Meal Timing 101
Does the amount of meals matter?
No, there is not enough evidence regarding the frequency of meals and how many meals that should be eaten to conclude that more meals equates to a higher metabolism, greater fat loss, body composition, nitrogen retention, or overall satiety. Bottom line, do whatever works for you and your schedule. Whether that be one meal a day or six, it doesn’t matter. However, studies can conclude that during a fat loss phase, more meals throughout the day decreases hunger in individuals.
When does meal timing matter?
Meal timing is vital around your workout. Your pre workout and post workout meals will allow you to have energy to perform and be able to recover your glycogen stores afterwards. Pre workout meals should be consumed 4 hours prior if it is a heavy carb loaded meal or 30-90 minutes prior if it is a lighter meal in order to optimize liver glycogen stores prior to exercise. The rate of muscle glycogen storage peaks at 2hrs post workout concluding to the fact that to optimize recovery it is best to consume carbohydrates immediately post workout and the failure to do so in low rates of glycogen restoration.
Should I eat breakfast?
YES! Eating breakfast will prevent overeating later in the night by stabilizing your blood sugar and getting your digestive system up and running. Additionally, consuming breakfast shown to increase cognitive function and memory which is especially important for students so next time you think skipping breakfast is a better option, think again!
How about before bed?
A meal rich in high glycemic carbs are shown to increase the time spent in REM sleep and increase the duration of sleep. It increased the plasma concentration of tryptophan which is a precursor for serotonin. Not only that it enhances muscle recovery and protein synthesis. Bottom line…DON’T FEAR THE CARBS AFTER DARK!
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Source(s): CVA K. https://www.medwinpublishers.com/JOBD/JOBD16000139.pdf. Journal of Orthopedics & Bone Disorders. 2017;1(7). doi:10.23880/jobd-16000139.
Ahmad, O’Connor, Helen, Chow, Moi C. High-glycemic-index carbohydrate meals shorten sleep onset. OUP Academic. https://academic.oup.com/ajcn/article/85/2/426/4649589. Published February 1, 2007. Accessed February 14, 2019.