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 Balanced Blood Sugar Levels For New Fat-Free Muscle Mass

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Date d'inscription : 15/04/2009

MessageSujet: Balanced Blood Sugar Levels For New Fat-Free Muscle Mass    Sam 21 Jan - 22:56

Written by Chris Aceto

Nutrition is sort of like a symphony. That is, getting bigger never boils down to "just one thing" like eating tons of protein or overdosing on maltodextrin or vitargo in the over-emphasized "post training window." Successful muscle building nutrition is the sum total of eating properly, covering everything from total calories to protein to carbs and essential fats. That being said, an overlooked player in the group is blood sugar. Don't let the term throw you. Blood sugar is nothing more than a term to describe the amount of glucose that floats around in the blood. How's this sugar getting there, you ask? It comes from carbohydrates. When you eat carbs, they break down into sugar (glucose); get absorbed through the intestinal tract and absorbed into the bloodstream. Then, this sugar floats around in the blood until your muscles absorb it to use it for energy or to make muscle glycogen, an important component in muscle recovery. Or, the sugar can be sent down fat-storing pathways that can lead to increased stored body fat. This article is about balance – keeping blood sugar levels stable because low blood sugar, from keeping carbs too low for too long, can lead to sub-par growth while elevated levels can lead to an unwanted increase in blubber - making you looked "blimpy" rather than massively muscular. Apply the 7 tips below to keep your sugar levels rock steady, free from slumping dives, while preventing rapid rises.

1) Pick Your Carbs

If you have trouble staying lean following a higher calorie bulking diet, avoid sugar and stick with slower-burning carbs like oats, cream of rye cereal, rye bread, yams, red potatoes and pasta. The reason: bodybuilders with a higher percentage of body fat experience greater insulin surges from eating carbs (compared to leaner bodybuilders). Insulin spikes ultimately cause blood sugar levels to drop, and low blood sugar levels can be catabolic. The insulin surge can also leave you weak, tired, and can, ultimately, elevate catabolic, muscle wasting, hormones.

If you have a faster metabolism and tend to remain lean when bulking, you can get away with choosing whatever carbohydrates you prefer because lean bodybuilders tend to release less insulin than "fatter" bodybuilders. Moderate insulin secretion can keep blood sugar levels more stable and stable levels are idea for muscle growth and fighting any potential increase in body fat.

2) Pick Your Protein

Egg whites and fish are great fat-free sources of protein, which make them ideal for cutting up; but for bulking, don't completely avoid dietary fat. That means mixing egg whites with whole eggs, swapping fish for lean red meat, salmon and low fat cheeses. Dietary fat helps keep a tab on sugar levels preventing them from dropping like a rock. Fat naturally exerts a "slowing" effect on carb digestion and slower burning carbs which, in turn, results in stable blood sugar levels. When blood sugar levels are stable, two things occur; you grow, and side-step the fat gaining process.

3) Pick Your Protein Powder

Whey protein truly is a great source of muscle-building aminos, but did you know whey can whisk in & out of the blood so fast it can actually-- by affecting insulin-- throw a curve ball into blood sugar levels. If you "bonk" after eating, and suddenly run out of gas, stick with a mix of whey and casein. The candidates who are most likely to bonk are the heavy-set I-have-trouble-staying-lean bodybuilders. For them, a whey-casein mix is the superior protein choice. The other solution, if you are not lactose intolerant, is to mix your whey with low fat milk. The fats in milk not only slow the entry of aminos (from whey) into the blood but they are derived from shorter length forms of fat than most other fats; and some literature shows that short-chain fatty acids are less fattening to the body than the longer chain ones.

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 mass gaining approach is to eat twice as many carbs than protein. Therefore; if you are eating 40 grams of protein, which is equal to approximately 8 ounces of beef, consume 80 grams of carbohydrates, which is found in 2 cups of rice or a 12 ounce yam. If you feel good, and are gaining mass without much body fat, then a 2:1 ratio is fine. If you tend to feel weak or lethargic after meals, you might consider cutting back on your carbohydrates and slightly increasing the protein. This adjustment-- more protein and less carbs-- alters the concentration of sugar in the blood allowing you to feel better. Listening to your body – feeling energetic and avoiding lulls in energy – is an overlooked yet important aspect in building mass.

5) Try Ginseng & Cinnamon

American ginseng, to the tune of 1 –3 grams a day, can help keep sugar levels from crashing. When sugar levels plunge, the body reacts by kicking out catabolic hormones – muscle wasting hormones that interfere with muscle growth and repair. Ginseng costs as little as 40 cents a day and 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of cinnamon mixed into your AM oatmeal or combined with Splenda and sprinkled on rye toast, is enough to exert an effect where sugar levels remain stable leading to better energy, better growth and less fat storage.

6) Branched Chain Amino Acids

A lot of bodybuilders take branched chain amino acids (BCAAs) before and after training to prevent muscle breakdown. Another benefit; take 4-5 grams during any part of the day where you feel you tend to bonk – where your energy drops. For some that may be mid-morning and for others in could be mid- or late-afternoon. In either case, each of us have different times of the day where we tend to "crash" and one reason may be due to falling sugar levels. BCAAs help stave off that crash by preventing the burning of sugar which allows blood sugar levels to remain stable. Again, stable sugar levels are correlated with growth and recovery.

7) Follow the 120-150 Rule

Eat every 120-150 minutes or every 2 to 2 ½ hours. Small meals, spread thru the day, help keep sugar levels stable which contributes to a bigger and harder physique. For many extremely hard trainers who inherently have poor recovery ability, three hours could be just long enough to allow sugar levels to dip taking away from your ability to recover and grow to-the-max.

Cool Use Macadamia Nut Oil

If you are eating a gram or more of protein per pound of body weight and no more than 2 grams of carbs per pound and are either gaining too much body fat, struggling to feel like you are recovering or experiencing swings in energy levels, back off the carbs and add in some additional "god" fat. Try using 2-3 tablespoons of Macadamia nut oil per day. Good, metabolism-boosting, fats like mac oil will slow the digestion of carbs thereby stabilizing glucose levels in the blood. Mac oil also supplies essential fats that fight muscle inflammation. Many times, unstable sugar levels are due to excessive inflammation within the body. When you get inflammation under control, sugar levels can be stabilized, the body tends to release less insulin and energy levels become more predictable. Stable sugar levels throughout the day can help the body side-step a catabolic state and can also keep inflammatory agents from rising to excessive levels. Fighting inflammation is truly one of the most overlooked aspects to muscle growth and recovery.

9) Don't Over-do the Training

It's not a nutrition tip, but training and diet are inextricably connected. If you train too frequently, or perform too many negatives, hormones and chemicals are dumped into the blood that can severely alter blood sugar levels which impact recovery. Overtraining results in a state where muscles have difficulty uptaking sugar which leaves sugar levels higher in the blood. This, in turn can actually stimulate fat storage! The bottom line is, if you train hard-- but don't overdo it-- blood sugar levels are apt to remain steady, a prerequisite for muscle repair. However, if you try to keep up with Mr. Olympia, you're going to experience wild swings in sugar levels which is not optimal for growth and recovery.

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