Your body has a circadian clock that reacts to the time of day, and researchers from Northwestern University theorized that muscle tissue might work this way. This is because muscle cells operate more efficiently during the hours you are normally awake. The study was published in the journal Cell Metabolism.

Researchers had lab mice exercise at different times of day. Their muscles turned on genes that help with the adaptation to exercise at night, which is not surprising since mice are nocturnal. Although they can’t say for sure what time of day humans might be able to get the most out of exercise, it’s likely to be at some point between sunrise and sunset. Further research might bring a more conclusive answer.

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Elite soccer athletes trying to get an edge on reaching the ball sometimes try to trigger postactivation potentiation. The rest period after running 20-meter sprints with 30% body weight assistance is typically around 4 minutes. A study published in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning Research looks at the impact of over-speed sprints with a shorter rest period.

Twenty four female soccer players were tested for sprint speed before performing 5 separate training sessions. Each session started with a dynamic warm up followed by a 20-meter sprint using 30% body weigh assistance. They waited 30-seconds, 1, 2 or 4 minutes before running a no body weight sprint. The first 5-meter split of that sprint was fastest after 1 or 2 minutes of rest and worked best for highly trained athletes.

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Your metabolism is always running, even while you’re asleep. Its rate is determined largely by your genetics. A thermogenic like caffeine or chili extract can temporarily increase the rate, but long-term alterations require lifestyle changes. That’s what a news release from the Texas A&M School of Public Health suggests.

Because muscle burns more calories than body fat, weight training can help increase muscle mass and metabolism. Hydration is also important, and eating right is another productive change you can make, getting more leafy vegetables into your diet and not skipping breakfast. You also need to get enough sleep because your metabolism can’t run efficiently without the right amount, usually defined as between 7 and 8 hours.


Losing just 2% of your body weight in fluids can have a negative impact on performance. Realizing the importance of hydration for competitive athletes, a study published in the International Journal of Sport Nutrition and Exercise Metabolism put plain water up against coconut water to see which worked best.

Ten male volunteers in their 20s cycled on a stationary bike for an hour drinking 250 ml of water or coconut water every 15 minutes. Then they competed in a 10 km time trial. They could drink as much as they wanted during the last 5 minutes of the sub-maximal ride and the time trial.

There weren’t any significant differences between rate of perceived exertion, feeling of fullness, rating of thirst or time trial performance. The only real difference was subjects assigned coconut water drank less compared to the plain water group.

How Much Protein Should You Consume Post-Workout?


New research reveals just how much protein you need after a workout to optimize muscle building.

The conundrum surrounding post-workout nutrition isn’t so much about what to eat as much as how much to eat. You and I both know protein needs to be a priority following a workout, but the jury is still out on how much protein is needed to maximize muscle growth and repair.


Fortunately, new research has shed some light on the matter. A study published in Physiology Reports sought to determine the impact of two different post-workout protein portions following exercise.[1] Furthermore, it also sought to determine how varying amounts of protein post-workout influenced individuals with significantly different amounts of lean body mass.

Subjects were split into four groups as follows:

  1. Low Lean Body Mass (LLBM), 20 grams of whey protein
  2. Low Lean Body Mass (LLBM), 40 grams of whey protein
  3. High Lean Body Mass (HLBM), 20 grams of whey protein
  4. High Lean Body Mass (HLBM), 40 grams of whey protein

Each group received their protein following two total-body workouts.

Researchers observed a 20 percent greater uptick in post-training muscle-protein synthesis in subjects consuming 40 grams of whey protein compared to those consuming 20 grams. What didn’t make much difference was whether the subjects had low or high lean body mass.

As long as they had the higher amount of protein, they tended to experience a greater degree of muscle- protein synthesis.

How To Eat 40 Grams Of Protein Post-Workout

Although this study was small and the first of its kind, the results suggest that striving to consume 40 grams of protein post-workout is the way to go if you want to add muscle, regardless of your size. The authors speculate that this is especially true if you follow a total-body training style.

That’s because more muscle breakdown is occurring throughout the body compared to a single-body-part split. “Speculate” is the operative word, though. Single-body-part splits were not included in this study.

Rather than having to face two monstrous chicken breasts after your workout, consider one of these seven muscle-building meal combinations to meet your post-workout protein quota!

  • 3/4 cup plain Greek yogurt + 1 scoop whey protein + 1/2 cup blueberries = 43 g protein
  • 6 oz. salmon fillet + 1 cup quinoa + 1 cup broccoli = 45 g protein
  • 4-oz. can albacore tuna + 1/2 cup canned navy beans + 2 cups baby spinach + 1 cup cherry tomatoes = 43 g protein
  • 1 cup cottage cheese + 4 tbsp hemp seeds + 1 cup chopped pineapple = 42 g protein
  • 6 oz. chicken breast + 1 cup brown rice + 2 cups baby kale = 42 g protein
  • 6 oz. sirloin steak + 1 medium sweet potato + 2 tbsp pesto = 40 g protein
  • 1 cup low-fat milk + 1/2 cup low-fat plain yogurt + 1 scoop whey protein powder + 1 tbsp almond butter + 1 frozen banana = 44 g protein
  1. Macnaughton, L. S., Wardle, S. L., Witard, O. C., McGlory, C., Hamilton, D. L., Jeromson, S., … & Tipton, K. D. (2016). The response of muscle protein synthesis following whole‐body resistance exercise is greater following 40 g than 20 g of ingested whey protein. Physiological Reports4(15), e12893.

Continue reading How Much Protein Should You Consume Post-Workout?


If you play a sport where jump height is important, here’s a tip for your warm up: avoid old school against the joint static stretching. According to a study published in Medicina Dello Sport, the effort can reduce squat jump, countermovement jump and vertical jumping ability.

Researchers had 42 athletes and 18 recreationally active adults participate in a low-intensity aerobic warm up for 8 minutes. Some added 6 stretching exercises for lower limb extensor, flexor and adductor muscles, holding each stretch for 20 seconds. Those who did static stretching showed impaired jump height compared to non-stretching subjects.

How Much Water Do You Really Need?

Water is important. It makes up approximately 60% of your body weight. How much you need on a daily basis is a matter of debate. The Institute of Medicine recommends about 9 cups for women and 13 cups for men. Then there’s the 8 x 8 rule where you drink a total of eight 8 ounce glasses. A study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences offers a very simple strategy: Drink when you are thirsty.

Researchers from the Biomedicine Discovery Institute at Australia’s Monash University had volunteers drink large amounts of water after exercise, when they were thirsty, later in the day and when they weren’t thirsty. Using MRI scans, they determined that drinking water later in the day when subjects were not thirsty was three times more difficult compared to drinking water after exercise. Listen to your body and drink when thirsty.


Back in 1963, researchers found that substituting while bread with bread containing 140 grams of rolled oats lowered LDL cholesterol. Now a meta-analysis of 58 controlled trials published online in the British Journal of Nutrition attempts to get more specific on the cardiovascular benefits of eating oat fiber.

Analyzing the diets of 4,000 subjects from around the world, researchers estimated that daily supplementation with 3.5 grams of beta-glucan fiber from oat could lower LDL cholesterol by an average of 4.2%. Working some into your diet isn’t likely to tip the scale too much. One cup of cooked oat bran amounts to just 88 calories.


Most people sit down to 3 standard meals a day, but many active adults chasing fitness and physique goals divide those eating occasions into smaller, more frequent meals. An Australian study published in The Journal of Nutrition looks into associations between meal frequency including snacking and the nutritional quality of your diet.

Analyzing data from 5,242 adults who provided 24-hour food consumption recalls for the 2011–2012 National Nutrition and Physical Activity Survey, researchers found that a higher frequency of eating occasions was associated with better food variety along with greater consumption of fruit and dairy options. More frequent snacking was associated with higher consumption of added sugars. Read today’s Performance Blog to see how portion size impacts satiety.


For decades, experts have warned that too much salt in the diet can contribute to high blood pressure. A 25-year study recently published in the Journal of the American College of Cardiology offers more incentives for paying closer attention.

The American Heart Association estimates the average American’s daily salt consumption at 3,400 mg a day, a lot of it coming from processed food. The recommended daily limit for salt is 2,400 mg.

Researchers calculated that a person consuming 1.5 teaspoons of salt per day, which is the equivalent of 3,600 mg, might increase their odds of early death by 12% just by adding an additional half teaspoon. Subjects who consumed less than 1 teaspoon per day, about 2,300 mg of salt, had a 25% lower chance of premature death.

Banana Protein Pancakes



  • Using a handheld blender or food processor, blend all ingredients together.
  • Fry on a nonstick pan further non-sticked with some butter, coconut oil, or low-calorie cooking spray.
  • Top with honey, maple syrup, nut butter, coconut oil, or chopped fruit.

Macros per one whole stack of pancakes: 477 kcal, 35 g protein, 45 g carbs (of which 7 g is fibre) and 16 g fat.


People who train with weights almost every day typically plan a spit into their workouts to avoid training the same muscle groups on consecutive days. Is this really necessary? A study published in The Journal of Sports Medicine and Physical Fitness compares the effects of consecutive whole body training to working all muscle groups on non-consecutive days.

Researchers assigned 11 recreationally active men to train on 3 non-consecutive days each week and 10 others to train 3 days in a row. Compared to measurements taken before the 7-week intervention, both groups gained significant amounts of leg press and bench press strength along with arm and chest size. There were no real differences between groups.
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