behavior modification

Managing Post-Workout Hunger

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Of the various hormones in the human body, there are two hormones whose primary responsibility is regulating hunger, these are:

  • Ghrelin – Which signals that you’re hungry
  • Leptin – Which signals that you’re full

Some people are hungry after a workout while some are not. Typically, hunger won’t kick in until a few hours or so but there are several factors that can cause hunger in these situations. Here are some reasons why you’re hungry and how it can be fixed.

Not eating enough before workout

It’s common for some individuals to fast before a workout in order to achieve weight loss. However, by going this route, one is could end up going a good number of hours without any fuel. As a result, one is going to experience mild to severe hunger after workout.

Fix this by fueling with a small high energy snack or combine with protein depending on your goal.

Some ideas include:

  • Apple sauce
  • Energy gel
  • Piece of fruit
  • Energy chews
  • Carb + protein (liquid)

Not drinking enough fluids

Staying hydrated is imperative for performance but many don’t hydrate properly. At times, one may feel hungry but it can be mistaken for thirst, so don’t be afraid to drink a cup of water. During more intense workouts or workouts lasting longer than 1 hour, a sports drink is suggested. Coming into a workout dehydrated or relatively close to it, ghrelin will kick in telling you that you’re hungry during and/or after workout.

  • Weigh yourself before and after workouts – For every 1lb lost, drink 16-24 oz. of water.

 

Excess Post-Oxygen Consumption (EPOC)

EPOC is the oxygen uptake above resting values used to restore the body to the pre-exercise condition.  Some of the elements during EPOC are the re-synthesis of ATP, glycogen, protein and restoration of oxygen levels. These elements are refueled from nutrition. After workouts, our energy substrates are low which causes a need for refuel leading to hunger.

 

 

Baechle Thomas R., Earle Roger W., Essentials of strength and conditioning, National Strength and Conditioning Association; Third edition.

https://www.acefitness.org/blog/5008/7-things-to-know-about-excess-post-exercise-oxygen

https://www.ncaa.org/sites/default/files/Performance%20Hydration%20Fact%20Sheet.pdf

 

By Jesse Rodriguez

Jesse is a nutritional science major with an emphasis in sports nutrition. Jesse swam for the El Salvador national team and competed at the international level. Jesse is currently working towards a CSCS and registered dietitian license. He currently works at UCLA as a sports nutrition intern assisting both dietitians with meal plans, body composition, and education materials. Jesse is a member of the Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics and Collegiate & Professional Sports Dietitians Association.

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How Vitamins Affect Sports Performance

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By Jesse Rodriguez

An apple a day keeps the doctor away right? Not quite since dietary guidelines recommended us to consume ~3-5 servings of fruits and vegetables a day. Vegetables, specifically, are overlooked but they shouldn’t as they are superfoods. Mom was right when nagging us about eating our veggies at the dinner table.

Vitamins are our main focus here and how it can help performance. There are two types of vitamins:

  • Water soluble – Vitamins B and C
  • Fat soluble – Vitamin A, D, E, and K
*Vitamins A, C, and E have antioxidant effects

The difference between the two are the elements of metabolism. Some water-soluble vitamins require digestion while some don’t, however, they are all absorbed in the small intestine then transported through the blood to their target areas. Similarly, some fat-soluble vitamins require digestion while some don’t. In order to get absorbed, it must be incorporated into a micelle with the help of bile. The micelle then gets absorbed into the intestinal cells by passive diffusion in the small intestine. Those with diseases or complications may have trouble absorbing vitamins or producing the necessary enzymes for metabolism.

Vitamins help performance in many ways such as serving as antioxidants to reduce inflammation or working with minerals such as calcium to promote bone strength. Furthermore, some fruits can serve as a pre-workout packed with carbohydrates with a low glycemic index providing a steady dose of carbs throughout the workout. Additionally, fruits contain fructose, a simple sugar, that is digested quickly aiding in glycogen replenishment. Because vitamins have various benefits, I will cover only a handful of fruits and vegetables that can help your health and performance.

  • Fish, Beef, Yogurt, Milk, Chicken – Vitamin B12
    • Helps formation of red blood cells
    • Maintain brain function
    • Create and breakdown protein and fat
  • Pears – Vitamins C, K, B3, B6, B9
    • Increase energy levels
    • Aids in digestion
    • Decrease blood pressure
  • Cucumbers – Vitamins C, K, B1, B7
    • Aids in protection of brain
    • Increase digestive health
    • Decreases stress
    • Freshens your breath!
  • Milk, Eggs, – Vitamin D
    • Increase bone strength
    • May increase musculoskeletal health
    • May improve muscle efficiency
  • Oranges, Carrots, Milk – Vitamin A
    • Aid in vision and cellular differentiation
    • Promotes eye health
    • Antioxidant effects helping in muscle recovery

To summarize, vitamins are imperative to our health and can aid in performance. Add a banana or apple to your mid-day snack. You can also try things like carrots with hummus, celery sticks with peanut butter or steamed broccoli with your dinner. Eating your servings of fruits and vegetables doesn’t have be boring so mix it in with your daily foods. Eating a balanced diet includes all food groups containing vitamins which are important for different functions in the body

 

Jesse Rodriguez is a nutritional science major with an emphasis in sports nutrition. Jesse swam for the El Salvador national team and competed at the international level. Jesse is currently working towards a CSCS and registered dietitian license. He currently works at UCLA as a sports nutrition intern assisting both dietitians with meal plans, body composition, and education materials. Jesse is a member of the Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics and Collegiate & Professional Sports Dietitians Association.

Movement In-Service Takeaways

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**Editor’s Note: Welcome to the new website for Ruthless Athletics. Be sure to subscribe to the blog and continue to check back for updates and new information as the site continues to develop.**

Late last month, I was invited to provide an in-service presentation for CrossFit Fluid and Fearless Barbell in Deer Lake, PA.  The presentation was based around “Movement Correction for Health & Long-Term Athletic Development”–a topic that I’m rather passionate about, which led to a much longer than anticipated presentation and group discussion.
img_7971This is a widely-encompassing topic and lecture, which went off in various directions. But below are some of the talking points that had the best feedback and sparked the most interest.

For access to the full presentation, consider enrolling in the Ruthless Athletics Mentorship
Program, which is operated in conjunction with The Fitness Resource. Click here to message for details.

Tonic Muscles vs. Phasic Muscles

img_7974The idea of tonic and phasic muscles is not one that many deal with on a day-to-day basis. But because I was presenting for a CrossFit staff, the was much more applicable than usual.

In this breakdown, rather than considering muscles as fast twitch, slow twitch, type I or type II, muscles are grouped as tonic or phasic. Tonic muscles are those which have an evolutionary basis in maintaining support, or muscle tone, whereas phasic muscles have a basis in locomotion or movement.

Again, this idea has some significance in CrossFit because of the nature of the exercises and activities therein. For example, throughout a set of high-rep snatches, the phasic muscles (which should be primary movers in this exercise) quickly become fatigued. The tonic muscles are then relied on for completion of the exercise bout. Over time, this creates reliance on the tonic muscles (which are prone to tightness), while the phasic muscles (which are prone to weakness) become less and less active.

To ensure patterns of misuse don’t become long-term, activation of the phasic muscles and the release of the tonic muscles are both necessary. Consider the hip extensors; a phasic hip extensor would be the gluteal muscles, while the hamstrings and spinal erectors are tonic. In this case, we would need to implement myofascial release on these tonic muscles, while activating the gluteal musculature with various exercises and drills.

Mobility is Flexibility

The fitness world has gone to an extreme with some of its terminology. One such instance is the idea of mobility. Coaches will frequently say that they enjoy implementing mobility drills, but do not concern themselves with stretches because of the noted decrements to performance. While these coaches may have the right idea, this separation of terminology is not entirely accurate.

Flexibility is an umbrella category that mobility falls under. Rather than suggesting that static stretching (which creates passive flexibility) leads to these noted decrements to performance, these coaches vilify the broader and more general terms of stretching and mobility.

Stability is Multifaceted

Beyond some intricacies with terminology, the idea of mobility is much more simplistic than the idea of stability. This is, in part, due to the various types of stability within the body, as well as role that the central nervous system plays in creating stability .

Since the joints within the body largely alternate between providing mobility and stability, the mechanisms for stability at each junction alternate as well. While stable joints will inherently provide stability, mobile joints must be stabilized by the surrounding musculature.

If this musculature is weakened, the chance of pain, injury, or asymmetry is very likely. The fix for this requires the aforementioned muscular activation.

Lifestyle Modification for Optimal Health

When trying to improve a client’s health or fitness, frequently coaches look at existing workout protocols, and how they can optimize a program to better suit the client, bimg_7973ut this is only a small piece of the fitness puzzle.

Exercise likely doesn’t take up any more than 2 hours a day. With off days in addition to the likelihood of exercise bouts being much shorter than two hours, we are left with a great deal more time out of the gym than in it.

To best improve a client’s health and fitness, we need to consider an approach than is going to be fully-encompassing, rather than limited to 1-2 hours per day. This idea means creating better daily habits, postures, diets, and so on.

The idea of changing these patterns falls within the psychological realm and within the idea of behavior modification. To best change someone’s diet, resting postures, etc., it is best to have an extended plan, implementing 1-2 changes at a time for several weeks, before compounding these newly formed habits with additional changes.

 

The fields of health and fitness are truly multi-disciplined. To best understand this topic, fitness professionals must continuously develop and maintain an extensive intellectual background on topics that may seem outside of practice, utility, and convention.