The Official Livin' La Vida Low-Carb Forum

My main form of exercise is swimming before work - usually 3 or 4 mornings per week and I have just taken up running in the evening.

I have lost a bit of weight in the last 10 months (about 3 stone) and have managed to stabilize my weight on my low carb diet (about 30-50g per day). This has helped my body shape and I'm interested in building on this if I can.

I usually have a protein shake (a low carb one) either before or after my run, but I wondered when is best in terms of building muscle.

I have heard that protein should be eaten after a workout - within one hour, for the repair of muscle tissue. if you exercise on an empty stomach your body will use your fat stores for energy rather than the food just eaten. This is how I understand it anyway.
Personally, I don't do much exercise, but I still have a protein shake every morning as a breakfast alternative. I have trouble getting enough protein otherwise.
Your exercise routine is actually catabolic (breaking down lean body mass). You can counteract that somewhat by taking a branched-chain amino acid (BCAA) supplement just before you go swim or run, but really, you should avoid chronic cardio. If you want to build lean body mass, you should reduce your cardio, start lifting weights and maybe throw in some high-intensity interval training (HIIT). And unless you're a high end athlete, you really don't need to supplement with protein shakes to get results. The Primal Blueprint has some great information on this topic.

Thanks for the replies. I will look in to taking some Coconut Oil or MCT to try and help counteract the loss of muscle. I'm fairly committed to the swimming and running - though may try to add in some weights or HIIT at some stage.

I'm not sure how MCT will prevent muscle loss. I remember reading ketosis has some anti-catabolic properties. The same goes for taking a branched-chain amino acid (BCAA) supplement just before exercising. I don't have the sources handy right now. You'll have to google around a bit.
d3spwn is correct. Your committment runs counteractive to your goal.

I use a Generation Ucann Super Starch shake because it is the only product I can find that allows me to stay in ketosis. I drink it after the work outs. It is the absolute worst tasting drink I've ever used, so i mix it with almond milk and almond butter and ice, and then it tastes great.

If you really want to build a little shapely muscle, you will need to increase your resistance training (weight lifting) A simple routine, with your level of committment, could really work well.

Good luck.
Post work out nutrition is only required when working out in a fasted state.

Most studies that say it is important to get protein in with in 1 hour post work out, where all done on fasted work outs.

So if you ate before working out, don't stress, if you worked out fasted, just say morning gym or cardio, Then yeah have a protein shake or real food after.

Today I did legs fasted, got home and cooked myself up some roast pork, veggies and some eggs. Good protein and lot's of fat from the pork and eggs.
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