Every January, a phenomenon occurs at the local gym. Hordes of individuals flock to their nearest corporate gym in hopes of losing weight, gaining muscle, and garnering an overall healthier lifestyle. With newfound motivation and a can-do spirit, thousands of people casually work out, attempt to cut down on the nightly ice cream, and casually flirt within the realm of health and fitness. However, for the elite athletes, whether amateur or professional bodybuilders, their regimes delve much further. Sprinting through dark streets at 5:00am, and meal-prepping before most people wake up for their work day, these elite athletes dedicate precious time to the science of bodybuilding.
What does it take to become a bodybuilder, and to spearhead one’s physique from average to show worthy? In addition to fierce dedication, time commitment, vast exercise, and a strict nutrition plan, the elite bodybuilder relies on big-picture knowledge to achieve the exact results they seek. By creating the direct pathway to success through knowledge, bodybuilders can manipulate their form in a scientific manner, instead of aimlessly working out and hoping for the best.
Spearheaded by professional bodybuilder Dr. Tony Huge, Enhanced Athlete is an all-encompassing athletic training brand, focusing on providing transparent education for clients. With a line of nutritional products, high performance training gear, extensive personal training services, and an ever-expanding collection of vlog-style videos on all topics related to bodybuilding and exercise, Enhanced Athlete is a one-stop shop and community center for like-minded individuals looking to increase their breadth of knowledge about bodybuilding nutrition. While it is no secret that bodybuilders rely on exercise to enhance their physique, nutrition is vital in the quest to achieve physical perfection worthy of taking center stage.
Carbohydrates: Complex, Simple, and Fast
When seemingly small bodily changes can mean the difference between winning and losing in competition, active bodybuilders rely on several nutritional tips and tricks to maximize clean bulking without toxins, and without experiencing bloat. For example, many novices (and generally all members of the non-bodybuilding general public) steer clear of fast carbohydrates, fearing the dreaded effects they perceive fast carbohydrates to provide. However, for bulking purposes, fast carbohydrates such as white rice go in and out of the system rather quickly, and when utilizes somewhat sparingly, can be a wonderful addition to a well-balanced meal that is complemented by protein and fiber. To balance things out, the following meal should be higher in healthy fat content, feature vegetables, and avoid complex carbohydrates. According to the professional bodybuilders who share their knowledge via Enhanced Athlete’s video outlet AnabolicTV, utilizing this method of compromise allows them to control IGF1 spurts, and get the most value out of nutrition in short bursts of time.
Although carbohydrates have suffered from poor PR, they are absolutely crucial for the bodybuilder, and anyone looking to build muscle. With complex and simple carbohydrates acting in varying roles throughout the metabolic system, it may be confusing to understand what to consume, and when. According to the Enhanced Athlete team, a simple rule to live by is to avoid excessive carbohydrates, unless you are drained, and will utilize sugar and complex carbohydrates as a means of getting out of that drained physical state. When drained, it is important to replenish the blood sugar levels, but in moderation, in order to maintain control over one’s insulin sensitivity.
Can You Really Eat Sugar as a Bodybuilder? The Pros at Enhanced Athlete Say Yes!
However, what most people imagine to be a healthy amount of sugar is most likely a colossal overload of sugar. As sugar creates a chemical reaction within the body, it is somewhat difficult to recommend a grams-per-weight ratio, but as a general rule of thumb, the maximum daily intake should not exceed 15 grams. Though the bloodstream does contain sugar, the constitution of this sugar is extremely sparse. As mentioned within the diet related videos on AnabolicTV, bodybuilders and individuals who consume more sugar than what can be assimilated within the blood stream, the excessive sugar then gets turned into fat, thus rendering exercise efforts rather fruitless. Additionally, with a spiked insulin response, one can surely expect such a surge to be followed by a crash in a short amount of time.
The Do’s and Don’ts of Sugar Splurging
It is important to remember that not all sugars are created equally. For example, pectin is naturally found in fruit, some jams and jellies, and other natural products. Though pectin is predominantly utilized to thicken products in which it is found, it does produce a somewhat different effect on the body than counterparts sucrose and fructose. Found in apples and pears, pectin produces less effects on the pancreas. Delicious and approved by the Enhanced Athlete team, low sugar jam on a rice cake post heavy-duty workout is an acceptable way to introduce a controlled amount of sugars back into the body.
Conversely, high fructose corn syrup is not recognized by the body at all, and is subsequently merely stored by the body. As the body does not understand how to break down high fructose corn syrup, it attempts to process it three times. Similarly, artificial sweeteners create an insulin response within the body that mimics the response of consuming natural sugars, with the added negative effect of needing to be over-processed by the body in a less streamlined manner. In a mind-over-matter context, Enhanced Athlete bodybuilders suggest rationalizing the unhealthy nature of excessive sugar in order to break free of the perceived craving for refined sugars, aiming to receive sugar from only fruit.
Enhanced Athlete’s “Window System” For Sugar Consumption
When timed correctly with complex carbohydrates and appropriate glycogen levels, the only instance of one’s body requiring additional sugar may be after intense periods of training. In this instance, the replenishment of sugars would be not only appropriate, but also necessary. In what the professionals at Enhanced Athlete dubbed as the “window system”, one creates an ideal opportunity to replenish sugars within the span of twenty minutes following intense training, when everything can be increasingly anabolic. Within this system, fast acting proteins and sugars are replenished within this short span of time, and rounded out with a complete meal upon an additional fifteen minutes.
With the macronutrient fad in full swing within the fitness community and beyond, it is easy to get caught up with counting grams of protein, fats, and other macronutrients, and ignoring the actual state and needs of one’s body at the exact moment it is being nourished with food. Thus, is it better to meet your macronutrient goals by any means necessary, adding specific foods even though one may not necessarily need them at the exact time one is consuming the food, or is it better to consider the state of the body when choosing nourishment? Deep within dinner conversation, the professionals from Enhanced Athlete discuss the benefits of feeding one’s body for the state in which it is in throughout the exact moment, whether it be replenishing sugar post heavy workout, or maintaining metabolism through smaller snacks throughout the day that may not necessarily add up to conceived macronutrient goals.
Though even the novice fitness aficionado can understand the general importance of maintaining a healthy diet and exercise, understanding the specific roles that certain foods play in the grand scheme of nutrition, as well as within the realm of bodybuilding, is crucial toward garnering optimal benefits from food. Though each individual’s body is different, and there are unique circumstances that guide each physique, there are general universal truths when it comes to food science, and ways in which food can be manipulated for professional, as well as amateur bodybuilders. By understanding the manner in which food products are absorbed, utilized, and broken down within the body, one can truly feed the body in an optimized manner. Following Enhanced Athlete’s simple tips and tricks, along with a personalized diet and exercise regimen (which you can receive courtesy of Enhanced Coaching), will ensure a successful kickstart to any fitness regimen, and an increased understanding of the internal processes that create external change.