Nutrient timing (the application of knowing when to eat and what to eat before, during and after exercise) is critical when eating foods like potatoes and other low-glycemic carbs (carbohydrates). It has become common knowledge that carbs make you fat; although, it’s really not that simple. Essentially, carbs are bad if you’re not insulin sensitive enough. In order to get yourself into a state of insulin sensitivity, you need to work out regularly and eat a low-carb, clean diet.
Insulin is a hormone secreted by the pancreas after you eat carbohydrates. When you eat carbs they elevate your blood sugar (also called blood glucose), which the pancreas detects. The pancreas secretes insulin in order to help the body process the blood glucose.
In a healthy body, the insulin binds with receptors on your cells. When a cell has insulin attached to it via the receptor, the cell activates other receptors (that act like messengers) to absorb the glucose from the blood stream into the cell to be used for energy, otherwise referred to as being insulin sensitive.
In an unhealthy body, or an insulin resistant body, the insulin does not bind with receptors. It also does not absorb the glucose to be used for energy but converts that glucose to fat stores.
So, when you become insulin sensitive, eating good-quality, low-glycemic carbs like potatoes will help you feel better, perform better, look better and sleep better. That’s when potato-nutrition timing becomes important: you’ll get the benefits of your favorite spuds without adding any fat to your hard-earned, lean body.
To make any good diet sustainable, add potatoes to your dinner in low volume (under 40 grams) to help with serotonin levels (which will help you sleep more soundly), as well as replenishing glycogen stores in your muscles. Any types of potatoes are fine.
Here are some more details on how eating potatoes will help your sleep, build lean muscle and help with recovery: eating potatoes with your last meal, two to three hours before bed, will cause an insulin spike. When it drops, you’ll get sleepy. When insulin is low, your growth hormone, while sleeping, has the greatest chance of being produced. That helps tremendously with cell restoration, recovery, building muscle and losing fat.
One key takeaway: if you’re eating potatoes with your dinner (or some other low-glycemic carb), limit the amount of fat with your meal (butter or oils). Ingesting a lot of fat and carbs at the same time will likely force unwanted fat storage.
Remember, it’s your health, man up!
Article by Brad Davidson