Friday, September 11, 2009

The Truth About Protein Synthesis When We Work Out


My inquiry is, in Science and Practice to Strength Training by Zatsiorsky, he references a chart on the decline of protein synthesis (during workout)due to the priority the body has placed on the function of the muscles during various tasks in the weightroom. And then shows as time has moved on from the workout being over, protein synthesis dramatically picks up. So is it safe to say after reading this book that it is not optimal to take aminos and carbs during the workout since the use of such nutrients and process of repair takes place with time after such muscles are done being worked through strength training, jumping, running, sport, etc. And just use the post workout time as your replenishing and recovery time? Thanks

(I believe the graph above is the one that Michael is referring to)

Hello Michael.

To answer your question: YES! YES! A THOUSAND TIMES, YES!!! I have been trying to convey this point for years! When we are doing heavy resistance exercise the majority of the energy supply for protein synthesis DECREASES and almost all available energy is shuttled to the actual work being done. This is why it is so incredibly important to eat anabolically BEFORE training!!!

Furthermore, as Zatsiorsky does not mention; when we train we are radically stimulating the sympathetic side of the nervous system. Guess what happens when the sympathetic side is put into overdrive? Digestion slows down and the energies are diverted to the task at hand. Once we finish training, then the parasympathetic side begins to creep back in the form of rest and repair; and pupils contract, heart rate decreases (this is another reason why I do many of the recovery modalities that I do-but that is for another day), the liver begins to once again store glucose, and digestion comes back online.

So, the time to square yourself away with anabolic foods is BEFORE a workout, and then AFTER a workout. If you put together proper nutrition before training, then all that is really needed during training is a drink (water, Celtra sea salt, di-potassium phosphate) that will replenish electrolytes that are depleted through sweating (which I have mentioned several times now here). Now, this obviously takes a great deal of trial and error; but over time, if you experiment with eating anabolic foods you will come to realize exactly what I am talking about. If you become hungry during training then of course eat or drink something (anabolic foods work best); but understand that your anabolic meal was not adequate and that you need to either change some things next time or just eat more.

I think that in the interest of just selling product that many companies have come up with pre, during, post, etc. workout drinks while perhaps assuming that you-the consumer-would just buy into it; and many people have. However, if folks just dig a bit deeper as to how the body works then they will become more enlightened and use that knowledge to better themselves as athletes.

Excellent research, Michael!

1 comment:

Mike said...

Speaking of anabolic foods. Eric talks about some of them in this audio mp3 podcast interview as we discuss the optimum anabolic environment.