Consuming nutrients at the right time and in appropriate amounts
    can take fitness and performance to a new level. The complex science behind
    nutrient timing, however, requires the help of sports nutritionists, usually
    restricting the practice to elite athletes working with professional 'food

    Now, renowned sport nutritionists Heidi Skolnik and Andrea
    Chernus--who work with elite athletes from New York Giants football players to
    Julliard School dancers--break down the nutrient timing issue for all types of
    athletes in a hands-on guide. In Nutrient Timing for Peak
    (Human Kinetics, June 2010), they advise
    when to eat what so nutrients have their greatest impact on athletes' bodies.

    "The timing of nutrients can have a big impact on an
    athlete's energy," claims Skolnik. "Plus, when and how much you eat
    can help not only with muscle hypertrophy but also with immune function."
    She adds that staying well fueled can also reduce the risk of injury.

    Skolnik and Chernus explain in layperson's terms the science
    behind nutrient timing and detail nutrients like carbohydrate, protein, smart
    fat, essential vitamins and minerals and the role of fluids and supplements.
    With that base of information, they provide the strategies, plans and sample
    menus to help people develop their own individualized Nutritional Blueprints
    incorporating the Nutrient Timing Principles (NTP).

    Before exercise, for example, the authors suggest specific
    strategies for ingestion of carbohydrate, protein and fluids. Carbohydrate
    before exercise provides a "topping off" of fuel reserves and blood
    sugar, says Skolnik helping athletes stamina, concentration and skill remain
    strong. Pre-exercise protein, meanwhile, may be difficult to tolerate,
    but small amounts may aid in reducing muscle soreness. Strength athletes,
    specifically, benefit from a small amount of high-quality protein to aid
    insulin release, inhibit muscle breakdown and facilitate muscle repair.
    However, "it need not be immediately before exercise in any special
    form," adds Skolnik.

    Fluid needs vary by individual, but the authors generally advise
    drinking 17 to 20 ounces of fluids two to three hours before exercise to supply
    optimal fluid to muscle tissue in advance of the workout and for any excess to
    be excreted. They also advise drinking 7 to 10 ounces of fluids 10 to 20
    minutes before exercise. "This will help ensure that blood plasma is
    hydrated," explains Chernus. "This timing strategy also ensures that
    there is some fluid in your stomach so that as you drink during your training,
    absorption will be faster than if you began with an empty stomach."

    authors go on to provide advice for fueling during and post-exercise, and they
    give specific guidelines for strength and power athletes, endurance sport
    participants and stop-and-go athletes.

    "Our goal is to help athletes formulate an eating plan to
    meet their goals," says Skolnik, "whether they are male or female,
    compete seriously, participate for fun, or are training for health, well-being
    and aesthetics."

    For more information on Nutrient Timing for
    Peak Performance
    or other sports nutrition resources, visit


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