Your first show or contest should be one of the most exciting and admirable achievements in your weight training career.
Just one day requires sometimes more than one year of preparation and at least 13 weeks of low-carbohydrate and mind-bending dieting, and what seems to be a lifetime of dedication, making the show seem like the easy part.
The experience is either loved or hated. It not only puts a toll on your body (muscles, joints, bones), but on your emotions as well. The hard part for many, however, is not the days leading up to the show, but the days, weeks and even months that follow. What I am referring to here is the post-show blues – the aftermath of dieting and competing, the bloating, sugar cravings and the ultimate feeling of What now?
The causes of post-show blues are plentiful, but being aware and prepared is your best defense. ALLMAX Nutrition can help. Supplementing with ISOFlex protein can help curb cravings that occur – helping to keep binges in check and making your physique one last thing you need to worry about.
Tasty recipes that will help fulfill your sweet tooth cravings can be found under the recipe section.
Now consider mood and cognitive function. ALLMAX Omega3 can help by improving your mood, memory and cognitive function, as well as maintaining a healthy cardiovascular system – all important components to a healthy dieting season.
The effects of low-carbohydrate dieting have recently been connected to mood – more specifically depression. If you just can’t seem to shake a lethargic temperament that has plagued you since your show, the following is some insight into why you may feel this way and some tips on how to avoid the feeling next time (if there is one).
How to Recognize the Symptoms of Post-Show Blues
Post-show blues exhibit signs similar to mild depression. Depression can be caused from a number of external and internal chemical factors. For the sake of competition, dieting and mood, I am going to link it to your body’s ability to produce serotonin.
Serotonin (a.k.a. 5HTP) is responsible for mood fluctuations. According to the U.S National Library of Medicine, carbohydrate consumption – acting via insulin secretion and the “plasma tryptophan ratio” – increases serotonin release, where protein alone has been shown to lack this effect. As a result, low carbohydrate/high protein dieting can be a direct cause of post-show blues, as it has a direct impact on the brain’s ability to produce serotonin.
Further research has shown that those that follow a low-fat diet with a equal ratio of carbohydrates to protein were able to maintain a healthier weight, while exhibiting an overall happier outlook. So, return to a normal diet, live a little, and follow this advice:
- Know what you are getting yourself into and understand the figure you compete with is not one that you can maintain. Accept that you will gain weight and lose definition. If you enjoyed competing, however, it will all return.
- Your body has been running on low sugar for so long it has probably forgotten what simple sugar is; therefore, your blood glucose is very sensitive and simple sugars (fruits, candies, syrups, other treats) must be introduced slowly and in moderation. Even the smallest treat can send your blood sugar soaring, making it very difficult to stop at just one.
- Enjoy life, but keep nutrition in mind. Your body, post show, is a sponge. It can and WILL absorb everything you put into it. The first couple of days to a week after your show you may be able to eat whatever you want and still look phenomenal, but the see-food diet will catch up to you, causing you to gain more weight than anticipated.
- Avoid developing a fear of food by finding your Huckleberry. This is that person that does not mind going out to eat and eat a lot. This is not your green light to hit the buffet on a regular basis, but this person is going to reinforce the fact that it is ok to treat yourself once in a while.
Your ability to live life after a show will determine whether you ever compete again. Keeping these tips in mind and ALLMAX close-by will help that rock-hard physique see the stage again.