I got this email this morning, I figured I could reply back or answer questions to our gym body. Here goes.
After a strenuous workout and the next day my muscles are trashed and my brain is fuzzy. So I kinda googled it.
I read this stuff and need your guidance.
The next day after a workout and you are physically trashed and sore, you should beef up your carb intake to exceed your protein intake. That it will help with muscle restoration and brain fuzziness. What do you think?
And, you know my belly is not my friend and I am battling with that physically and mentally. I read that strenuous exercise raises cortisol levels which piles on belly fat. Do you think that is a contributing factor with me?
Thanks for your help on this. You know there is so much stuff out there that you read it and, shit, I don’t know!!!!!!”
This is pretty loaded stuff. Note: the only way to store body fat is to form free fatty acids with a glycerol molecule to which an alpha-glucophosphate molecule must be present (thank you Gary Taubes) through carbohydrate metabolism. You read that right, without carbohydrate it is impossible to store body fat.
Dr. Barry Sears created the Zone Diet after years of research on recovery and reduction of silent inflammation. He concluded that as a baseline (think bell curve here) most people thrive on 40% Carbohydrate, 30% Protein and 30% Fat intake. Which is more carbs than protein anyway. So should you beef up your carb intake? Nope.
Ever seen that commercial for Relacore? It goes like this: “Cortisol raises belly fat, you have cortisol, Relacore blocks cortisol, you need Relacore. Cortisol raises belly fat, you have cortisol, Relacore blocks cortisol, you need Relacore.” The best part about this is that they actually repeat it twice like that in the commercial, verbatim, they don’t even try to change it a bit, hysterical.
Cortisol is a stress hormone. Stress (Eustress or Distress) increases the amount you have circulating. Intense workouts do raise cortisol, so does: not sleeping enough, coffee, grains, high insulin levels, people yelling at you, babies crying, scary movies, tax season, endoscopes, illness, deep tissue massage, deadlines. Get the picture? Our workouts while very intense are also dramatically shorter than “regular” gym sessions, which results in less of a cortisol bath. Your average triathlete (sprint distance or otherwise) doing “cardio” (where’s the cardio in CrossFit!?!?) for hours at a whack is going to create much more cortisol than “Fran”, “Helen” or “Filthy Fifites” ever will.
Questions? In short, eat Zone proportions, with as much real food (as paleo as you want) as possible, sleep 8-9 hours each night, have a high paying low stress job with a great fulfilling happy home life, do CrossFit (constantly varied functional movements performed at high intensity) and you’ll have no hormonal problems and be lean and mean!
Clan Cheiftan Out.