What you always wanted to know about macronutrient metabolism when working out!


Would you drive your car without gas? 

No… because you won’t get too far right?

Don’t forget to fill your tank

Then why would you exercise on an empty stomach…? Exercising when you are under-fueled is like running on fumes and results in sluggish performance. And additionally does not help you burn fat!


If I were to eat better, would I recover faster?

That is a complex question that now requires some deeper thought and explanation about food groups and their function…..

Energy is stored in the chemical bonds of macronutrients, as Carbohydrates, Fat and Protein. Carbohydrates and fat are your primary energy source, while amino acids from protein are used infrequently as a fuel source for physical activity. They are primarily used for structure, function and regulatory purposes.

Healthy fats

Dietary fats are stored as triglycerides in adipose tissue and skeletal muscle.

Intramuscular triglycerides are an important fuel source especially during prolonged aerobic activity.
By weight, fats provide more than twice the amount of energy than carbohydrates or protein. Therefore this is an efficient way to store energy.
Dietary Carbohydrates are converted to glucose and stored in the liver as glycogen. Liver releases glucose as needed to maintain normal blood sugar. Glucose is then taken up by the brain and skeletal muscles. Glucose can then be used as an immediate energy source or stored in the liver and muscle tissue.
Carbohydrate is the primary fuel source during physical activity and is transformed into carbohydrate storage areas. Carbs are ultimately stored as muscle & liver glycogen and blood glucose. Because these stores are limited, it is crucial to consume adequate amounts of carbohydrates on a daily basis in order to replenish your muscle and liver glycogen between daily training sessions. If you are exercising for 60 minutes or more
you need to balance water and energy output with enough fluid to match your sweat loss and enough carbs to provide energy and maintain your blood sugar levels.
Consuming carbohydrates prior to exercise helps your http://food.ndtv.com/health/benefits-of-oats-1234330performance by “topping off” the muscle and liver glycogen stores.
It is recommended that you consume 1.0 g/kg carbs 1 hour before moderately hard exercise or 2.0 g/kg 4 hours before.
Consuming a small amount of protein before exercise (such as a glass of milk or a yogurt) can optimize recovery by providing a “ready-and-waiting” supply of amino acids after exercise.
Consuming carbohydrates during exercise can improve performance by maintaining blood sugar levels. During a moderate to hard endurance workout, carbs supply ~50% of the energy. As you deplete carbohydrates from your muscle glycogen stores, your body relies on blood sugar for energy. It is recommended that consuming 100-250 kcal (25-60 g) of carbs per hour during endurance exercise (after the 1st hour) can increase stamina – this can be mixed between carbohydrate rich foods or fluids (such as energy drinks containing carbs).


 Consuming carbohydrates  after glycogen-depleting exercise restores your muscle and liver glycogen and stimulates the release of insulin (hormone) helping to build muscles.
It is recommended to consume 1.5 g/kg immediately after exercise. If you’re not hungry it is recommended to consumer a high carbohydrate drink. Consuming carbs after your workout helps enhance the rate of muscle glycogen synthesis because the muscle cell is more likely to take up glucose, and because the muscle cells are more sensitive to the effects of insulin during this time, which promotes synthesis. Therefore eating the appropriate foods and fluids can affect your recovery.
Adding protein to a post exercise carbohydrate meal may enhance glycogen repletion. It creates better muscle refueling and building response and reduces cortisol, a hormone that breaks down muscle. Having amino acids from protein readily available, enhances the building and repairing of muscles as well as reducing muscle soreness.Peanut butter toast
It is recommended to consume 10-20 g of protein after exercise!
Now this is not a “one size fits all” set of recommendations because everybody’s body shape and size are different. Not all individuals work out at the same rate of intensity, nor for the same amount of duration. These are basic recommendations and can obviously be “tweaked” to fit your individual needs!
Happy eating and exercising!
Randi Drasin, MS, RDN
Nancy Clark “The Science of Eating for Sports Success”
Mary Dunford “Sports Nutrition: A Practice Manual for Professionals 4th Edition”


Randi’s Fitness for Kids After school program is in need of an ACRO/TUMBLING/GYMNASTICS INSTRUCTOR to teach starting in September. Interviewing begins THIS WEEK (Aug 5-9th)

Fun, energetic, bubbly personality a must. Reliable, dependable. Prior teaching a PLUS. Own transportation to classes a MUST. 3 sessions per school year 24-26 weeks of workGymnastics equipment will be supplied by Randi’s Fitness. Music (if wanted) to be supplied by instructor.

Class locations – Woodland Hills

Please contact Randi Drasin randi@randisfitness.com


Kids Need Fitness Too!

Today’s kids are soooo different from when I was a kid in the 70’s! Physical Education in school was never questioned. In elementary school we had recess and lunch time to play sports and PE everyday and then we went home to play “kick the can” and “socco” (A game like dodge ball) with the neighborhood kids! We were active all day long!
Then we went to Junior High (that was what we used to call Middle School) and High School and PE was required 5 days a week from 7th – 12th grades. Running that mile around the school was a daily commitment, but we did it and it paid off (for most of us anyway!!!) Nintendo and computer games were non-existent and we weren’t even allowed to watch TV during the day, so we had to keep active or we’d be bored out of our minds!

But today’s kids don’t have PE in elementary school because the teachers don’t want to teach it. Then they have to take it in middle school and are completely out of shape and stumped when it comes to taking the state exercise tests. Then when they get to high school it is only required to take 2 semesters of Physical Education. And in 4 years of high school chances are most kids would choose not to take it as an elective, so the end result is overweight kids leading to overweight adults! ” And being overweight can then lead to obesity which in turn can lead to diabetes and high cholesterol.

My solution to this problem has to start with you, the PARENTS!!!!!

Please, PARENTS, make your kids active. Sign them up for gymnastics, dance, soccer, basketball etc…. If your kids aren’t getting the physical education that they absolutely need in the schools, then they need outside influences to make them understand how important it is for their future! Don’t let them become couch potatoes by watching cartoons or playing their Wii all day long. I am a mother myself, I know it’s not easy and that you work, but if you make the time for this, your kids will too! My daughter took gymnastics, ballet and tap dance as a child. She came to my schools with me while I taught gymnastics and participated in the class. Now at 21 she still participates in some form of activity as it became a way of life for her.

Another important aspect of keeping your kids fit is to teach them to EAT RIGHT!

It’s amazing the foods kids eat these days and they actually think it’s nutritious. I spend my summers working with kids, teaching gymnastics and dance camps. I sit with them while they eat lunch and when I see what is stuffed into those cute little lunch boxes…..I almost pass out! Cookies and chips, rice krispy treats, fruit rolls, make our own pizza on a cracker etc… and juices filled with hundreds of grams of sugar and fat! There was not one ounce of protein or anything of nutritious value to eat!

What happened to the days of tuna, turkey or egg salad sandwiches, an apple or banana and some wheat thins? Is this a lunch of the past? Even a peanut butter and jelly sandwich is more nutritious and has protein in it! But not 1 kid had a sandwich let alone a piece of fruit! The amount of fat grams that today’s kids are consuming in one lunch is close to 100 grams not to mention the sugar grams (which turns itself into fat). If this trend continues, these kids will grow up weighing 200 pounds each (unless of course there will a few who will be lucky enough to have fast metabolisms!).


Again please try to learn the important aspects of healthy eating (see my article on “How To Read a Food Label” for your children’s sake as well as your own. There is plenty of literature on this subject all over the internet.

SEE the following web sites for information on kids and nutrition

MyPlate for Kids – for fantastic information on steps to healthier weight in kids ages 2 -5 and 6-11

Healthy Youth – Childhood Obesity by the CDC- National Center for Chronic Disease and Health Promotion

Just use common sense in reading food labels. It’s really very simple. And please try to keep your kids as active as possible. Take them out to play catch, take them bike riding, roller blading, hiking or just a 30 minute walk in the park, etc… And what’s most important…DO IT WITH THEM!!! Show them that you can be active too! Kids usually look up to their parents and emulate them. Like the old saying goes…


Fitness Facts 4 Kids!

All children, except those that are formally excused, should participate in a planned physical education program on a daily basis. The children’s activities should include instruction and participation in a variety of vigorous physical activities. It is the purpose of Randi’s Fitness for Kids to develop and maintain the highest level of physical fitness that is possible. Physical fitness should include the improvement and maintenance of the following:

The ability of the muscles to exert force through specific activities, which develop specific muscle groups and also the ability to persist in muscle activity without excessive failure.

This is performed through regular aerobic activity.

By performing warm-up and conditioning (stretching) exercises daily, the muscles and joints get full range of motion.

Randi’s Fitness for Kids FUNKY Fitness/PE Program starts with the students running 4-5 laps around the school track or yard. We then form a circle to do our warm up and stretching exercises.

Stretching and calisthenics include 25 jumping jacks, twists, sumo squats, arm stretches, side and forward lunge stretches, pushups, v-sit (holding for 10 seconds), partner sit ups, mountain climbers and an abundance of floor stretches such as butterflies, pikes, straddles, seal/cobra, kitty cat etc…

Then the activity of the day begins….soccer, basketball, volleyball, kickball, t-ball, dodge-ball, jump ropes, hoola hoops, hi lo catch, velcro catch, horse shoe, base games, ball games, tennis and badminton, bean bag games, yoga, boot camp, etc.

The children are also learning basic skills such as, bouncing a ball, passing a ball, catching a ball, kicking a ball and all types of hand-eye coordination which is extremely important for the younger children.

Randi’s Fitness for kids FUNKY Fitness/PE program was designed by me through a combination of experience in weight training, personal fitness training, kids aerobics training, coaching gymnastics and study using the LAUSD PE Guidelines Manual for K-2nd grade. All the activities that we perform on a weekly basis are designed to contribute significantly to the improvement of coordination, agility and balance in all the children that participate.

If you or your school is interested in a private PE coach or personal fitness training for children, please contact Randi’s Fitness for Kids!