Whether its 5am or 5pm you drag yourself to the gym to get a workout in.

You workout 3-5 days a week and know the Treadmill, Elliptical, and/or Stair Master like it is your best friend.

However, even though you make yourself workout are you tired of going to the gym and never seeing results?

Wonder why? 

Its all about the food you consume and when you consume it! 

To begin, the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM) and the American Heart Association (AHA) recommend 30 minutes of moderate-intensity physical activity 5 or more days a week or 20 minutes of vigorous physical activity 3 days a week. However, only 3.5% of the United States population actually attain these recommendations.  Even less of those who workout on a regular basis incorporate resistance training to their workout routine.  However, there is great benefits to incorporating resistance training as shown by  Wescott et al. in 2012.

Resistance Training  helps to:

  • Reverse muscle loss
  • Recharge resting metabolic rate
  • Reduce body fat
  • Facilitate physical function
  • Resist diagnosis of diabetes
  • Improve cardiovascular health
  • Increase bone mineral density
  • Enhance mental health
  • Reverse aging factors

In adults who are inactive, muscle mass decreases by 3-8% per decade after age 30 and by 5-10% per decade after age 50. Over time this adds up to  1 pound of muscle loss per year after age 50.  Reducing muscle mass leads to a reduction in metabolism and an increase in fat accumulation.

Fortunately, resistance training has been shown to reverse muscle loss in adults of all ages with an average of  1 pound per month gain of lean body mass. However, resistance training alone can only build muscle mass to a certain degree.  Rather, NUTRITION is the building block of building muscle! 

Protein is an essential nutrient that comprises approximately 22% of muscle tissue, with water contributing most of the remaining 78%.  The Recommended Dietary Allowance (RDA) for protein in adults of all ages is 0.36 grams (g) per pound of body weight or about 55 grams of protein per day for a person who weighs 150 pounds.  Adults 50 years or older need 25% more protein than the RDA to maintain muscle mass and 50% more than the RDA to increase muscle tissue.  For most American’s, obtaining the RDA for protein is not difficult. However, how and when American’s consume protein is still questionable. Therefore, it is best to incorporate protein during every meal and snack.

If trying to increase muscle mass the best time to consume protein is pre or post-workout to enhance muscle development. Goal of muscle building is that their is a positive protein balance such that protein synthesis exceeds muscle protein breakdown. However, protein alone will not build muscle but rather, a combination of protein, carbohydrates and fat will! Example of this combination is: 24 grams of protein + 36 grams of carbohydrates + 5-8 grams of fat. Consuming this combination will also help to increase exercise strength and type II, fast twitch, muscle fibers. Reason to add more carbohydrates to protein is that carbohydrates contributes to glycogen repletion a more effective protein uptake that thereby enhances synthesis rate of muscle protein.  The post-workout composition should include 0.5 g of protein plus 1.0 g of carbohydrates per kilogram of of body weight.

Additionally, the type of protein and the timing of protein in crucial for muscle building.  If you are tying to consume a more natural post-workout supplement rather than consuming protein powders and protein bars, milk needs to become your best friend! It has been shown in recent research that milk protein rather than soy protein as milk protein promote muscle mass better than soy protein.

To conclude, start incorporating resistance training to your workout routine if you haven’t already.  Then, start consuming a combination of protein, carbohydrates and fat pre or post workout to help build lean body mass and decrease fat mass!  Now go outside and MOVE!