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Nutrient Timing: The Future of Sports Nutrition
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77 of 79 people found the following review helpful
on March 20, 2004
Format: Paperback
If you're serious about gaining strength and lean muscle mass and improving your body composition, you should get this book. Written by two respected sports nutrition researchers, it presents a novel supplementation program for bodybuilders and strength athletes that is vastly different from what most gym rats are now doing yet is fully supported by the best and latest research.
The book's "bombshell" contention is that timed carbohydrate intake is more important than protein when it comes to building muscle. Nutrient Timing takes direct aim at what the authors call the "bulk nutrition" mentality: if protein is good, then more protein must be better. "Unfortunately," they say, "you can consume the protein of an entire cow, but if your muscles are not receptive at that particular time, the protein will be wasted." Ivy and Portman cite two conditions that make the muscles receptive to protein. The first is training. By disrupting muscle tissue, high-intensity lifting creates a short-term demand for protein in the muscles.
The second key is insulin. Studies show that insulin increases net protein balance in three ways: 1) it increases amino acid transport into the muscle, 2) it stimulates the enzymes that make protein from amino acids, and 3) it reduces the breakdown of protein. To get the full anabolic benefits of insulin requires that you maximize its release after your workouts. Protein is a weak stimulator of insulin. Carbohydrate is a much stronger stimulator of insulin. When carbohydrate and protein are taken together after a workout, insulin release is much greater than when protein is taken alone and it acts as a kind of fuel injector that drives protein synthesis.
According to Ivy and Portman, the ideal post-workout supplement will have three to four times as much carbohydrate as protein, and they've got the science to prove it. For example, in one study they cite, a carbohydrate-protein supplement taken after a workout resulted in 38% more protein synthesis than a regular protein shake of the kind that most gym rats use.
Nutrient Timing slays many sacred cows of muscle-building nutrition, but in the end it is thoroughly convincing. It is also very practical, explaining exactly what to take and when. The only thing left for you to do is work out!
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158 of 172 people found the following review helpful
Format: Paperback
The authors of this book are prestigious scientists who convincingly make their core point that it is crucial to carefully time the intake of particular types of sports drinks during and after exercise in order to build muscles. The book has a table of contents, extensive bibliography, index, and provides charts for determining one's daily calorie needs as well as sample meal plans for the recommended diet. After carefully studying the book, I wanted to instantly put the authors' ideas into action. Unfortunately, that was very hard to do because the book is not particularly user-friendly: (1) Because the book is aimed at weight lifters, one has to read the authors' other book, The Performance Zone, to find out that their sport-drink recommendations apply to all types of exercise. (2) The book is written like a college textbook rather than a how-to for the general public. (3) The authors don't provide either a list of sources for their sports drinks or do-it-yourself recipes. (4) The math is confusing in the important charts on pages 96-104. They give 3 examples, a 200-lb male who works out an unspecified amount of time once/day who needs 3800 calories/day; a 200-lb male who works out an unspecified amount twice/day who needs 4200 calories/day; a 130-lb-female who works out an unspecified amount once/day who needs 2340 calories/day. All 3 are instructed to drink the same amount of the 3 sports drinks, regardless of muscle mass or length of workout, and only the first male is instructed to take the muscle-growth drink before bed. I believe a 130-lb woman would, logically, require only about HALF of the drinks the 200-lb guys would need, and I can't figure out why everyone wouldn't need the bedtime protein drink. For more detailed info on titrating your dosage, you'll need to go to the authors' other book.

Based on the information in the book, I laboriously created recipes for the drinks and am offering them here to save others the trouble. Note that the authors believe any simple sugar works well for the drink =except= fructose (fruit juice) because it can cause stomach upset in some people. Since I don't have this problem, I use fruit juice in my recipes but have provided the sugar equivalent for those who do. If you use sugar, I recommend that, to improve the taste, you flavor the drink with 1 tablespoon (T) lemon juice, which has only 1 gram (G) carbohydrate (C) per T. The drinks are made in a blender or shaker.

Energy Drink (6P, 24C): Combine fruit juice with water for a total of 16 oz (juice options: 7 oz pear juice OR 7 oz orange juice OR 6 oz pineapple juice). If sugar is preferred, instead of juice use: 2T sugar & 1T lemon juice in 16 oz water. Add 5 teaspoon (t) whey protein powder (calculated using Designer Whey Protein natural flavor, 19P, 2C per 1/3 cup). Add a few grains of potassium chloride (e.g. Nu-Salt salt substitute) & a few grains of table salt. Add 1/8t of Vitamin C crystals, a few drops of Vitamin E oil, 1G leucine powder, and the contents of a broken-open, gelatin capsule of magnesium powder (all from healthfood store). Blend well. Note: add enough water to this mixture so that you can drink 2 oz 10 minutes before you begin and every 20 minutes thereafter, ending with the final dose 20 minutes before you finish the workout--for a 2-hr workout, that would be 6 2-oz doses, or at least 12 ounces. The book recommends drinking plenty of water, as well.

Anabolic Drink (15P, 45C): 16 oz water plus juice (e.g., 13 oz orange juice OR 13 oz pear juice OR 11 oz pineapple juice). Sugar alternative: 4 T sugar & 1 T lemon juice in 16 oz water. Add 4 T whey protein powder, 2G leucine powder, 2G glutamine powder (healthfood store), pinch Vit. C crystals, few drops Vit. E oil. Drink the whole thing right after your workout--or within 45 minutes at the latest.

Growth Drink (20P, 4C): 2/3 cup water, 1/3 cup fat-free milk (provides 4C & 3P--2G of the P is casein & 1G whey), 3G leucine powder, 1G glutamine powder, 13G whey protein powder (3T & scant 4th T), 1/4t sugar. Note: some may be horrified that I provide the 2G of casein required for this drink from plain, nonfat milk instead of fancy casein protein powder. By all means use that if you have it on hand, simply substituting 2G of casein powder for the milk and adding a tad more whey protein and water to your batch. Drink the whole thing 2-4 hours after the workout and make another batch to drink at bedtime.
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31 of 34 people found the following review helpful
on April 7, 2004
Format: Paperback
This book is incredible. If you are well versed in recent sports nutrition research you are probably already familiar with a lot of what is presented here, however, this is definitely the best presentation of this information I have come across yet. The only other book I know of to discuss many of the topics presented here is "Optimal Muscle Performance and Recovery", by the late Edmund Burke, which was my favorite before "Nutrient Timing". As strength athletes, however, our specifics are usually relegated to a single chapter in a book focusing primarily on nutrition for endurance athletes. From there we are usually left to interpolate information not necessarily targeted to us. No more is this the case. We now have a book based entirely on recent research tailored specifically to our needs. This is a very quick and easy read and is the best presentation of nutrition for strength athletes I have yet to encounter. Keep in mind, it does assume a previous understanding of basic nutrition principles. Money spent on this book is money well spent... terrific.
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18 of 21 people found the following review helpful
on February 3, 2013
Format: PaperbackVerified Purchase
You can spare yourself a long, dry slog through academic writing by just reading the first chapter or so in the free Kindle sample. All up, the take home message of this book is remarkably brief: Before, during AND after each workout, eat lots of protein, and an even greater amount of [preferably high G.I.] carbs. Consume them in liquid form. The rest of the day, eat healthy. Done.

The rest of the book is a somewhat agonising look at the academic studies and nuts and bolts stuff, and is just there to back up this core precept. It's good that they've done their research and that they're prepared to lay it all out for us. If that kind of stuff floats your boat, then you'll love the book. For everyone else, just follow the above guideline (you probably are already anyway) and leave the book to those with a deeper appreciation for the biochemistry side of things.
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22 of 27 people found the following review helpful
on October 22, 2005
Format: Paperback
THIS BOOK IS NOT JUST FOR BODYBUILDERS.

No matter what you are training for, from power lifting to Ironman triathlon, from football to classical ballet, if you want your body to respond faster and more effectively to the training you are doing, then read this book.

Be aware that the authors do discuss Nutrition in a resistance training context, but there conclusions and their advice is consistent with conclusions of sport science as discuses by other authors, see "other materials of interest" later.

This is a a very to the point, non-technical, no pseudo-science guide to improving your body's ability to respond to your training and exercise time investment. Much of the training and exercise time athletes and fitness enthusiasts spend in the gym is work targeted at SAID (Specific Adaptation to Imposed Demand) directed at making that individual better able to perform - stronger, faster, more powerful, or better protected from injury. This book is about knowing when to eat and what to eat to give your body the opportunity to perform at it best during exercise, game, or performance and to recover and adapt faster than it has before.

One piece of advice to readers - Don't obsess about minute details.

At least one of the Amazon reviewers posted complex recipes trying to exactly match the diet recommendations. Use the 'themes', such as including protein in your recovery drink, and then work within those themes to find out what works well for you over time.

Other materials of interest to athletes who want to learn more about sport nutrition:

For runners, and especially for female athletes, I strongly recommend "Fast Track : Training and Nutrition Secrets from America's Top Female Runner" by Suzy Favor-Hamilton. You will be very surprised how similar the dietary recommendations are.

For personal trainers, coaches, and athletes with some biology or chemistry foundation I would strongly recommend "Sport Nutrition: An Introduction to Energy Production and Performance" by A. Jeukendrup & M. Gleeson, which is a very up to date (published 2004), comprehensive, and peer reviewed treatment of the subject.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
on March 22, 2004
Format: Paperback
I actually heard about this book at this year's Arnold Expo in Columbus, OH. The book is fantastic because it really explains how nutrient timing has evolved, and more importantly it does a remarkable job of explaining "what" nutrients you need and "when" with hard science to back it up. As a female who works out regularly at the gym to build muscle and stay toned, I often want to take something before or after my workout, but haven't been convinced of what I should be doing. It was fascinating to read just how misinterpreted carbs are and why it's so critical to consume them immediately following intense exercise to build muscle and for faster recovery.
This best part of the book is the simplicity.I didn't realize that building muscle is a 24 hr process. Knowing what the 3 phases of muscle development are and what nutrients are needed at what time of the day is already having considerable impact on my workouts....I truly notice the difference and am looking forward to great results.
Thank you Dr. Ivy & Dr. Portman....this book is long overdue!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on June 18, 2011
Format: Paperback
Normally, before I go to the gym, I never drink a carb drink as I thought they were bad. After reading the book I figured I'd grab a little Gator Ade and add a little bit of protein to it and drink it before and during my workout. WHAT A DIFFERENCE! During my workout, on many occasions I had to look back at the weight plates to make sure that I had increased the weight as it felt like I did not. Come to find out I HAD increased the weight! I had enough energy throughout my workout. So after working out I tried adding some sugar to my protein shake. Again what a difference! I can actually see a difference and no I am not fatter after weeks of doing this. My carb cravings during the day seem to be a bit less as well. The premise behind this is that the sugar causes an insulin spike that opens muscles to absorb certain carbs and proteins. This "window of opportunity" lasts about 45 minutes after a good workout. As long as the only time you eat simple carbs is around exercise, I doubt it will cause any medical issues, but always check with a sports doctor first. The only thing that may need fine tuning are the ratios mentioned in the book. For that matter, it may be more of a personal thing since we all metabolize differently. I've heard about the insulin spike before but now I understand it much more and know how to use it to my advantage.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful
on March 29, 2004
Format: Paperback
I'm always so focused on working out and trying to eat the right things that I never really thought about the importance of when i was eating. This new book is a godsend. Not only does it show you how to maximize the results of your workouts by simply timing the appropriate nutrition, but it also lets me know why. I like to know why my body is receptive to nutrient intake differently at different times. The book also makes it very easy for you to incorporate the principals of nutrient timing by mapping out the type of foods and nutrients you need at the precise time you need them in relation to exercise.
I've been timing my nutrient intake according to the book's direction and after two weeks have already been experiencing some more mass (and i had been plateauing recently), less soreness and faster recovery.

So even though the concept of the book may be scientific, it's given me a natural and simple way to get the most out of my training regimen and maximize my performance potential.
If anyone is going to place forth the effort to exercise, not knowing the goldmine of information in this book is doing themselves a disservice.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on January 12, 2013
Format: Kindle EditionVerified Purchase
So, as all good reviews start, I have never written a review for a product on Amazon, but this book was so good I had to.

Ever since I first discovered weight training all I have cared about was gaining muscle. All my friends wanted to get "stronger" or the mythical, metrosexual "toned." I have just wanted to scare women and children by being jacked.

While this book would definitely be helpful for people looking to get "strong" or "toned", it is the first scientific take on how to gain muscle I have ever read. I took a kinesiolgy class in college, but everything we did was related to performance; my teacher couldn't conceptualize the idea that someone would just want to get super huge.

That being said, this book gives super in depth, scientific information on how to gain muscle. It talks about using different nutrients to create an anabolic environment in the body and really backs it up with scientific data. I didn't know how powerful certain hormones like cortisol and insulin are, and how much of an effect they have on the body.

I loved that Harry Potter books, but this book was even better. If you are a fitness nerd, who has a basic understanding of bodybuilding nutrition, BUY this book and take it to the next level. This book is my new bible and I expect to make

ALL KINDZ of GAINZ
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
on May 19, 2009
Format: Paperback
When I think of the word diet, I think of something to do for a little while and then after you get your results you come off it. This book offers you a way of eating that you can live off of forever and be satisfied doing so. The results are amazing as well. After 4 weeks of going by the book with a few days of aerobic work out, I lost 9 pounds of fat and gained 4 1/2 pounds of muscle. That's almost a 5% body fat change for me in 1 month. I had stayed at the same weight for MONTHS before going on this meal plan, and how I ate before was very healthy. I've changed nothing in my work out just the diet and the fat comes off, muscle grows.

Whats even more amazing is how much energy I have. I used to need 8+ hours of sleep, now I wake up naturally after 6 hours of sleep fully charged and ready to go forward with my day. I have significantly more energy during my workouts too. And lastly both my blood pressure and resting heart rate dropped.

This is the way I'll be eating for a very long time.
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