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The benefits of a consistent exercise program have been firmly established when it comes to improving golf swing and performance. The correct and personalized combination of strength, cardio and flexibility exercises is essential for productive results and a better and healthier game. So is the understanding that nutrition plays a huge role in achieving these results.

The physiological changes that occur in the body during exercise are proportional to the intensity and duration of the exercise. If intense enough, * these responses can place the body in what is known as a catabolic state as a result of the breakdown of muscle tissue. This generally results in prolonged muscle pain, low energy, and prolonged fatigue. These effects can persist for several days and can interfere with subsequent training sessions. They can also be a good excuse not to exercise.

To minimize these unwanted by-products of exercise, you must reduce the degree of breakdown (catabolism) by encouraging a build-up (anabolism) within the body as soon as possible after the exercise session ends. This is achieved through proper nutrition.

While doing cardiovascular exercise and / or strength training, energy in the form of carbohydrates that floats in the blood (blood glucose) and is stored in the muscles and liver (glycogen) is depleted and depleted. Also, micro-tears develop in your muscle. The harder and longer the training session, the greater the depletion of glucose and glycogen, and the more damage to your muscle tissue.

This is actually a good thing, as muscles need to be broken down for growth to occur. That’s where catabolism and anabolism go hand in hand, however you can only be in one or the other at a time. The anabolic state (growth) should be your preference most of the time.

To slow down catabolism and encourage anabolism after the training session is done, the right foods should be ingested on time. This will serve to improve energy replacement and recovery from exercise. By doing so, the next training session will be better tolerated as muscle pain and fatigue are minimized. This also helps improve body composition (loss of fat and increase in muscle tissue).

So when should you eat your post-workout meal and what should it consist of? Research indicates that food should be eaten 30 to 45 minutes after the end of the exercise session. This metabolic window is when the body is ready for recovery and if post-exercise food is consumed within that time frame, recovery can be achieved quickly within 4 to 10 hours.

However, the metabolic window decreases from 45 minutes to approximately 2 hours, where recovery can take 24 to 36 hours. This is mainly due to the degree of decomposition that has been allowed to occur, facilitating those unwanted by-products of exercise mentioned above.

The post-exercise meal should consist of foods that are digested quickly for energy stores and muscle repair to occur. Simple carbohydrates (berries, grapefruit, apples, bananas, oranges, and other fruits and fruit juices, chocolate, honey, etc.) will enter the bloodstream quickly, thus restoring glucose and glycogen levels. This will help the body move to its second priority of repairing damaged muscle tissue. If carbohydrates are not consumed as part of the post-exercise meal, the body will continue to break down the muscles for fuel, thus spreading the catabolic state.

Complex carbohydrates (whole grain breads and pastas, potatoes, cereals, beans, brown rice, etc.) are also recommended for post-exercise meals as they are eaten more slowly than simple carbohydrates, providing a longer increase in blood glucose. levels. This will help ensure a full recovery.

Of interest, studies show that carbohydrates ingested immediately after a training session, vs. 2 hours later, the amount of glycogen stores in the body doubled. The recommended post-exercise intake of total carbohydrates (simple and complex) is in the range of 5 to 1 gram per pound of body weight (100 to 200 grams for a 200-pound person).

The other key ingredient in your post-exercise meal is protein. When combined with carbohydrates, protein maximizes the body’s ability to recover from exercise. Protein will be needed to begin the repair and growth of muscle tissue that was damaged during the training session.

Proteins are composed of amino acids. The human body manufactures most of these, but there are 9, the essential amino acids that we must ingest through our diet. Animal protein and some plant proteins, such as soy products and quinoa, are complete proteins that have all 9 essential amino acids. Vegans can get complete protein by combining foods like stir-fry vegetables and brown rice, or a grilled cheese or hummus sandwich.

The literature recommends a ratio of approximately 3: 1, carbohydrates to protein (33 to 67 grams for a 200-pound person). Good sources of protein include milk, chicken, nuts, tofu, fish, eggs, peanut butter, cheese, and yogurt.

The dual effects of exercise and nutrition can have a huge impact on the way you look and feel, and how well you hit a golf ball. If you’ve been feeling sluggish a day or two (or more) after a training session, chances are you’re not eating properly. The post-exercise meal is vital for energy and muscle recovery. So pack a PB&J with chocolate brown whole milk in your gym bag for after your next workout.

* For someone who exercises only 1 time per week or for people who perform light intensity exercise, such as a slow walk or a light weight training session that lasts less than 30 minutes, these post-exercise recommendations are not necessary.

** Dieting, skipping breakfast, and / or skipping meals can also promote a catabolic state, as the body will begin to break down muscles in an attempt to feed itself. To avoid this, eat a good breakfast every day and then eat smaller meals every 2 to 3 hours to maintain energy levels in the body. Carbohydrates and proteins are recommended.

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