even avoid this post-diet. Light or moderate workouts do not engage much of muscle strength training. Therefore nutrition afterwards is likely to add weight when one expected to lose weight instead. It probably works oppositely to hinder your main goal.

You can skip post-workout nutrition if your workout did not last for more than an hour. The science has it that a 20-minute workout will not deplete the glycogen store within the muscle. There is no need to add or replicate the nutrients by post-workout nutrition. Actually, the body takes at least 48 hours of feeding it to replenish a considerable amount of glycogen content in the body.

When not to skip Post-workout Nutrition 

If the workouts are long and intense, one ought to have better post-workout nutrition to replenish his body to normality – don’t skip post-workout nutrition. With vigorous and long workouts, muscles are broken down rapidly and therefore a dose of protein is required to help stop the breakdown and initiate process of muscle rebuilding. Upon skipping the post-workout nutrition, you are likely to slow the recovery process of your body.

Rousell, a PhD student states that exercise is a muscle protein synthesis stimulant. Adding protein substance after exercise enhance the body’s ability to repair and rebuild muscles. One will not be stronger in the next session of workout because he/she did not get adequate protein to fuel recovery. The progress will have been slower for next muscle strength activity.

Protein source for Post-workout Nutrition

The best protein source designed for this purpose is protein shake which is supplemented sufficiently with essential branch chain amino acids profile. They are easy to consume and digest – their absorption is almost immediate. They are very good stimulants of muscle building process also.

Post-Workout Plan

Post-workout nutrition should not be a main focus, but pre-workout nutrition lays a foundation for buffer reservoir of energy and nutrients inbuilt. Therefore better post-workout window or plan that lasts for hours is ideal for recovery. The nutrition window after the workout should be as follows:

  • If the main goal is to grow muscles, adequate protein diet is recommended after intense strength workouts.
  • If you have another hard session soon, you need to refuel for the post-workout session.
  • If you are under stress, you can use rich diets to counteract the negative effects that stress is likely to cause on dismantling body’s ability.

Best Foods for Post-workout Nutrition

Best protein for post-workout nutrition include: whey protein, eggs, chicken, beef, salmon, tilapia, tuna, cottage cheese, and greek yoghurt.

Best carbohydrates for post-workout nutrition include: sweet potatoes, white potatoes, quinoa, chocolate milk, fruits, rice, rice cakes, oatmeal, pasta and dark leafy green vegetables.

Fat foods for post-workout nutrition may include: avocado, nuts, nut butters, and olive oil.

Vitamin K is one of the main minerals that the body requires but it has been seriously underrated. Even the fitness community doesn’t give credit where it’s due. How badly do you bleed after a small cut? When it takes longer than usual for your blood to clot after an injury, then you need Vitamin K.  this is the mineral that aids in coagulation, or rather blood clotting if you may. It is also a very important aspect of bone development, more reason why every fitness fanatics should embrace it. It also helps in mineral build up in the blood while regulating most functions in the circulatory system.

Vitamin K comes in three forms; K1 (Phylloquinone/Phytonadione), K2 (Menaquinone), and K3 (Menadione/Menaphthone). I know, it’s a mouthful, but let’s call them K1 K2 and K3. K1 can be found in any grocery shop, as it is naturally produced in green leafy vegetables like kale and spinach. K2 is found in red meat, speaking of blood, to reinforce your circulatory system you need to eat well, red meat. This is very important considering that as people become more aware of their health, and are becoming fitness fanatics, they are also ditching meat altogether and becoming vegetarian. Please remember that K2 cannot be found in vegetables, so if you seriously want to ditch your meat, you may have to talk to a nutritionist and get some supplements for the sake of your blood and bones. K3 is produced synthetically in the lower intestinal track.

The recommended intake for Vitamin K is 90 micrograms (mcg) and 120 mcg per day for females and males ages 19 and older, respectively. It is almost impossible to overdose on vitamin K as it supplements vitamin D with is also very important for the bones. There are very rare cases of Vitamin K deficiency, or perhaps they are rarely reported but lack of vitamin K causes brittle bones (osteoporosis) and bone fractures. It’s also possible to get bleeding gums and over bruising. A very little accident could lead to a fracture or excessive bleeding. This is one reason why athletes should take this seriously as their bodies undergo a lot of pressure. Where can one naturally get vitamin K?

  • Kale

One reason why most people don’t take kale inasmuch as they are aware of its significance, is the taste. Very few people love the taste and texture of Kale. Rather than just steaming it and eating it, people should consider spicing it while frying it with oil. It has generally been embraced in Africa as a full meal and it is spiced with tomatoes, onions, salt and even garlic, giving it a very spicy taste. The west still use it as a salad, hence retaining the bitter taste as it is hardly spiced. This has made it especially difficult for children who still have very selective taste buds. However, One cup (160g) of chopped and steamed kale contains 1,060mcg of vitamin L, 35 calories, 2.5 grams of protein, 0.5 grams of fat, 7.5 grams of carbohydrates, and 2.5 grams of fiber hence its better. Spinach is also good but it withers and can’t be stored for long.

  • Parsley

Parsley is one of the best spices you can come across. Though it’s small, it is usually used in garnishing, spicing stew and on salad dressings. Parsley is small enough to be grown indoors, and can also be wrapped and stored in a refrigerator for some time. This is also something health fanatics should embrace; 1 cup (60g) of freshly chopped parsley contains only a whopping 985mcg vitamin K and just 22 calories, 2 grams of protein, 0.5 grams of fat, and 2 grams of net carbohydrates hence there is no way you can gain weight while using it.

  • Spinach

This is a very versatile vegetable as it can be cooked, steamed, fried or even eaten raw in the form of smoothies and salads. Spinach is not only tasty, it has several minerals that aid in bone formation; iron, calcium and magnesium. Those with gastritis an acidity challenges may replace their kale with spinach as it soothes ulcers. It is also known to aid in weight reduction for those taking it as smoothies. One cup (180g) of steamed and drained spinach contains 890mcg of vitamin K, 40 calories, 5.5 grams of protein, 0.5 grams of fat, 7 grams of carbohydrates, and 4 grams of hunger-satisfying fiber.

  • Brussel Sprouts

I don’t know what is more exciting; the fact that brussel sprouts retain their density after whatever method used to cook it, or that it actually helps fight cancer. It has omega 3 and also fatty acids, probably one reason it doesn’t shrink after getting steamed. One cup (155g) of steamed brussel sprouts contains 300mcg of vitamin K, 65 calories, 0.5 grams of fat, and 13 grams of carbohydrates, as well as a hearty 5.5 grams of protein and 6.5 grams of fiber.  It also has vitamins A, B6 and C and substantial amounts of manganese and potassium.

  • Spring onions and Scallions

These two are from the same plant species but there are physical differences. Spring onions have a bulb at the end of the stem that scallion do not. The two produce significant amount of vitamin K . One cup (100g) of chopped raw spring onions or scallions, including both the tops and bulbs, contain 205mcg of vitamin K, 30 calories, 2 grams of protein, less than 0.5 grams of fat, and 5 grams of net carbohydrates. Scallions can actually be eaten raw as it is less acidic and has a strong aroma that can help in salads or eaten raw. Spring onions however have a distinct stinging taste when raw. It is also choking and most cooks tear up when chopping it. The spring onions tastes good when fried I olive oil and sautéed it salt in any stew. It can also be stored for a long time.

  • Dandelion leaves

It can be consumed raw in a salad dressing, cooked or even fried with olive oil and garlic. Dandelion leaves can be used as an antidiuretic as it expels excess water from underneath the skin. It’s also very good for pastas, pies, sandwiches or even raw as it is a good source of calcium, magnesium and riboflavin.

One cup (105g) of chopped and steamed dandelion greens is packed with 580mcg of vitamin K and only 35 calories, 2 grams of protein, 0.5 grams of fat, and 4 grams of net carbohydrates

  • Garden Cress

Not sure why this is not a popular vegetable for both the population and fitness fanatics as it grows very fast, and is actually very affordable. It is a very good source of riboflavin, B6, folate, and potassium. While it can be used as a spice alongside cucumber and tomatoes, garden cress also goes well with chicken, mushroom and pastas. ½ cup (68g) of steamed garden cress contains 260mcg of vitamin K and 1.5 grams of protein but a measly 16 calories, 0.5 grams of fat, and 2 grams of net carbohydrates.

  • Pickled cabbage

Pickled cabbage should be stored in vinegar or salt for a while before consumption. It is very high in sodium, potassium, calcium and omega acids. One cup of fresh Japanese-style pickled cabbage contains 190mcg of vitamin K, 45 calories, 2.5 grams of protein, less than 0.5 grams of fat, 8.5 grams of carbohydrates, and 4.5 grams of fiber. It is a good pick for fitness fanatics as it has very little calories while highly nutritious.

  • Escarole

Escarole is a bitter leafy vegetable from the family of endives. It is rich in vitamin K. A 1 cup serving of steamed escarole 320mcg of vitamin K.

Most health conscious people pick diet soda rather than the regular sugary soda because it’s believed to be beneficial. Disclaimer; diet soda isn’t nutritionally beneficial as such, it just doesn’t have harmful sugar like the others, simple.so should we take diet soda or not? The best way to answer this is to weigh out the pros and cons. Let us start with the pros:

Aspartame

Aspartame is actually the main ingredient in a diet soda. There is still so much debate as to whether it’s carcinogenic or not. Carcinogenic substances cause cancer, a leading health concern I the world today. So many things we consume have been attributed to cancer, is diet soda one of them?  Research has also been done widely in Ivy League university but still, there is no evidence to these allegations. We can therefore agree that this I just some biasness due to the fact that Aspartame is manufactured in the same labs that manufactured Napalm for the war in Vietnam. Professors, like Professor Seal of Newcastle University has assured health fanatics that Aspartame is actually safe and non-carcinogenic.

Phenylalanine

While Aspartame may not be a problem as such, 1 in every 10,000 people suffers from a genetic condition phenylketonuria. This condition makes the patient metabolize aspartame hence producing phenylalanine. The catch however is, phenylalanine is found in most fast foods like hamburgers and fries. Diet soda only has a negligible amount; fast foods have 9 times the aspartame found in a soda bottle of 300 ml.  You may consider ditching fast foods altogether.

Methanol

There are those who have replaced diet soda with fresh juice altogether, claiming it’s healthy. Methanol is still double dosage in a glass of fresh juice in a 300 ml bottle of diet soda. The danger with methanol is that it can damage the optic nerve causing blindness on the spot. This shouldn’t be a cause for alarm as it can only happen when you take 500 bottles of soda at once.

Weight loss and dieting

When people begin their weight loss regimen one of the things to be dropped off the list is definitely soda. While it is true that soft drinks are notorious for causing weight gain, diet soda is actually very safe as it has zero sugar. In fact, caloric drink that people prefer for their fitness programs are the real culprits; sugar results in weight gain.

While I want to sanctify diet soda when it comes to weight gain, it is important to note that it actually plays no role in aiding weight loss. Anyone who sells you the idea that diet soda aids in weight loss is running a fad diet program. Diet soda does nothing to us nutritionally, apart from quenching our thirst.

With all the pros of diet soda, let us now look at the cons:

Acidity

I know this has come as a surprise to most but did you know that diet soda is acidic? All soda is acidic, including diet soda. Research has also shown that most of the population is dealing with acid related complications like gastritis and ulcers. While treating acidity can be long term, and this usually include dieting, it I important to avoid the triggers altogether. Diet soda will definitely irritate acid patients, hence it not worth enjoying bottle and rush or medication.

The acid in diet soda also erodes the teeth. Eroded teach discolor or become brittle overtime. It would be better to avoid diet soda altogether. This reminds me, there is usually an experiment done in schools where a bone is dropped into a glass of soda. It fizzes before it eventually disappears in the drink. More research should be done to show u if there is correlation between the experiment and what soda actually does to our bodies. Does soda come into contact with bones in our bodies? If no, we can agree that teeth are in danger of erosion.

Not nutritious

For any health fanatic, eating should be deliberate, that’s why people eat in potions according to the role each food is going to play in the body. Energy drinks have sugar, which aid in giving energy for a work out. This brings us to the question; what nutritional value does a diet soda have? It is good that it doesn’t have calories or sugar, but what nutritional value does it have? None. Diet soda is basically just for our taste buds, nothing significant added to our bodies nutritionally.

Weight gain

National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES) have shown a correlation between diet soda consumption and weight gain in adults. Its causative not correlated. Diet soda in itself has no sugar or calories to cause weight gain, it however has safe sweeteners which however, will stimulate the taste bud and make one overeat. On person may think thy made the right choice by picking a diet soda, but once the taste bud have been activated, by the diet soda itself, they would be eating anything they can lay their hands on. Sounds familiar?

Taking diet soda can also make one overestimate how much calories they have actually consumed hence making them overeat to reward themselves by eating more. This could cause weight gain, though I think it’s far-fetched to blame diet soda for this.

It seems like the biggest issue with diet soda is the acidity factor. It may not be correlated to weight gain but it is causative in that in triggers overeating. The sweeteners used to sweeten it are safe enough and do not directly cause weight gain. I would therefore say it’s safer to take diet soda if you are watching you weight. What’s your take? Would you take a bottle after your workout? I would. Quench your thirst.

The danger here is the excessive consumption of anything, including diet soda. Even medication becomes poisonous when overdosed. Take a reasonable amount of diet soda, do not overindulge.

Well, is it? – We all know that too much sugar is bad for us, and low carb diets are all the rage these days. So does this mean I should be reducing and eliminating sugar and carbs from my diet – it all seems pretty confusing!

The truth is – it all depends. It depends what your goals are, the types of carbs and sugars you eat, and also the timing of when you eat them.

Sugars

Sugars are a form of simple carbohydrate. Examples are glucose, sucrose (table sugar) and fructose (fruit sugar). Sugars in excess are particularly bad for virtually everyone. However sugars at the right levels and at the right time do have some big benefits to hard training athletes when used correctly.

Post Exercise Recovery

The first area to look at is exercise recovery. Intense weight training, or prolonged hard endurance training severely deplete your muscles of glycogen, the main fuel your muscles use for these sorts or activities.

Taking simple sugars immediately after hard training has a number of key benefits:

• The first thing to understand is that during a period of about an hour or so of your workout or exercise your trained muscles are much more sensitive to nutrient uptake. So ingesting fast acting sugars, as well as proteins as soon as you can will mean you will get an increased uptake of sugars into your muscle to replenish glycogen, and an increased uptake of protein to initiate muscle repair and growth.

• Simple sugars increase blood sugar levels quickly that in turn stimulates insulin release in your system. Insulin is a key storage hormone. Its job is to push nutrients into the tissues of your body that need them most, and in the post exercise window after a hard workout, insulin virtually “supercharges” your recovery. Simply put, ingesting simple sugars after hard training can dramatically improve your recovery and ability to train again sooner.

How much sugar should an athlete consume after workouts?

Generally if you are aiming to drop body fat we would recommend about 0.5g of sugar per kg of bodyweight (e.g. for an 80kg trainer, aim for 40g or sugar). If your goal is to build size and strength then aim for around 1g of sugar per kg of body weight (e.g. for an 80kg trainer, aim for 80g or sugar). For hard endurance exercise lasting more than around 2 hours, again aim for around 1g per kg of body weight.

Energy during Training

If you believe the advertising hype all over every sporting contest these days then you might think that you need to start downing sugary energy drinks as soon as you start training or playing sport. What is the reality? Well if you go into any training session or sport with relatively full muscle glycogen stores then you are generally good for about 1.5 – 2 hours of exercise or hard effort so you can get by with just drinking water or a sugar free Intra workout supplement. Anything longer than this and you should be consuming a sports drink with sugar throughout the activity to fuel your body. If you are engaged in this sort of activity you should be aiming to consume around 60g of fast absorbing sugars per hour in your sports drinks.

Bodybuilding or weight training workouts lasting less than an hour or so, which is about as long as most people usually train therefore shouldn’t require sugar ingestion. The exception here is if you are performing several hard training sessions per day, maybe a weights session followed by cardio or sports training. In this situation we would definitely recommend consuming a sports drink containing sugar during training.

Most good Intra workout formulas designed for weight training are sugar free but do contain amino acids like BCAA’s and Glutamine assist with energy production, muscle recovery, blood flow and mental focus – so these are great option.

Sugar Improves Creatine Absorption

Creatine has many benefits for hard training athletes that we won’t go into here. Suffice to say if you are seriously into weight training then you probably already use Creatine, and if not, you should be. Creatine transport into muscle cells is enhanced by insulin. So stimulating insulin when you take Creatine is a good thing. In fact a 1996 study showed a 60% increase in uptake when Creatine was taken with fast acting carbs. So another good time to ingest sugar is with your daily Creatine dose. Our recommendation is to take your Creatine around the same time that you would naturally be taking in sugar or fast carbs. For example if you are having a serve of Mass Gainer or a protein bar containing sugars, or having fruit or fruit juice, this would be a good time to have your dose of Creatine.

Sugar Replenishes Glycogen throughout your day

Hard weight training, brisk cardio, sport, physical work, in fact any activity that gets your heart pumping will deplete the carbohydrate stores in your muscles. If you train hard in the gym 3 – 5 days a week your carb requirements will be a lot higher than your average sedentary person. To keep your carb stores optimal you need enough carbs every day. These carbs should come from a variety of sources – vegetables, fruits, whole grains and cereals, and a moderate sugar intake, through a various foods and supplements. Hard training athletes need 300 – 400 grams (or more) of carbs per day just to meet their energy needs.

Protein and fats regulate sugar uptake and insulin response

While taking in pure sugar in the form of soft drinks, sweets, or sports drinks leads to a big insulin spike which can push sugars into fat storage, if you combine sugars with other foods including proteins, fats and fibre, you slow down the rate at which sugars can enter your blood stream. This in turn regulates insulin and keeps it within healthier levels to reduce fat storage and promote a more normal energy balance. So eating a balanced meal that contains foods like meat, vegetables and grains will allow you to consume some sugars (dessert, soft drinks, etc.) in moderation and not push everything into fat storage. The same goes with your protein supplements – consuming a protein shake or protein bar with protein, carbs and sugar, will moderate insulin response and contribute mostly to muscle gains and carb replenishment.

Eat more… The end. The most basic concept in human nutrition is the energy balance model shown below. Simply put, if the amount of calories in your diet exceeds the number of calories your body needs you will put the weight on. Now, for some reason, the energy model is much hated by some fitness gurus, as if the laws of physics were put on halt once a bare mortal enters the domain of weights and protein shakes.

Unfortunately, energy is never lost in our universe and all the energy (calories) you eat needs to go somewhere. The macronutrient composition of your diet, nutrient timing, quality of the food, genetic make-up, hormonal balance and physical activity will all determine the faith of your meal. By optimising these factors you can ensure that the extra calories you eat to build muscle rather than love handles and this article will help you with getting the most out of your diet.

2. What and How Much to Eat? Muscle Building Nutrition & Supplements

Protein

The key nutrient which builds all human tissues, including muscle. Our bodies don’t store protein, therefore in times of need tissues can be broken down into protein and then to amino acids, which can be used elsewhere – that’s when we talk about catabolism. It happens all the time, casting a shadow over your gains, hence it’s very important to tip the scales towards anabolism and supply your body with protein every 2-3 hours. That will ensure a steady intake of amino acids needed to over-build the muscle damage caused by weight training. It’s worth noting that weightlifting and greater muscle mass, increase the demand for this nutrient (and all the others).

However, there is little evidence that intakes of over 2g per 1kg of body weight lead to more muscle growth. So if your bodyweight is 70kg (150lbs) you should be aiming for 140g of protein – the equivalent of over 1.5 pounds of chicken breast a day! Fortunately, there are supplements which can help you get all the protein you need without being kitchen-bound. Two scoops of Whey protein are probably the most cost-effective 40 grams of protein you can get in few sips.

Good sources of protein: eggs, fish, cheese, beef, chicken, turkey and other meats.

Carbohydrates

Body’s preferred source of energy, bound in the muscle as glycogen explaining the muscle-fullness you got the other day after eating few beagles. Carbohydrates have got a bad name for themselves as having too many of them too often leads to elevated insulin levels. This storage hormone stops fat oxidation and packs both the muscle and fat cells with whatever you ate. It’s a double-edged sword – used wisely carbohydrate consumption leads to epic muscle growth, used not-so-wisely leads to epic fatness.

Nevertheless, carbs are a must if you want to gain muscle! If you put on fat easily you should have most of your carbs around your workout, as at that time their uptake by muscles is greatly enhanced. It may also be a good idea, not to mix fats with simple carbs (sugars) in one meal, as the rapid insulin spike may promote the fat storage. However, if you’re a typical hard gainer, your life will be a breeze with carbs and fats in every meal.

Carbohydrate intake is highly individual and can range anywhere from 2g to 6g (or more) per kg of body weight, thus it’s something you will need to experiment with. It’s quite easy to get carbohydrates from solid food; however powdered carbohydrate supplement post-workout may be beneficial in maximising the insulin response due to quicker digestion and absorption as well.

Good sources of carbohydrates: rice, potatoes, pasta, wholegrain bread.

Fats

Probably the most neglected but so important nutrient, because of its role as a vitamin solvent, building material for sex hormones (including testosterone) as well as a structural component of all cell membranes, including muscle cells. Without at least 20% of calories in your diet coming from fat (e.g. 45g of fat in a 2000kcal diet) you risk fat-soluble vitamin deficiencies and poor hormonal profile.

However not all fat is created equal and body’s response varies depending on the chemical structure of fatty acids. Chances are that your diet lacks essential omega-3s, which shown to have a range of health benefits including enhanced sports performance. Oily fish such as Salmon contains a lot of omega3s; however, eating fish every day may not be something you’ll easily come to terms with. On top of that, the issue of heavy metal contamination in fatty fish has been raised, hence giving the Salmon a break might be a good idea. Instead, you can supplement your diet with purified and convenient Omega-3s.

Good sources of fats: oils, nuts, fatty fish, eggs.

Vitamins and Minerals

These have a wide range of function in the human body, including; energy and hormone production, cell differentiation and many more. As you probably know, most of the vitamins and minerals in your diet come from fruits and vegetables.

Good sources of vitamins and minerals: fruits and vegetables.

3. When You Can’t Eat No More – Choosing the Right Weight Gainer

Hopefully, by now you have some fundamental idea of what to eat to gain size. However, eating can be a chore and even with the best effort and determination you may find yourself in situations where eating a meal may not be possible or convenient. Sometimes, your appetite simply won’t cooperate and you will find yourself dreading a thought of another spoonful. If so, it might be a good idea to reach out for a weight gainer, after all drinking your calories is much easier and quicker… but how to choose the right one?

Impact Weight Gainer – a cost-effective blend of whey protein concentrate and ground oats. Following the previously mentioned rule of not mixing simple sugars and fats in one meal, this product will be a safe meal substitute even for those prone to gaining body-fat. Highly bio-available protein and complex carbohydrates are just bread and butter in a meal schedule of every fitness freak.

Total Gainer – is a more complex formula which contains a blend of fast-acting and slow-acting carbohydrates; beneficial for those who burn through carbs because of high metabolism or very active lifestyle. A mixture of fast to moderately-fast digestible protein ensures a steady supply of amino acids for at least 4 hours after consumption. Furthermore, sources of omega-3s and medium chain triglycerides take care of your dietary fat demands and boost calorie intake.

Hard Gainer Extreme – as the name implies, an extreme combination of ingredients. Notably, this gainer contains the most rapidly absorbed protein; whey hydrolysate and the slowest digestible protein; calcium caseinate. The blend will keep shuttling muscle building amino acids into the bloodstream for at least 8 hours after consumption. Hard Gainer Extreme contains only fast-acting carbohydrates which can be ensured only by the toughest hard gainers. In the ingredient list, you will also find fibre and, similarly to Total Gainer, extra sources of dietary fat. If your metabolism is on a slow side, you might re-consider other options rather than this calorie-bomb.



Carnitine is a quaternary ammonium compound, which is essential for metabolic function in all mammals. Carnitine is not only essential for the healthy function of various human physiological systems, but also supplementation with carnitine can confer serious boosts to athletic performance and overall body composition in athletes that supplement with it! Carnitine can be suspended in a liquid or as a raw powder which is taken orally, and which following its breakthrough into the fitness world has undergone extensive medial trials in healthy individuals as well as athletes demonstrating extremely interesting effects on fatty acid metabolism and glycogen preservation.      

    In addition to the potential performance enhancing and physique benefits it provides, carnitine has also been connected in various studies to a lower risk of diabetes and heart disease. One of the primary roles carnitine serves in our body is the carnitine pathway shuttling of fatty acids. This is the process by which fatty acids are directly shuttled into the mitochondria of cells to provide essential cellular energy. Additionally, carnitine activation allows the oxidation of fats directly from cellular material, allowing an athlete to derive energy directly from body fat stores, not just carbohydrate metabolism. Furthermore, the presence of muscle carnitine, which can be metabolized into direct cellular energy, it has a glycogen sparing effect on muscle tissue and thereby exerts an anti-catabolic effect on muscular tissue, preventing the depletion of muscle glycogen throughout strenuous training. This allows an athlete alternative means of energy supply and preserves essential muscle glycogen for longer during workouts.

    Adding to its obvious benefits in terms energy production and the improvement of body composition caused by the direct oxidation of fatty acids, rather than pure carbohydrate metabolism; Carnitine, has been connected to a lower risk of diabetes and the prevention cardiac ischemia (decreased blood flow to the heart). The host of bodily mechanisms in which carnitine plays a role suggests that supplementation with it can contribute to broader holistic health, in addition to providing massive physique benefits in terms of its powerful fat burning effects and extremely efficient energy transportation. Carnitine is in many ways one of the essential bodily compounds with roles in a whole host of physiological processes, among which are several methods bodybuilders can utilize to enhance their physiques and athletic performance in the gym.

    Carnitine is, if not an essential, a very useful product for athletes seeking to improve their overall body composition, through the targeted oxidation of fatty acids from their cellular adipose tissue, or to enhance their workouts and overall energy, strength, and power through training sessions with carnitine mediated muscle glycogen preservation, allowing athletes to train harder, with less fatigue, while directly burning body fat and enjoying a variety of potential health benefits. There are a lot of potential upsides to supplementing with carnitine, but people have been getting jacked for decades before companies started selling carnitine; diet and training should come first; however, there is substantial evidence that carnitine could give you a performance boost.