Sports nutritionist Cynthia Sass, writing for Shape, lists five diet mistakes that could interfere with getting the most out of your training time:
- Drinking a Protein Shake Before a Workout: Protein is digested more slowly than carbs, so too much pre-workout can give you stomach cramps. Have them afterward instead.
- Exercising on an Empty Stomach: This forces your body to break down its own muscle mass and convert it into blood sugar.
- Overusing Energy Bars: Too many of these and you might "eat back" the calories you burned exercising.
- Not Eating Enough "Good" Fat: The right kinds of fats are needed for your cells to heal and repair post workout.
- Buying Into the Afterburn Myth: You will indeed burn more calories in the hours after a workout -- but for most it amounts to just 50 additional calories burned, not enough for a calorie splurge.
Interestingly, research has also found that exercise-related alterations to gut hormone signals could contribute to the overall effects of exercise and help manage body weight.
Exercise is already known to increase sensitivity to leptin, a hormone released from fat cells that inhibits food intake. A new study also looked at gut hormones that are released before and after a meal to initiate and terminate food intake.
According to Science Daily:
"The authors measured gut hormone release after a palatable tasty meal before and after rats exercised in running wheels. In rats with a lot of running wheel experience, consuming a tasty meal led to increased blood levels of an inhibitory feeding hormone, amylin. After the meal, the same rats showed a more rapid rebound of a stimulatory feeding hormone, ghrelin."