Nutrition

How to Eat Fruit Without Wrecking Your Bodybuilding Gains

Does fruit really need to be prohibited on a bodybuilding diet?

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How to Eat Fruit Without Wrecking Your Bodybuilding Gains

Many bodybuilders and diet gurus swear by cutting out fruit as they lean out. Others use these healthy foods sparingly with good results. Since fruit is primarily a carbohydrate, many bodybuilders drop it to keep  their carb intakes low. Many bodybuilders striving to get lean fear fruit due to the fructose it contains.

The majority of carbohydrate in most fruits comes from two sources: glucose and fructose. The amount of each varies in different fruits, but most have more fructose than glucose. Glucose is the same structure as blood sugar or blood glucose. When you eat food with glucose in it, it’s usually digested and absorbed into your blood very rapidly. Because of this, glucose is a perfect carb to eat immediately before or during a workout (as it provides quick energy) and immediately after a workout (because it replenishes muscle glycogen — the storage form of glucose).

Fructose, however, is a completely different story. Food that contains fructose takes much longer to metabolize. Muscles cannot use fructose as such. It must first be converted to glycogen in the liver. When liver glycogen levels become saturated, fructose gets converted into fat. So, fearing this conversion to fat, many bodybuilders avoid all fruit. If your carbohydrate intake is low to moderate though, eating one or two pieces of fruit a day should not be a problem for you, as far as fat storage goes. Plus, fruit provides the benefits of fiber, vitamins and phytochemicals.

The best time to eat fruit is about 30 to 60 minutes before training because the glucose component will provide a fast form of energy and the fructose will keep the liver stocked with glycogen, which will help keep blood glucose levels steady during the workout. After exercise, fruit is not the best form of carbs to boost insulin (the anabolic hormone you want to increase at this time) or to replenish muscle glycogen. Opt instead for a pure glucose or maltodextrin product. – FLEX

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