Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Do You Think About Eating Kiddie Cereals After Your Workouts?

Excellent article next time you think about eating Cocoa Pebbles!!!

Considering ‘Kiddie” Cereals Post-Workout

By Shannon Clark

Many people, when thinking back to their childhood, have one or two favorite ‘kiddie' type of cereals that bring back all the good memories.

Whether it's Lucky Charms, Fruit Loops, Corn Pops, Sugar Crisp, you loved them.

As an adult though, these have no doubt been removed from your diet and replaced by the more ‘mature' alternatives of Bran Flakes, Raisin Bran, or Shredded Wheat - and with good reason.

Many of those kiddie cereals are filled with sugar and don't offer much in terms of fiber or protein, thus not exactly making them the best choice to start your day off - unless of course you are looking for a mid-morning crash.

BUT, there is one time when these kiddie cereals are actually preferable.


That's right, if you've been grocery shopping lately and have picked up one of your old favorites for your kids recently, don't be so fast to shun them out of your diet.

These cereals actually make for a really great post-workout food, due to their nutritional consistency.

Goals of Post-Workout

Consider for a second the goals of your post-workout meal - to get your muscle glycogen stores filled as quickly as humanly possible. This will help to enhance recovery, build new muscle, and mean you'll have less downtime until your next workout.

How do you get carbohydrates into the muscle cells as quick as possible? Cause a skyrocket in insulin levels - along with pairing this with amino acids (for the ‘raw' building blocks for actual muscle tissue).

When insulin levels are high, this means the body is eagerly taking in excess blood sugar into the cells.

Since you have just finished a workout, the cells it is primarily concerned with at this moment in time are your muscle cells.

And...there you have it. Sugar goes directly into the muscle cells.

Since these kiddie cereals are so high in sugar and contain little fiber or dietary fat, this is precisely what they do.

They cause that insulin spike, and then get shuttled into the muscle cells.

If you would have chosen something that was higher in fiber, this would have slowed down the digestion process which is not what you want at all.

It should be noted though that obviously after you have this cereal and protein, you will want to follow that with a solid meal that does contain some slower digesting carbs so that you don't stay with this elevated insulin level (which will then cause a resulting crash a short time later).

Specifically, have your cereal immediately after the workout is finished, then about an hour later have another meal with a good carb source such as oats, potatoes, or whole grain bread.

Also be sure to measure out the cereal, as while it is a good post-workout food, if you eat four cups of it, you may start to gain weight due to so many calories being taken in.

So, next time you're on the hunt for a post-workout food, consider that cereal that's been looking back at you in the cupboard that you've desperately been avoiding.

Treating yourself to this not only will kill cravings but also actually increase the results you'll get from your gym efforts.

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