Eat Low Carb After Exercise to Improve Insulin Resistance
Saturday, February 06, 2010
Board Certified Clinical Nutritionist Byron J. Richards,
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A new study shows that the kind of meal you eat after you do aerobic exercise1 can make a big difference in helping your body metabolize blood sugar more efficiently. This is a very important issue since overweight Americans are plagued by insulin resistance in combination with leptin resistance – a clear path to eventual type II diabetes.
The researchers found that eating low carbohydrates following the exercise period enabled better insulin sensitivity, meaning that your muscles and liver could more readily take up blood sugar. However, eating a low calorie meal following aerobic exercise did not improve insulin function. This means you should not try to starve yourself in an effort to lose weight. By eating an appropriate calorie-size meal of mostly protein, fat, and veggies (avoid bread, rice, potatoes, pasta, dessert) at the next meal following your aerobic exercise period your are much more likely to get insulin working in your favor.
Of course, ensuring you get adequate protein2 at the meal before and/or after exercise also helps ensure that you have adequate protein nutrition to properly repair and recover from the exercise. Individuals with a lack of protein in their diet do not enjoy the progressive improvement in fitness that exercise can provide when you are properly protein nourished.
While there are many dietary supplements which can also help promote better insulin function, this is a great tip for maximizing the benefit of aerobic exercise. Fitness from exercise is of course an important goal. However, many of the benefits of exercise are not due to fitness per se, but due to changes that take place in your physiology over the next 24-48 hours. By eating properly at the meal following exercise you are likely to improve blood sugar function even on the next day. If you consistently do aerobics three times a week, eating correctly at the meal following each workout, then you are likely to improve insulin and blood sugar function for the entire week.
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