Before I give you a lovely smoothie recipe for just everyone! Gluten free, dairy free, vegetarian-friendly, vegan-friendly, you name it. Just gonna update you on my running. If you don’t care – jump to the bottom 🙂
As mentioned in my previous blog post, I said I was going to do carb cycling a little bit different from what everyone else does. I am having my high carb days on rest days and the day after heavy tranining sessions. And I’ll tell you why:
So lets say you train late afternoon/evening – you have eaten maybe 60-70 % of your total food intake that day – you go to the gym, you do your heavy workout, you go home and have a meal or 2. The next day you’re having a low carb day…
Lets get some facts straight first.
- To build muscles you need to eat more food than usual. As the muscles needs energy to build up the muscles tissues you just teared up.
- When you eat a meal, it doesn’t digest right away. It (normally) takes around 6-8 hours (of course this depending on the meal, if you are male/female etc) for it to be fully absorbed and digested.
- The average time for muscle recovery is 48 hours
- After lifting weights you’re (hopefully) in an anabolic state and your metabolism is on a higher speed than usual.
- If not enough food is ingested the body have to use stored fat or protein or/and muscle tissue for fuel.
- Stored body fat cannot be transformed to muscles
- Carbs promotes faster recovery, prevent muscle breakdown and helps support muscle growth.
That being said, it should make absolutely sense why you should eat MORE food the day AFTER a heavy training day??
No? Still not clear yet? Right let’s try to explain:
Your muscles need more food after you’ve been lifting as it needs it to support muscle growth. If you are having a low carb day after your heavy lifting day there is not enough food to support this and your body will need to use stored fat or protein/muscle tissue as a reserve. What does this mean?
You might burn more fat, BUT you might not build muscles as fast or maybe not at all.
Another thing to mention is that if you have a high carb day on heavy training days you might just burn off all the food you’ve been consuming all day and not use stored body fat for fuel.
Fuck, if that doesn’t make sense to you I don’t know.
But Dina, I need carbs for energy to support my heavy leg sesh – Shut up. Most of this is all in your head. You do not have to go zero carb on low carb days, and you should get more than enough food and energy during that day for your workout. Have a coffee pre gym if you need a bit of a boost. (PS. On your high carb days you are putting more fuel in your body for the next days training sesh)
All that being said, this isn’t something new I just figured out in my head. I know that some coaches uses this approach (as I’ve worked with one), but they don’t say this out loud, obviously.
But why isn’t everyone saying the opposite to what I just said? Honestly I don’t know, I might be completely wrong. But for me this sounds like the more logical approach.
And for a final note, who really wants to have a rest day with no carbs? Like seriously?
Note* If you are training in the morning I would go for a high carb day that day and a moderate one the following day.
Finally I received my results from Fitnessgenes. After my first DNA sample got lost in the mail, they gave me fantastic costumer service and sent a new one to me.
First of all I would say it is definitely worth the money – It did confirm things I already knew and also gave me new interesting information. Would absolutely recommend it!
There is a lot of information you get provided with this test. I’ve shortened down a lot to make it easier for you to read.
Note that this is Part 1 and there is more results but I havent received them yet.
Next to the results you can see how what % of the world population carries the same genes as I do.
Note that this type of testing is still a new thing, and more research needs to be done before we can get an absolute accurate understanding. Some of the genes they test they didn’t provide too much information on them, as they said more studies needs to be done. However, It does give you a better understanding of the function of your body and you can use it to your own advantage.
PS!! Not only do you get your DNA tested, but also a lot of training and diet tips ACCORDING TO YOUR DNA on their site! They even give you a complete 4 week training program!
You can order your DNA kit here: FitnessGenes
ACE – A Gene for Endurance
ACE is a protein responsible for the production of angiotensin II, a hormone that causes blood vessels to constrict, encourages fluid retention and increases blood pressure.
My Result: DD (24 %)
Two copies of the ‘power/strength’ D allele.
- Higher levels of the vasoconstrictor ACE. This means I have a potential aptitude for power and strenght.
- Higher percentage of fast-twitch muscle fibres than other genotypes. This suggests my muscles may have less endurance capacity in terms of how long they can perform repetitive movements, such as lifting a moderately light weight or long durations of moderately intense running.
- Respond better to higher intensity, lower volume workouts
- Studies suggest I am are likely to respond well to HIIT in terms of improving your aerobic capacity
ACTN3- A Gene for Speed
ACTN3 is the world’s most famous ‘gene for speed’. This gene encodes for α-actinin-3, a protein that has been linked to greater baseline strength, a protective effect against muscle damage, and an increase in fast-twitch muscle fibres.
My Result: RX (44 %)
One copy of the ‘sprinter’ R allele and one copy of the ‘endurance’ X allele.
- My body is able to produce alpha-actinin-3 muscle protein, although possibly at lower levels.
- Likely to be less vulnerable to muscle damage, and suffer less painful delayed onset muscle soreness (DOMS), although studies also show recovery of muscle force during a bout of exercise may be slower.
- R allele carriers have been recorded as having higher baseline strength
CYP1A2 – A Gene for Caffeine Metabolism
My Result: AA (41 %)
You have two copies of the ‘fast metaboliser’ A allele, and are characterised as a fast caffeine metaboliser.
FTO – A Gene for Appetite
Genetics is known to influence food cravings, with carriers of a particular version of the FTO gene seemingly biologically wired to eat more and feel hungrier sooner. In ancient humanity, where food was scarce, this is likely to have been a straightforward survival mechanism, but it becomes problematic in a modern world with easy access to high-energy foods.
My Result: AT (40 %)
One copy of the ‘increased obesity risk’ A allele and one copy of the ‘typical obesity risk’ T allele.
- Increased appetite and exhibit higher loss of control of eating
- Preferentially choose fattier food options, consuming a higher proportion of energy from fat
- Even when eaten, there is evidence that achieving satiety for A carriers is much harder.
- Considered to be biologically programmed to eat more
- Higher levels of the ‘hunger hormone’ ghrelin in the system, therefore feeling hungrier, the brain respond differently to ghrelin and to pictures of food, leading to increased overall appetite.
- Higher-intensity exercise leads to greater suppression of appetite following training
- A allele carriers generally have poor response to ‘Atkins-style’ diets that emphasize high-fat/low-carb intake.
- A high protein/high carb diet
- No more than 12 % saturated fats and more polysaturated fats in the daily diet
IL15RA – A Gene for Muscle Volume
This gene is linked to the prevention of muscle breakdown as well as lean body mass and can affect how quickly individuals increase their muscle size (hypertrophy).
My Result: CC (35 %)
Two copies of the ‘muscle strength’ C allele.
- May favour muscle strength over volume and this is correlated with myofibrillar growth (the growth of the actual muscle fibres).
LCT – A Gene for Lactose Tolerance
Lactose tolerance is the ability to digest the lactose in milk and other everyday dairy products. For the majority of people, tolerance for lactose decreases after infancy, often falling away completely during adulthood. However, for others, due to a genetic variant in their DNA, they are able to continue to tolerate lactose indefinitely.
My Result: CT (16 %)
One copy of the ‘lactose tolerant’ T allele, and are likely genetically lactose tolerant.
I carry the genetic variation associated with the ability to digest lactose into adulthood and are likely lactose tolerant.
Individuals who carry one copy of the ‘lactose tolerant’ T allele, as opposed to two, have been found to have intermediate levels of lactase activity. This means that while you are able to effectively break down lactose, you may be more susceptible to lactose intolerance at times of stress or gastrointestinal infection.
MSTN – A Gene for Hypertrophy
Skeletal muscle growth in response to training is determined by genetics, and a rare version of the MSTN gene, which encodes the muscle-limiting protein myostatin, is associated with much greater muscle mass and strength.
My Result: KK (87 %)
Two copies of the ‘normal myostatin’ K allele.
- Normal baseline levels of myostatin.
- Takes longer time to build muscles
PGC1A – A Gene for Aerobic Capacity
As well as being a marker for good health, having a high aerobic capacity enables your body to work harder during prolonged exercise. Some of us are lucky enough to have a naturally high aerobic capacity due to our genes. A variation in the PGC1A gene is associated with greater baseline aerobic fitness.
My Result: GG (57 %)
Two copies of the ‘endurance’ G allele.
- The GG genotype is considered the optimal genotype for endurance athletes.
- Likely to have higher baseline levels of PGC1A protein and irisin on average. PGC1A protein is associated with predominance of the more aerobic-friendly slow-twitch muscle fibres, conversion of muscle fibres from fast-twitch to slow-twitch and also the generation of new mitochondria (the energy producers of the cell). The presence of more PGC1A protein has also been linked to higher rates of new blood vessel production (angiogenesis). Finally, PGC1A protein is associated with an improved ability to resist inflammation and oxidative damage.
- Improved aerobic capacity overall and greater baseline fitness
PPARA – A Gene for Fat Burning
The ability to switch use fats as fuel over carbohydrates combined with the distribution of fast and slow twitch muscle fibres are both important factors affecting endurance performance. The PPARA protein plays a role in these.
My Result: CG (23 %)
One copy of the ‘power’ C allele and one copy of the ‘fat-burning’ G allele.
- Will tend to have levels of PPARA protein intermediate. As PPARA turns on genes that shift our metabolism from carbohydrate burning to the more energy-efficient source of fat, this genotype is able to efficiently switch between carbohydrate and fat burning.
- Significantly higher percentage of fatigue-resistant slow-twitch muscles
UCP2 – A Gene for Metabolism
One mechanism of fat loss is through the generation of heat by the body. There are small molecules in fat and muscle cells which are responsible for this and affect the body’s metabolism.
My Result: AA (33 %)
Two copies of the ‘fast metabolism’ A allele.
- Individuals with this genotype have been observed to have a higher metabolic rate on average and a lower metabolic efficiency
- Greater level of ‘uncoupling’ – a process that controls how much energy, in the form of ATP, we can produce from the food we eat. Instead of a molecule of ATP being created, the ‘uncoupling’ causes the energy to dissipate and be lost as heat instead.
HERC2 – A Gene for Eye Colour
Eye, hair and skin colour vary around the world because of the production of a pigment called melanin. One gene in particular, HERC2, is one of the genes responsible for melanin production and its effect can be seen directly from your eye colour.
My Result: GG (10 %)
Two copies of the ‘blue eye’ G allele.
- Two copies of the ‘blue eye’ G allele which usually results in blue eyes, although green eyes are possible too. (I have green eyes)
- More likely to have light coloured eyes as the action of this gene will result in a decreased amount of melanin being produced.
- Level of melanin you produce is believed to be linked to how likely you are to be deficient in a key vitamin: vitamin D.
FOLATE – Genes that impact homocysteine levels
Folate, or folic acid, is usually something we associate with pregnant women, but might it have important consequences for you too? The role of folate in red blood cell production and tissue repair makes it a particularly important vitamin for athletes, bodybuilders and fitness enthusiasts. Folate deficiency can also increase homocysteine levels in the blood, which is an indicator of certain health issues.
My combined genotype for the MTHFR, MTR and MTRR genes is MTHFR AC, MTR AA and MTRR AG
Are at relatively LOW to MEDIUM risk for mild to moderate increases in homocysteine levels.
MTHFR is an enzyme that converts dietary folate or folic acid to the active form so it can be used by your body. It is the C allele of this gene that is linked to a reduced ability to convert folate to its active form, which may lead to elevated homocysteine levels. Which may indicate reduced ability to convert folate into its active form.
MTR is an enzyme that helps convert the non-essential amino acid homocysteine to the essential amino acid methionine. For this reason, MTR is key to maintaining low levels of circulating homocysteine. This is important because high levels of homocysteine are potentially toxic to certain cell types and are associated with multiple health problems.
A allele is more accurately associated with elevated homocysteine levels and reduced DNA methylation as a result. Which may indicate reduced ability to convert homocysteine to methionine.
MTRR is an enzyme that is necessary for the activation of MTR in the methionine cycle, and it is therefore also important in the maintenance of low levels of homocysteine. Individuals with the G allele version of this gene may have a reduced ability to generate methionine as a result of decreased MTRR enzyme activity. This could lead to increased homocysteine levels. May have reduced ability to convert homocysteine to methionine as a result of reduced MTRR enzyme function.
APOA5 – A gene for blood triglyceride levels
My result: AA (71 %)
Two copies of the ‘average triglyceride levels’ A allele
CLOCK – A gene affecting sleep cycle
AKT1 – A gene associated with aerobic exercise response
The AKT1 gene codes for an enzyme related to muscle building and metabolism. Some of us carry a particular version of this gene that is linked to better resting metabolic factors and greater increases in VO2 max in response to aerobic exercise.
My Result: GT (34 %)
One copy of the ‘average metabolic levels’ G allele and one copy of the ‘improved metabolic levels’ T allele.
- Generally have a lower % body fat than non-carriers, and also lower triglyceride, fasting glucose and insulin levels
- There is some limited evidence that carrying a copy of the G allele can be linked to greater strength gains
- T allele appears to inhibit transcription production of AKT1 in fat cells, it seems to enhance transcription in muscle cells, suggesting it has tissue-specific effects
- Moderate benefits from both endurance and resistance training.
- Greater capacity to clear lactate which will allow you to perform higher volume/high intensity exercise without inducing muscle fatigue early on.
- Women produce lower levels of lactic acid compared to men during exercise of the same intensities which means your post-exercise recovery should be pretty quick! Lower lactate production with a high capacity to clear it will delay its accumulation.
A sport that is all about looking the best, being the leanest and having enough muscles in the right places does things to your brain. Both good and bad things.
The popularity around bikini fitness (and just having a lean body in general) have increased dramatically the last few years. Personally I think this is a good thing, as it makes both men and women look after themselves and living a better lifestyle. I believe more and more are aware of their eating habits today then what they were before. Which is good. But there is so many who do not educate themselves enough, or get coached by personal trainers or coaches who are very uneducated and ruin their bodies and their wellbeing. If you ever hire a trainer or nutritionist who tells you to do any crazy diets or anything you think its unhealthy. Sack em’.
When I started prepping on my first bikini fitness journey in 2014, I was lucky enough to have an experienced and very educated trainer who didn’t make me go through a low-calorie diet and putting me and my body at risk. Well of course my diet was very strict. But prepping diets usually are, no surprise there. At that time I didn’t have a clue about health or nutrition. I remember I did a lot of research on different ways on how to get muscles quicker, how to lose weight faster. I constantly approached my coach with all these new findings, but he always said stick to what I’ve told you.
Not only did I search for diets, but I looked up other bikini girls on Instagram and compared myself to them. BAD MOVE. I got obsessed, I felt FAT. And let me tell you I’ve never been so skinny in my life before. On my competition day I was around 56-57 kg! And I’m 178 cm tall(5’10). But I didn’t have enough muscles on me at the time, and to even show some definition I had to be very lean. But I was skinny…
My second bikini prep I had added much more muscles to my body, my diet was even more relaxed than my previous one. But I still compared myself to anyone I saw on Instagram. I looked up at girls who were going to be in the same category as me and again I felt FAT. I felt like my body wasnt good enough. If I could even get a pinch of fat dragged out, I was too fat for bikini fitness. In my head I should only be able to pull skin. 2 weeks prior to the competition I was stressing out. I was afraid I wouldn’t be ready, as I felt I had too much fat on my body. People around me started worry as they thought I was too skinny. Well let me just add that most friends and family tend to get a bit worried closer to the competition date as you do have a very low body fat than you did 3 months ago, it is a very dramatic change in a short time.
I’ve never been so nervous. You are going to stand in a tiny little bikini showing off your body to over 1000 people. I knew if I had too much body fat on me, people would judge. This feeling is not a good one, and you have to be mentally strong and prepared before even starting on a diet and training regime.
Even though my worries nearly got the best of me I got ready and I got 2nd place. One of my greatest achievements.
Bikini fitness do a lot to your head. The fact that I actually called myself fat, when I was at my skinniest, is very, very sad. You can get obsessed with “clean eating” as you just want to stay as lean as when you were on stage (which is pretty much impossible and not healthy). You just love that feeling of not having any fat hanging out of your trousers and going shopping is amazing as sometimes even XS is too big for you. And sad to say, but this was actually an amazing feeling..
BUT, I don’t think if I never went through those experiences I wouldn’t be as happy with my body that I am today. Yes I do like to stay lean and show a six-pack and definition (just personal preference I guess). But now, if I can grab a handful or two of fat off my stomach, I couldn’t care less. I’m now in peace with my body. I found a balance.
You might say that it is absurd to have to go through 2 bikini competitions to be happy with your body. I totally agree, however everyone finds their own way on how to finally love every single part of their body.
I think bodybuilding competitions are a fantastic sport. If its done correctly. You learn so much about yourself and your body. It does have way too much negative stuff surrounding it. But if you have the right people around you who can keep you sane, support you, give you the right dieting and training advice, you will step off that stage with the best feeling in the world. (*note my first competition I cried when I came off stage, as I was not happy with my preformance) But as everything else, the more you do it, the better you will be at it.
Those few minutes on stage were one of the best minutes of my life.