a conundrum re: strength training and nutrition

04Sep13

Every time I teach nutrition, I give my students the current advice: if you’re interested in building or maintaining muscle mass, after a strength training workout, consume 20 grams of lean protein within an hour of your workout, from a complete protein source. (If you wait any longer, it’s not absorbed the same way. And, we only have so big a protein buffer, so that protein above and beyond that 20 g isn’t put toward muscle repair.)

(And, standard disclaimer that “20 grams” is for the average person, right?)

This becomes a no-brainer, then, for those of us with MS: we struggle to maintain muscle mass in the first place, so of course, we’d follow this rule after every single strength training workout. It just makes sense.

However, as I’ve been feeling a little pudgier these days and still haven’t lost the ~5 pounds I put on from my June vacation, despite the changed workout focus… makes me wonder if, by eating after every strength workout, I’m just consuming too many darned calories.

Now… far be it for me, as someone who was previously eating-disordered and food/calorie-obsessed, to want to count every single calorie again. I hope that’s not what it takes. But by eating after every time I lift–a good 5 days a week–which gives me almost another meal’s worth of calories, am I consuming too much? Am I consuming more than I burn when I lift? For a normal person, I imagine not; but as someone with reduced muscle mass from MS, I’m guessing my calorie burn from a workout is lower than average.

What would be the consequences of not eating my post-workout protein, especially as someone with MS? Makes me wonder…

Or… should I just be choosing really low calorie protein sources? Edamame? I don’t think I could stomach plain egg whites… I usually prefer whole foods to synthetic, but maybe this is where I should look at lower-calorie protein powders (if such a creature exists).

Anyone have any thoughts and/or experience on this? Please share!

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2 Responses to “a conundrum re: strength training and nutrition”

  1. Thanks for finally writing about >a conundrum re: strength training and nutrition | In Search of My New Normal <Loved it!


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