MyFitnesspal, BCAAs and Intermittent Fasting.


"What is your take on taking BCAAs during a work out?" Christophe (E)

Branched Chain Amino Acids are the amino acids Valine, Leucine, and Isoleucine.

Reasons to consider consuming them.

If your exercise is lasting longer than 90 minutes. It might assist reducing physical performance deterioration

Potential for reducing muscle soreness

Reasons to consider NOT consuming them.

If you are eating whole protein rich meals after training at an amount that provides you with 25-40g protein

If your total daily intake of protein is 1.6-2.5g/kg/BW

They may be beneficial YET best to probably save your money.

MyFitnessPal doesn’t add up.

"Why do some of the items I track in MFP show up differently in Fuelin?" Ginny

This is because we do the back end calculations to ensure that the macros being reported add up to the correct caloric amount. This concept of net carbs is a marketing persons idea to make labels for foods look better than what they might be. Yes, there are some differences in energy extraction in the gut for some individuals yet for the most part let’s treat carbs as carbs. That is 4kcal per gram. Same for protein and fat is 9kcal per gram. Period.

Intermittent Fasting

”I am new to triathlon and endurance sports. As an intermittent faster, I have always completed my workouts without breakfast. I have since learnt fueling for workouts is important. Is my breakfast giving me energy for my 1-2 hr work out? Am I tapping into what I ate last night? Is breakfast replenishing me after my work.” Eric

Fasting has had a rough time of late. Once it was the greatest tool in an athletes toolkit for improving fat oxidation, mitochondrial genesis and fat loss. To now being discussed by influencers as life threatening and damaging to performance.

What’s the story?

Fasting and fasted training can be effective for certain individuals in their quest to improve body composition. Evidence does exist that physiological changes do occur in the muscle, in particular, the mitochondria when fasted training is applied. However, these changes have not always translated into clear performance gains. Furthermore, the concept of fasting before exercise has more recently been shown to be related to timing of the meals. It is possible to benefit from fasting even when eating prior to exercise. The reason being, is that the process of digestion is required to occur. So, if the last meal of the day was 8-12 hours the evening before and then a meal is consumed immediately prior to training, the first part of that training, and potentially the entirety of that training session could technically still be considered fasted. So for Eric, depending on when the meall is eaten prior to your training, will determine the purpose of that meal.

Quote to consider

"It's rarely doing the work that is hard, it's starting the work. Once you begin, it’s often less painful to continue working. This is why—in the beginning—it is often more important to build the habit of getting started than it is to worry about whether or not you are doing enough."

James Clear

Nutrition element to ponder

The quote above is so on point for athletes. Too often athletes worry about perfection before even really beginning to start to learn a skill. Nutrition is no different. Learning how to eat for your sport can take time. Learning how to maximise your health, recovery and performance will take time. It has to start somewhere. The start is often the hardest part YET also the most rewarding. It is at the start that an athlete might discover a lot about their eating habits. Perhaps the quality of their diet is not as good as they initially thought.  The quantity of their diet may be drastically underfueling their performance. Conversely, their diet might be sabotaging their training efforts to improve body composition.  It has to start somewhere and there is no better time than now to get started.  The hardest part is getting started and we can help you.

Scott Tindal
April 16, 2024
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