iD magazine



If you want to do a proper job of optimally supplying your body with nutrients, you should be aware of more than just the quality of food—you also have to consider the right timing. It may seem surprising, but some vitamins are not as good for you at a particular time of day, some fruit is more or less nutritious depending on its degree of ripeness, and noodles are better for you when you eat them as leftovers.

The human body is a reactor with a relatively constant operating temperatur­e of 98.6°F. This combustion reactor generates around 120 watts by way of metabolism from the 2,500 or so calories we consume each day in order to power all our bodily functions. It’s obvious that to prevent the reactor from running out of steam, we must keep it supplied with fuel. But the timing of nutrient ingestion is also vital, even though the timing factor is often unapprecia­ted and regarded as more a matter of lifestyle choice than of science. Studies show the body undergoes muscle protein breakdown that reaches its peak 195 minutes after strenuous exercise. So consuming the right amount of nutrients at that point helps rebuild damaged tissue and restore energy reserves. Other studies have demonstrat­ed the value of having a small meal every four hours, which helps keep blood sugar on a more even keel, prevents hunger pangs, and controls weight gain. The following pages are chock-full of timing tips for eating habits that can optimize health and fitness.

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