Nutrition

Blood Sugar Balancing

8 keys to more fat-free mass.

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Blood Sugar Balancing

3. SELECT YOUR PROTEIN POWDER

Whey protein is a great source of muscle-building aminos, but whey can be absorbed and processed by your body in a way that can throw a curve ball at your blood sugar levels by affecting insulin. If you crash after eating and suddenly run out of energy, stick with a mix of whey and casein. A quick drop in energy is most likely to hit heavyset bodybuilders who have trouble staying lean. For them, a whey-casein mix is the superior protein choice. After exercise, consume whey for its quick-acting effects, and follow it up 30 to 45 minutes later with a whole-food meal. If it’s going to be longer than that before your next meal, add some casein to your whey-protein shake, which will slow down your digestion rate and prevent rapid ups and downs in blood sugar.

4. KNOW YOUR BODY

Bodybuilders often ask, “How much protein and carbs should I eat at each meal?” The answer varies greatly from person to person. An easy approach is to eat twice as many grams of carbs as protein. For example, if you consume 40 grams (g) of protein (roughly the amount in six ounces of beef), accompany it with 80 g of carbohydrates (two cups of cooked rice or two large yams). If you feel well and are gaining mass without much bodyfat, then that 2:1 ratio is fine. If you tend to feel weak or lethargic after meals, cut back on carbohydrates and slightly increase your protein intake. This adjustment — more protein and fewer carbs — alters the concentration of sugar in blood, helping you to feel better. Listen to your body. Feeling energetic and avoiding drops in energy are overlooked aspects in building mass.

5. TRY GINSENG AND CINNAMON

American ginseng — about 1-2 g per day — can help keep sugar levels from crashing. When sugar levels plunge, the body reacts by putting out catabolic hormones. These muscle-wasting hormones interfere with muscle growth and repair. A daily dose of ginseng costs as little as 40 cents. Take 1-2 g of ginseng about 30-40 minutes before high-carb meals, especially fast-digesting carbs. Do not take it postworkout; that’s when you want carbs to digest as quickly as possible. Add one-half to one teaspoon of cinnamon to your morning oatmeal, or combine that amount of cinnamon with Splenda and sprinkle the mixture on rye toast. That should be enough to help stabilize blood sugar, leading to improved energy and growth with less fat storage.

 

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