Archive | met flex tips

Met Flex Tip 5: Evil Carbs and Performance

sweet potato

We recently introduced Private Forums to go along with our webinars we do four times a week.  Both of which give you the opportunity to walk through your changes using the info you get when you buy Met Flex for Fat Loss.

It seems that many people are afraid of carbs.  The media has convinced them that they are bad.  I disagree.  Remember that the media once said all fats were bad too, so are eggs, milk, etc.  Bah!

Carbs are the preferred fuel source for high intensity exercise.  It is a bioengertic fact that you can NOT produce the same levels of power by only using fat as an energy source.   This is in every basic exercise physiology textbook.

I am a big fan of having some carbs before training if at all possible.  I know some lift in the AM fasted as it is impossible to get anything down beforehand, and that is fine.    If you have time though, take in some starchy carbs before your training session, starting at around 50 grams.     Good choices are sweet potatoes, bananas or prepackaged carb sources like Vitargo.

Not only will you have the fuel to use during training, they promote the release of insulin by your body.  Insulin is not the devil it has been portrayed and higher levels of insulin actually push the body to use more carbs. This is exactly what you want to do during training.

If you have not tried this before, please try it first on a non training day or time to see how your body reacts.


Try adding some starchy carbs pretraining if at all possible.  If you are training in the AM fasted, push your carb intake to the night before.     Most people see a nice bump in their performance

Mike T Nelson

Met Flex Tip 4: “Shape Shifting Nutrition”

Lisa Cartwright

We recently introduced Private Forums to go along with our webinars we do four times a week.  Both of which give you the opportunity to walk through your changes using the info you get when you buy Met Flex for Fat Loss.

I may be dating myself here, but one of the coolest movie bad guys was the shape-shifting cyborg sent back in time to kill John Connor in Terminator 2.   He was so scary due to his ability to change and take on almost any form, and he almost beat Arnold!

This concept can be applied to your body too, but with a slight tweak for more fat loss and performance.

When we eat food, our body breaks it down into fuel.  The main fuels are  carbs and fats (protein is generally not used directly for fuel).

We can measure this in the lab with fancy equipment called a metabolic cart that will tell us what “fuel mixture” your body is using at that time via the respiratory exchange ratio (RER).

Both fuels are needed for optimal body composition and performance.   When you are doing high intensity exercise, carbs are the best fuel.    The rest of the day you want to be a fat burning machine, thus your overall RER is low (pushed towards using fats).

Metabolic flexibility is the process of turning your body into a fuel shape-shifter.   Carbs can be used or stored as glycogen for later use during exercise, while fat (both dietary fat and body fat) can be burned at a higher rate the rest of the time.   This way you get the performance you want in the gym, but the body composition you want at the beach.

Mike T Nelson

Met Flex Tip 3: Protein, BCAAs and confusion

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When Mike says he gets asked this question A LOT he gets asked this question in the Science Lab. When you buy our book we support it with a team of coaches that answers your various training questions. Click here for more info.

A good question I get asked a lot is “I know you are big on protein, but what is the diference between whey protein and BCAAs (branched chain amino acids)? Can I take just whey? Only BCAAs? Both of them? I am confused!”

Great question!

The short version is that BCAAs are AAs (amino acids) which are the building blocks of protein.

BCAAs are in whey protein already (and many other forms of protein).

BCAAs, esp leucine are used to kick start the protein building process (muscle protein synthesis). But the assembly line of protein building and repair to make bigger and stronger muscles still needs raw materials (which are the other essential AAs) and fuel (carb, more protein or fat) to run.

2-3 grams of leucine is enough to turn on the assembly, but remember that you need AAs (raw material) to really make better muscle tissue.

If you get about 30 grams of whey, you have enough leucine (which is in BCAAs) to start the assembly line and provide enough raw material.

Can I add more leucine?

Adding more leucine beyond that dose will not make it run faster or better. Just like once the light switch is on, pushing on it harder won’t make the light brighter.

There is some data that added more BCAAs about 2 hours after a protein dose may help, but that is for another time.

In the meantime, get the raw materials (AAs in protein) and some leucine. If you use whey protein, you are covered with about a 30 gram dose.

Mike T Nelson

Met Flex tip 2: Carbs before training or not?

sweet potato

Mike wrote Met Flex for our sports (Crossfit, Powerlifting and OLY Lifting) because nothing comparable existed.  He updates it monthly with ideas from Science Lab members (the support group for the materials), this also gets you access to the webinars we do four times a week where you can ask us questions in real time.  Click here for more information.

This is a very common question, and for good reason.   My preference is to have some carbs (and protein) before training if it is possible.


When you consume carbs (and some proteins), insulin levels go up.   Insulin is the fuel selector switch.  When it is higher, it shifts your body to use carbs.   As you know, carbs are the preferred fuel for high intensity exercise.   This way you are matching your nutrition to your training.

But what if I exercise early in the AM?

I totally understand that some train in the early AM and getting in much of any food is not possible.   Don’t worry, as all is not lost.  Your body has stored carbohydrates in the form of glycogen in the muscles and liver.   As long as your stores are adequate, you can still fuel your exercise session.


Metabolic flexibility is all about using the right fuel at the right time.  Your body is brilliantly designed to use stored glycogen for training when you can’t consume any carbs beforehand.

If you can get in some carbs before an intense exercise session, go for it.   If you can’t, you will still be fine too.

Mike T Nelson
PhD Candidate, Exercise Science

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