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iCardioFiT: What is your Post-Workout Meal?


iCardioFiT: What’s your Post-Workout Meal?

            After posting yesterday evening, “What is your Pre-Workout Meal?” A few individuals asked me to post information about having a post workout meal!  Well here you go!

Recovery plays an important role during your exercise routine.  Post workout drinks and foods are an integral part affecting the replenishment of your glycogen stores within the muscle, the effects on muscle fatigue, and tissue repair that can allow you to train more effectively.  Many individuals not only lack a pre-workout plan but also a post-workout plan.  Proper nutrition is very important to maintain these glycogen stores so muscles will have plenty of time to rest and recover between exercise bouts.  If you are an athlete who needs to maximize your body’s performance while you’re exercising, you must replenish the nutrients lost via exercise through your dietary intake.

The best way to promote these glycogen stores is to consume carbohydrate rich foods.  (Uh Oh… did I just say Carbohydrates??)  For those who are trying to lose weight, you may be on a calorie (Carbohydrate) restricting diet, therefore hearing anything Carbohydrate is the last thing you want to hear.   For my endurance athletes and sports performance athletes… *** PAY ATTENTION!!! *** Research shows that combining protein with carbohydrate within 30 minutes of exercise nearly doubles the insulin response, which results in more stored glycogen within the muscle.  Translation:  Athletes who refueled with carbohydrate and protein post workout, had much greater muscle glycogen stores than those who only ate carbohydrate alone.  From a performance standpoint, the more fuel your body has to access within the muscle during a given competitive event or training session, the resulting side effect will be increased endurance and strength to better maximize performance and muscle efficiency to perform longer and harder.

Protein + Carbs

Protein + Carbs

Ok Reggie, how about if I don’t consider myself to be an athlete?  My goal is to strictly burn the body fat that I have on me!  Can I just stick to protein and veggies!?  … My answer Yes and No.  Let’s not forget that Vegetables and Fruit are also carbohydrates!  Do not be so consumed about the word carbohydrates, because the truth is that carbohydrates are the most effective and efficient source for energy when exercising!  The less you have in your diet, you may find your desire to exercise drastically decreased or lower than expected.  It’s also important to understand the effect it can have on building and maintaining muscle.  The combination of protein and carbs post workouts stops the breakdown of muscle and results in the maintenance and building of your lean mass!  For all my weight loss iCardioFiT exercisers out there, this increases your resting metabolism which allows you to burn more calories/day.

Got Questions? Let’s talk about it!

GeT FiT and Stay FiT with iCardioFiT! …

Comment and Subscribe!

Reggie Laroche

The Clinical Exercise Physiologist 

[Contact: Reggie Laroche — relaroche@yahoo.com — 954-205-9904 for Personal Training, Exercise and Nutrition consultations!!!!]

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iCardioFiT: What is your Pre-Workout Meal?


iCardioFiT: What is your Pre-Workout Meal?

Are you one of those individuals that perform aerobic exercise and strength training anywhere from 35-50min a few days out of the week?  If so, great job!  The most important thing is to maintain proper nutrition!  Having a solid healthy diet as your foundation with you exercise patterns will allow you sufficient energy, prevent fatigue, and optimize your performance with aerobic and training.

In one of my previous posts, I mentioned how important protein plays a role in building muscle.  Carbohydrates are also important for immediate energy.  There is so much information out there from personal trainers, exercise specialist, media, magazines, etc. that can be somewhat confusing to the novice person as to the best or most optimal nutritional choices pre-workout.

Oatmeal with Fruit

Oatmeal with Fruit

Like I always say to my clients and patients, everyone should be able to consume all the food groups (Proteins, Carbohydrates, Fruits, Dairy, Grains, Fats, etc) in order to accomplish their desired goal.  Whether that is weight loss, weight maintenance, or weight gain, proper intake of the above macro nutrients in a BALANCED approach is most desirable.  Some examples of a simple pre-exercise snack with plenty of water should fuel the body sufficiently. The best pre-workout meal is one that works best for the individual and one that is not digested too rapidly.

Here are a few options:

▪ A banana with 1 tablespoon of peanut butter

▪ Low-fat yogurt and a piece of fruit

▪ Oatmeal made with skim milk and fruit

▪ Trail mix with nuts and fruit

▪ Granola with low-fat milk and fruit

▪ A smoothie made with low-fat yogurt, fresh fruit, and wheat germ or flax meal

Sip water throughout the activity and after exercise is completed. (Very important not to stay Hydrated!)

iCardioFiT Tips for Pre-Workouts:

Choose high-carbohydrate, low-fat foods—whole-grain, high-fiber foods, consumed 1 hour prior to exercise, are ideal; some examples can include:  Breads (whole wheat/whole grain), Oatmeal, Yogurts, as well as Pastas (Whole wheat/Whole grain).  Special note:  Your pre-workout meal should take into consideration the type of activity as well as the activity’s intensity and duration into account.

Lean Protein with Complex Carbohydrates

Lean Protein with Complex Carbohydrates

It’s best to avoid food products that do not agree with your stomach during exercise activity.  You will most likely know what those are based on your experiences.  You definitely want to avoid food products high in fat protein (burgers, fried meats, etc.)  The fatty foods tend to stay in the stomach longer and can make you feel sluggish.  High quality, low in sugar energy bars and protein shakes are some alternatives that can be utilized as your pre-workout meal.  To assist the digestion process, the importance of water comes back into play!

GeT FiT and Stay FiT with iCardioFiT! …

Comment and Subscribe!

Reggie Laroche

The Clinical Exercise Physiologist 

[Contact: Reggie Laroche — relaroche@yahoo.com — 954-205-9904 for Personal Training, Exercise and Nutrition consultations!!!!]

iCardioFiT: Calorie “Energy” Dense Vs. Nutrient Dense


Calorie Dense Foods vs. Nutrient Dense Foods

Are all calories created equal?  That answer is NO!

Some of us think that having a 500 cal Burger is the same as having a 500 cal meal such as a 1/2 turkey sandwich, plain low fat yogurt, and small bowl of mixed fruit (blue berries, black berries, raspberries) are equal.   This misconception exists among most individuals.  In order to achieve your goals (weight loss, lean mass gain, or weight maintenance), you must understand the energy in which you’re putting into your body.

Energy dense foods are food options that contain very high levels of calories per serving of that given food product.   The amount of nutrients that these energy dense or calorie dense foods provide is an extremely low level and have a decrease nutritional value.   If the goal is weight gain, then these high energy foods are just for you.  However, these “empty calories” do not just provide an increase in body weight, if consumed in excess can increase your chances for health related issues such as diabetes.  Examples of calorie dense foods include:  Cookies, Sodas (Coca Cola & Pepsi), Candies, cookies, and cakes.  Those are your obvious choices.  How about burgers and fries?  Creamy pastas from Italian restaurants?  Energy dense foods also includes cooking oils especially when foods are prepared with it in excess.

Calorie Dense donuts

Nutrient Dense foods are much better options in how they provide increased levels of nutrients that provide quality fuel for the body.  The nutrients include vitamins, mineral, high quality protein, health fats, and complex carbohydrates.  Examples of such includes fruits and vegetables which are loaded with the nutrients that we need however choose not to have enough of.  Dark green leafy vegetables, sweet potatoes, tomatoes, lean meats, whole grains like quinoa, oats, and barley are enriched with nutrient dense properties that we should consume more of.

apple - nutrient denseDinner - Nutrient Dense

salad - nutrient dense

So when you think about your diet behavior, are you consuming calorie “energy” dense foods or nutrient dense foods?  Choose wisely to accomplish your goals!

GeT FiT with iCardioFiT! …

Comment and Subscribe!

Reggie Laroche

The Clinical Exercise Physiologist 

[Contact: Reggie Laroche — relaroche@yahoo.com — 954-205-9904 for Personal Training, Exercise and Nutrition consultations!!!!]

Protein – What’s its role in your fitness plan!?


Protein – What’s the Role?

When patients, clients, and friends ask me about protein, there seems to be a lot of confusing information as to the purpose of increasing one’s intake of protein for muscle building, fat burning, and the use of protein throughout one’s exercise patterns.

So let’s say that you want to build some lean mass.  Muscles growth occurs when a stimulus or range of stimuli placed upon the muscles, tendons, ligaments, and bones is significant enough that it causes the muscles to adapt and change by increasing the size of muscle fibers as well as the amount of muscle fibers a motor unit can innervate/activate to increase an individual’s strength.  In other words, lifting heavy weights and performing resistance exercises is how you grow and strengthen your muscles.  Consuming protein alone will not get it done.

An important principle behind hypertrophy (increased your muscle size) is the concept of progressive overload meaning that with increased sets, weight, and repetitions, this effect will cause growth in muscles.

If you choose to swap out carbs for a diet high in protein, you will also increase your chance of success with weight loss according to the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition.  Why you ask?  Your body spends more energy processing dietary protein than carbs.  For everyone 100 calories of protein that you consume, 20-30% of those calories are burn by your body as opposed to 5-10% of those calories being burned by the body for 100 calories of carbs.

high-protein-diet optionswhey-protein-powder

These are some of the reasons why the feeling of satiety becomes more effective with protein than carbs or fats.  Because it takes our body’s longer to burn protein than carbs or fat, our body tends to absorb more of the nutrients in a high protein diet.  This allows the body to preserve its lean mass which allows individuals to have faster metabolism to aid in body fat loss when at rest.

How much protein do I need?            

For those that are wondering how much protein you should incorporate into your diet is dependent on the specific goal that you are reaching for.  According the American College of Sports Medicine, the recommended daily protein intake for athletes is 1.2 – 1.8 grams per kilogram of body weight to achieve increase muscle mass along with resistance training.  Individuals that are less active will require less protein (0.8-1.0 grams)

Protein Power Foods include:

–          Lean Meat, Fish, Poultry

–          Eggs (Egg Beaters/Egg Whites)

–          Nuts

–          Peanut Butter (Low Sodium)

–          Soy

–          Beans

–          Greek Yogurt

–          Quinoa

If you would like more specific information regarding your needs, consulting a Registered Dietician or Certified Specialist in Sports Dietetics/Fitness professional can provide you with personalized guidance.

Stay FiT with iCardioFiT!

Reggie Laroche

The Clinical Exercise Physiologist

iCardioFiT – Your Diet Behavior: It’s Easy to Be FaT!!


Most of you would agree with me on this statement.  It still surprises me that with all the awareness still coming out regarding health issues like obesity, diabetes, cardiovascular diseases, various forms of cancers and etc, people still choose to have an unhealthy “Diet Behavior”!

So what do I mean when I say “Diet Behavior” ? When people think of the word “diet“, they tend to think about all the fad diets out there now.  Diets such as:

Low-fat Diet

Blood Type Diet

Liquid Diet

These diets follow low carbohydrate intake, high protein consumption, no carbs, just fruit, only veggies, only water, etc.  This is not a normal way to eat!  These diets have good intentions in helping individuals lose weight quick however these diets never seem to last in the long term.  Why is that?  Whenever an individual takes a food group like Carbs out of their Diet, OF COURSE they are going to lose weight.  The question is what happens after 2-3 months when they start consuming carbs again?… They will gain most of the weight back if not more.
The one thing that needs to change is our “Diet Behavior“!  The Types of foods we eat, the Amount of food we eat, the Frequency in which we eat, and even the Times of day in which we eat.

We should all strive to consume all the food groups in a way that we can manage our weight and still be Heart Healthy! We should try to follow the dietary guidelines for caloric intake which is approximately 2000 calories.  We should try to consume at least 3-5 moderate size portions of snacks and foods throughout the day.  And most importantly, no one should be eating dinner past 7pm.

Why put gas in a car if you don’t plan on driving anywhere?  This is the same concept when you think about putting food our bodies.

Let’s do our best to stay fit!  iCardioFiT

Reggie Laroche

The Exercise Physiologist

iCardioFiT-Foods: Let’s GRILL!!!!


As we approach the season of grilling in our backyards, it is important for us to Grill Wisely !! I would like to recommend the Bison Burger!

“Buffalo” Meat is a great source of protein and iron as well being Lower in Saturated Fat when compared to regular Beef.  To be perfectly honest, I prefer eating types of animals that do a little Cardio!!  Partner this with Complex Carbs (Whole Wheat Bread), add plenty of Toppings (Veggies), and remember to go light on the condiments.

Anyways, enjoy your upcoming holiday and always stay iCardioFiT!!!!  Follow @iCardioFiT for your latest #FiTwork exercises!

Reggie Laroche

The Exercise Physiologist

iCardio: Can you be FiT and be Overweight?


Well the answer to this question is Yes.

However, the question you should be asking yourself is can I be at an optimum HEALTH status being overweight? Having a BMI of 25 -29.9 places you in the Overweight category. While being in the 30 + range categorizes you at OBESE. By being Overweight/Obese places you at RISK for certain syndromes like high blood pressure, Type II diabetes, high cholesterol, etc. Now don’t get me wrong, I definitely want everyone to achieve there optimum aerobic capacity at whatever weight you’re at, because it help reduce your risk of Heart Disease, but how does your blood lipid profile look like? Reducing your risk from Very high risk to High risk still places you at a disadvantage in having complete control of your health.

How’s your total cholesterol, LDL, Triglycerides, and HDL‘s looking like? Being responsible and realizing the importance of “Knowing your numbers” like one of my colleagues, Cardiologist Dr. Theodore Feldman would say; Knowing your numbers will allow you to take control of your current health status and will allow to makes the necessary life style changes to improve your health.

So while you have your iCardio sessions, combine them with those iCardioFiTFoods to not only keep your current level of conditioning up but to incorporate healthy nutritional options that can better your health and power/fuel your workout!

Comment, Subscribe, and Follow me on Twitter!!

Reggie Laroche

The Exercise Physiologist

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