The Importance Of Sleep for bodybuilders.
Posted by cpaddon on March 7, 2017
Sleep and bodybuilding are inseparable concepts. In fact, sleep is one of the key factors in bodybuilding. Over 90% of the growth hormone is released at night. The period of 24-48 hours (including sleep time) after a hard workout is very important. During this time muscle fiber are repaired and new are built.
Sleep for bodybuilding, as for the whole life is the main time for amino acid metabolism, protein synthesis and release of hormones. It is important to understand the phenomenon of sleep – how do hormones behave themselves, and how they are affected by exercise. But it is even more important to find out what you can do to improve sleep and accelerate recovery processes. You know that training with weights increases lean body mass, increases strength and helps get rid of excess fat. A normal human muscle growth occurs only when the protein synthesis exceeds proteolysis, its dissolution. In muscle cells, there should be a positive nitrogen balance to keep them in an anabolic state.
Training with weights accelerates the production of muscle, but without proper nutrition and reception of necessary food supplements, it is able to plunge your body in a catabolic state. The presence of amino acids is a very important factor for protein synthesis. If amino acids are at the maximum number, then protein synthesis is maximal. Since amino acids are used to repair and rebuild muscle fibers during sleep it makes sense to give your body all the key amino acids just before bedtime to prevent muscle breakdown and spur their synthesis.
That’s why slowly absorbed proteins such as milk protein isolate or casein, are very helpful to take before bedtime. They provide a steady stream of amino acids while you sleep, which is very important for regenerative processes.
Circadian rhythm also determines the intensity of the release of hormones in the body. As a bodybuilder, you are interested in maximizing the release of growth hormone, testosterone and IGF-1 during sleep. Training with weights has a powerful influence on when and how these hormones are released.
The first thing you should do is to give yourself 8-10 hours of sleep a night. Why? Even the slightest lack of sleep can affect the hormonal response of your body to training and enhance the disintegration of muscle fibers, stalling their synthesis. So what makes us sleep more at night than during the day? The pineal gland in the brain releases melatonin which is then converted into serotonin, a hormone that makes us fall asleep. In the daytime the melatonin is released less than at night.
There are four main stages of sleep, as well as the fifth, called the fast sleep. The most important for bodybuilders are three and four, called slow sleep. People who sleep in these stages for not a long time, usually wake up with muscle soreness. That is why naps do not diminish it. At the daytime it is hard to get into the third and fourth stages of sleep. Hormonal response during sleep in people who work out is different from those who live a sedentary lifestyle.
For example, studies have shown that people who work out have lower release of growth hormone in the first half of sleep, and greater at the second one, in contrast to passive people who have it vice versa. Usually, testosterone levels are low at the beginning of sleep, even when sleeping pills are taken, and they rise in the morning. The same thing happens with cortisol. Again, exercises, sleep and bodybuilding can change this situation by providing high levels of cortisol in the first half of the night and lowering them in the second.
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