Healthy Tips

Two Foods You Should Never, Ever Eat After Exercise

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Did you know that what you eat directly after exercising – typically within two hours – can have a significant impact on the health benefits you reap from your exercise?


Consuming sugar within this post-exercise window, will negatively affect both your insulin sensitivity and your human growth hormone (HGH) production.

A recent study in the Journal of Applied Physiology found that eating a low-carbohydrate meal after aerobic exercise enhances your insulin sensitivity. This is highly beneficial, since impaired insulin sensitivity, or insulin resistance, is the underlying cause of type 2 diabetes and a significant risk factor for other chronic diseases, such as heart disease.

In addition, as HGH Magazine explains, consuming fructose, including that from fruit juices, within this two-hour window will decimate your natural HGH production:

“A high sugar meal after working out, or even a recovery drink (containing high sugar) after working out, will stop the benefits of exercise induced HGH. You can work out for hours, then eat a high sugar candy bar or have a high sugar energy drink, and this will shut down the synergistic benefits of HGH.

… If you miss reaching HGH release during working out, you will still receive the calorie burning benefit from the workout. However, you’ll miss the HGH “synergy bonus” of enhanced fat burning for two hours after working out.

This is an extremely important fact to remember if you want to cut body fat and shed a few pounds.

The University of Virginia research team demonstrated that carbohydrates are burned during exercise in direct proportion to the intensity of training. Fat burning is also correlated with intensity. However, the actual fat burning takes place after the workout, during the recovery.

This makes the “Synergy Window,” the 2 hour period after a workout, very important in maximizing HGH, once it’s released during exercise.

… If you are middle-age and want all the benefits from exercise induced HGH, then apply this strategy.”

Fitness expert Phil Campbell, author of Ready, Set, Go! further explains how you can maximize your HGH production by limiting sugar intake for two hours post exercise, in this article on

Exercising one hour a week and getting the same results as traditional strength training might sound impossible. However, University of Florida orthopedics researchers have developed a system that may do just that, and as you will read in my comment below, the kind of exercise you perform can dramatically reduce the time you spend in the gym while still getting better results than you did before.

The system created by University of Florida researchers uses eccentric (negative) resistance training, which capitalizes on the fact that the human body can support and lower weights that are too heavy to lift.

According to UF Health Science Center:

“Through a system of motors, pulleys, cams and sensors it adds weight when a person is performing a lowering motion, and removes that weight when the person is lifting. As a result, the body starts seeing loads, resistance, and forces that it doesn’t normally see”.

Other scientists have found additional clues that explain how exercise reshapes and strengthens more than just your muscles.

It changes your brain too.

In the late 1990s, researchers proved that human and animal brains produce new brain cells, and that exercise increases the process. But precisely how exercise affects the intricate workings of your brain at a cellular level remained a mystery.

However, a number of new studies have begun to identify the specific mechanisms, and have raised new questions about just how exercise reshapes your brain.

In some studies, scientists have been manipulating the levels of bone-morphogenetic protein (BMP) in the brains of mice. The more active BMP becomes, the more inactive your brain stem cells become and the fewer new brain cells you produce. Exercise reverses some of the effects of BMP.

According to the New York Times:

“BMP signaling was found to be playing a surprising, protective role for the brain’s stem cells … Without BMP signals to inhibit them, the stem cells began dividing rapidly, producing hordes of new neurons.”


UF Health Science Center February 23, 2010

New York Times July 7, 2010

PloS One October 20, 2009; 4(10):e7506

Cell Stem Cell July 2, 2010; 7(1):78-89

Journal of Applied Physiology December 31, 2009

HGH Magazine

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Strength Training

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Elite runners consider regular strength and conditioning work a crucial part of their training. Three-time Olympian and physiotherapist Jo Pavey shares eight exercises for improving muscle strength and preventing injury

Side-lying leg lifts :-

To improve core stability and encourage the correct position of the pelvis when running. Lie on your side with your feet raised on a step. Keeping your elbow under your shoulder, push yourself up until your body is in a straight line. While maintaining this position, lift the top leg up and down with control. Then lower, and repeat on the other side.

Routine: Six reps on each side. Rest for a minute and repeat.

Single leg squat

To build strength, encourage good hip/knee alignment, and improve proprioception. Stand on a step on one foot. Hold the other foot out in front of you, leg straight at about 45 degrees. Fold your arms and hold them out in front of you. Squat down, making sure that your supporting knee does not go in front of your foot, and that it stays aligned.Return to the start position. Repeat

Routine: Eight reps on each leg. Rest for one minute and repeat.

Step-up with dumbbells.

To increase strength and promote good hip/knee alignment. Holding a dumbbell in each hand, place one foot on a bench, so that your knee is bent to about 90 degrees. Now straighten the leg, driving up with the opposite knee to hip height, so that you are balancing on one foot on the step. Don’t “push off” the foot on the floor – use the foot on the step to power the movement.

Routine: Eight reps on each leg. Rest for one minute and repeat.

Calf raises

To develop strength in the calf muscles and achilles tendon. Stand with your toes on the edge of a step, facing towards the step, so that your heels are hanging off the back. Use a wall for support. Keep your ankles, knees and hips in alignment. Push up through your toes on to the balls of your feet, hold for a moment, then lower in a slow, controlled movement.

Routine: Two sets of 10 reps with two minutes’ rest between sets.

Swiss ball sit-up

This is more challenging than a normal sit-up because the instability of the ball forces the core muscles to work harder. Lie on a Swiss ball with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Place your hands behind your head. Engage your core muscles, then curl your upper body towards a sitting position. Return slowly to the start position and repeat. Be careful not to overarch the spine.

Routine: Two sets of 10. Rest for one minute then repeat


To improve core stability and encourage use of the gluteal muscles to avoid the quadriceps dominating. Lie on your back with your knees bent and feet flat on the floor. Engage your core. Keep your shoulders down, and contract your gluteal muscles to push your hips up in the air. Do not go beyond a straight line. Hold for a couple of seconds, then lower down slowly.

Routine: Two sets of eight with two minutes’ recovery between sets.

Single-arm row

To strengthen the upper body and encourage good shoulder alignment. Stand side-on to a bench with your closest hand and knee on the bench, back parallel to the floor (neck in line) and a dumbbell in your other hand, arm hanging straight down. Bend the arm to bring the weight up to the front of the shoulder. Keep the core engaged and don’t twist the body around.

Routine: Eight reps on each side. Rest for one minute and repeat

Alternating leg extension

To encourage good use of of the core stability muscles. Lie on your back, arms by your sides. Bend your knees with feet flat on the floor. Engage your core muscles. Lift one foot off the floor keeping your core engaged and spine in neutral. Extend the leg out slowly, then return to the start position. Repeat on the other leg.

Routine: Two sets of 10, alternating legs

Source: Life & Style Training programme- Fitness

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