High intensity exercise results in both acute and chronic positive (healthier) changes to blood sugar and insulin sensitivity. However, keeping blood sugar even is the bane of most athlete’s nutrition protocols. It’s rock one. Master it.
We must practice what we preach, and thus I wanted to give the readers of the #MASS Nutritional Manual my BloodSport Spread for a training day. I will also post a non-training day, but it will be boring and pretty much just look like the first part of this graph. This ain’t my first rodeo.
With this data you are absolutely not looking to freak out. It is just a peak inside the system. Your goal is keep your blood glucose values even throughout the day, ideally hovering between 80 and 120 ng/dL and back to baseline within two hours after an eating occasion. As an athlete your fasting glucose should be between 75-85ng/dL.This glucometer protocol is not perfect, a glucometer is like 10 bucks and has error associated with it, we also don’t have insulin, glucagon, catecholamines, or cortisol in real time, yet this is the cheapest and most available tech we have right now. However, I believe in the next 3 to 5 years continuous glucose monitors will drop in price and increase exponentially in availability. It’s going to be a good time.
Just to give you some numbers.
Fasting – prediabetes is a over 100 and full blown diabetes is over 126ng/dL.
Oral Glucose Tolerance Test (OGTT) – in response to a 75 gram glucose solution, a post-prandial rise of 140-199ng/dL is considered pre-diabetic and over 200 ng/dL is considered diabetic AKA you have taken a shotgun to your ability to deal with large boluses of glucose and you probably aren’t going to burn fat very well when fasting. If you are getting after MASS, this probably is not you.
Now we have to gather data, stay the course, and adjust as needed. If you are a dude with muscle your primary goal is to not drop low, especially after training. There is not an accepted or standardized definition for low. But, you will know if you are there. If you are under 80 ng/dL and you feel shaky or hangry, that is hypoglycemia and a stressor on your system. This is also stressor we just don’t need. Why compound MASS with more stress? It would be like walking in the house after training and picking a fight with your significant other because they washed your compression shorts with the wrong detergent. Not helpful.
The time we are most likely to get drastic blood sugar fluctuations is in and around training (it may also happen if you wait too long to eat after training). You may even see your blood glucose rise in and around training. The goal is to watch, adjust, and keep it as even as possible and identify what upsets the balance.
“In intense exercise (>80% VO2max), unlike at lesser intensities, glucose is the exclusive muscle fuel. Catecholamine levels rise markedly, causing glucose production to rise seven- to eightfold while glucose utilization is only increased three- to fourfold. In people without diabetes there is a small blood glucose increase during intense exercise that increases further immediately at exhaustion and persists for up to 1 hour. Plasma insulin levels rise, correcting the glucose level and restoring muscle glycogen.”
Now in looking at my graphics, I usually do not eat any rice or tubers in the morning as my mind feels best in the 70s and 80s and I try to keep it there from a productivity and work standpoint. If your goals are purely gains you would likely want this morning meal to look more like my lunch to maximize caloric consumption. If you can’t handle larger carb loads you are going to have to eat more often and take your carb amounts down per sitting, maybe even overall, depending on your goals. Remember there isn’t any metabolic or muscle building advantage to eating 32 times a day, just make sure you have 4 or so larger boluses of protein spread out over the course of the day. Then hit your total numbers in a way that allows you to adhere and keep your blood sugar even in the window, especially around the SHOW.
As a critique of the day below, I likely need to sip on some carb source pre and intra workout. I might play with UCAN or just use some dextrose or ribose for now as it will take me a few weeks to get any steady carb from the states. I will make this adjustment and see what happens around the next training session. All in all this is close to what you are going for.
Training Day – Afternoon
6:10AM – 83
Decaf Coffee – ½ Scoop WheyCool – ½ TBS Coconut Oil
7:10AM – 79
8:10AM – 79
9:00AM – 78
5 Eggs – 1 Pepper – 1 Onion – ½ TBS Olive Oil – 4 Cucumbers
30 min walk
10:10AM – 70
11:30AM – 72
12:30PM – 77
1:10PM – 82
12 oz Rice – 6 oz Chicken Breast – 4 Cucumbers – 1 TBS Coconut Oil
2:10PM – 124
3:10PM – 91
3:30PM – MASS
4:30PM – 66
1 scoop WheyCool – 1.5 Bananas
5:30PM – 86
7oz Rice – 10 oz Butternut Squash – Giant Salad – 3 oz Trout – 1 Egg – 1 TBS Olive Oil
6:30PM – 101
7:30PM – 77
8:30PM – 84
This is right around 300 CHO, 180 PRO, and 100 FAT. I can probably sneak in a few more carbs right around training to get it up to 350 which is my preliminary goal for right now. However, I am not crazy active with about 6,000 steps for this day + MASS.
Here is what it looks like in graphical form
And below is a Rest Day of about 150 CHO (moved towards the back-end of the day purely for mental reasons), 180 PRO, and 100-110 FAT.
Yes. Boring. That’s the point. Master the Fundamentals and get yourself ready for the next training day.
Rest Day – 45 Minute Walk in the Afternoon ~ 8,500 Steps
6:00AM – 75
Decaf Coffee – ½ Scoop WheyCool – ½ TBS Coconut Oil
7:30AM – 79
5 Eggs – 1 Pepper – 1 Onion – ½ TBS Olive Oil
8:30AM – 88
10:00AM – 86
11:15AM – 85
12:20PM – 73
7 oz Chicken Breast – 4 Cucumbers – Apple – 1 TBS Coconut Oil
2:00PM – 84
3:15PM – 86
4:10PM – 83
45 Min Walk
5:00PM – 71
10 oz Rice – 7 oz Chicken Breast – Green Beans – Apple –1 TBS Coconut Oil
6:30PM – 116
7:30PM – 74
8:30PM – 81