Our box, CrossFit Thermal, is doing a month-long nutrition challenge from July 7-August 7. Members are choosing various levels of engagement, ranging from strict Zone to strict Paleo, to “no grains, no extra sugar.” I will be posting a short nutrition tip to help people stay on point and make clean nutrition a life-long habit instead of just a short term “diet.”
Nutrition Tip #6: Macronutrient Timing
There are a lot of opinions on timing your macronutrients, but in general, I think you should:
1. Have a good amount of your daily carbohydrates post-workout, especially if you are are maintaining or looking to mass gain. The reason is that after a hard glycolytic workout, your muscles are craving sugars and your body will use carbohydrates more efficiently (read: starchy veggies like sweet potatoes and squash, or fruit) If you are looking to lean out, you can probably afford to not have extra carbs post-workout.
2. In general, have more protein and fat to start your day and more carbs towards the end of the day and night. There is science behind this which people much smarter than me have talked about it (i.e. Poliquin), but the idea is that having protein and fat can help keep the body’s blood sugar levels down for the day, but higher carbs at night can help your body get ready for sleep. It especially works if you workout in the evening and have the majority of your daily carbs post-workout.
If you’re Zoning, then you’ll have the same ratio throughout the day, but if you’re focusing solely on quality, this is something you might want to play around with. I usually have steak for breakfast and feel fine through the mid day. If I have fruit or add in sweet potatoes to breakfast, I get sleepy around mid morning.