Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Pop Tarts?!?! Yep, learning..... and Studding!

If you have spent a lot of time in the gym or in the Studio I guarantee you have heard of someone talking about eating pop tarts to gain muscle. Now initially, you are probably thinking “here we go again, another trend of false statements”. Here we are trying to eat clean, and train hard to get the hard earned results we are striving for and now I’m being told to eat a pop tart?? That’s seems counterproductive. Well, it’s not at all! 

The truth of the matter is that there are no inherently good or bad foods. Foods all contain calories and of those calories are macros: Proteins, Fats, and Carbs. The body cannot distinguish what it’s digesting, whether it is a chicken sandwich from a fast food joint, or baked chicken, spinach, and a handful of almonds – both meals can render the same amount of macros if measure appropriately.  

When we exercise, it creates a highly stressful state for the human body. The body naturally releases cortisol as a reaction to whatever physical exertion you are putting yourself through. Insulin and cortisol have a direct relationship. Post workout, insulin spikes and lowers cortisol levels which start the protein synthesis cycle. Protein synthesis is basically the rebuilding of muscular tissue. In a post workout state, you want to initiate protein synthesis as quickly as possible. The most efficient way to begin the cycle is by getting a quick and large boost of insulin into the bloodstream, and that can be done by ingesting high glycemic index carbohydrates, which are basically simple carbs/sugars. Pop Tarts are highly processed form of sugar – dextrose, maltodextrin, fructose, sucrose, and high fructose corn syrup. 

Post workout, it is essential restore glycogen and get protein into your body immediately! If you’re an IF’er like myself, and train in the morning or afternoon, I supplement with BCAA’s until I break my fast and then have my post workout meal. Don’t worry the sugars and carbs will not make you fat! Post workout the body can uptake and use these sugars and carbs to begin protein synthesis. It’s not like you have been sitting around sedentary for days eating boxes of pop tarts, which is not what I am promoting here. Post workout I typically have two pop tarts and a protein shake made with egg whites instead of milk or water, and a banana.  Some people add dextrose to their shakes, or eat other things like fat free ice cream, chips, etc. One thing you want to make sure of is it’s a high carb – low fat food source. Fat slows down the digestive process of the body, and we want it to be as fast as possible to begin protein synthesis. The pop tart is a great post workout addition to your protein shake, and it’s damn tasty! 

 Try it for a week or two and I bet you see an increase in your energy level and your recovery time!!

This is a very "BASIC" explanation of why simple carb uptake can help benefit muscle development by initiating protein synthesis. If you want a more scientific and in depth explanation just look it up. I wrote this to help the average person with a general understanding of fitness and nutrition, not scientists from NASA.