T Nation

Yogurt for post workout insulin spike

After my workout today I ate a cup of yogurt and out of curiousity I looked at the nutritional contents on the package. Here are the important ones:

Cal 210
Fat 2g (1g sat)
Cholesterol 10mg
Carbs 39g (36 of those are sugars)
Protein 9g

This (and a whey protein shake) looks like the perfect post-workout snack. My question is, why don’t you ever hear about yogurt as a post workout supplement? Granted, it is a little expensive, and yogurt has a wimpy connotation to it… though not quite as bad as tofu. Aren’t those numbers above almost ideal for a post workout snack? This is pure speculation, but but since yogurt has a gel-like texture to it, I figure it should digest quickly… slower than a shake but much faster than normal food, so it could be the perfect complement to a protein shake as far as timing is concerned. Anyway, what does everyone think about the benefits of yogurt for T-men and T-vixens? I mean, the nutritional stats are almost perfect, but you never hear about it so I had to ask. Is it because we tend to associate yogurt with the Richard Simmons / non-weight training crowd? Thanks

I was always under the impression that yogurt was at the low end of the glycimic index, meaning very little insulin spike. May have a good ratio of macro-nutrients, just not the right “type” of cards, G.I. wise.

To further Mark’s post, yogurt gets most of its protein from casein, which “clots” in the stomach and digests slowly. Sugarfree yogurt will get its carbs from lactose, which has a relatively low glycemic index. So those two factors will mean a low glycemic index. For those calories, I assume you are getting a lot of table sugar (sucrose) added in. Actually, sugarfree yogurt should have the same macro nutritional values as milk, so think of what you are eating as a cup of milk with about 110 calories of sugar dumped into it. Whether this is what you want for postworkout is questionable–you could drink some sugared pop and a glass of milk and get about the same effect (or chocolate milk, for that matter).

Yeah I agree with Mark
Its not absorbed as quickly as you think. Its carbs wont cause the insulin spike you mentioned I have no idea about the absorbtion of its protein though (it could be incredibly fast or slow for all I know). Absorbtion is not entirely due to the viscosity of a food.
I do however think that yoghurt is a great food in general terms. Its got good levels of protein and other nutrients.

There is nothing wimpy about yogurt. I love yogurt and eat it nearly every day. I haven’t tried it as a post-workout meal. I prefer Grow! for that until Biotest releases the new post-workout drink.

But it could be a good post-workout meal. I wonder if John Berardi could comment on that!

Yogurt is not a good PW meal. Here is why. It’s GI is too low. Interesting fact…most people think that GI gives you info about insulin release. It doesnt. Insulin release is huge with yogurt (higher than white bread). But the problem is that insulin goes way up but since the GI is low, the carbs take forever to get to the blood (even longer than some foods). So although it tastes yummy and you get an insulin spike, it’s not a good choice because the insulin has no carbs to drive into the muscle.

Thanks for answering my questions about yogurt. Now I understand why it hasn’t been endorsed by anyone.

So Brian (or anyone else who cares to comment), are you saying that ALL carbs will give about the same insulin release, but they don’t all get into the blood stream at the same rate? And that the G.I. is simply a measure of how fast the carbs are absorbed into the blood? Mark

Yogurt had a HUGE insulin release? You are kidding right? I can’t believe that. And just when I thought things were going good with my diet.

John, do you plan or would you be able to share with us your findings on your insulin index? I know you had a slide of a few foods at NHB, but I can’t really read it that good, since it didn’t come out clear on paper. I am hoping that you might/will include a list of foods with there insulin index when t-mag puts your articles on the site. I am very interested in knowing your insulin index.

As for yogurt, would that be bad or ok during the massive eating carb/protein meal? Since we want to spike insulin levels that would be good, but if there are no carbs to be shuttled to our muscles than that would NOT be good.

Gosh, I attend the NHB seminar and the don’t diet/massive eating is still hard to master. Hope your articles will list good/bad food choices and also the insulin index…(yes, i keep repeating that insulin index, inquiring minds NEED to know)

OK, you’re probably wondering as I am now having reread my post, who the hell Brian is… well, I meant John, as in John M Berardi. [shrug] Cheers. Mark.

When you think about it, Johns theory on foods and the GI, while it may be completely correct, doesn’t really change where the foods are positioned on the index. Whether the GI is an indication of either a) the amount of insulin released or b) how quick carbs are drawn into the blood stream, both ocurrances will have the same effect on how quick nutrients are shuttled into muscle cells (or fat cells for that matter, I would imagine). Think about it for a while, you’ll see where I’m coming from. Haven’t got time to go into it further right now, I’m late meeting the guys down at the nudie bar…!!! [evil grin] Later…

Remember, there are no bad foods, only bad people…uh, I mean, only bad times to eat certain foods. Yogurt is great for carb+protein meals. Although the GI is low, it’s ok in this case that the carbs dont dump into the blood very rapidly. In fact it might be an advantage because insulin goes up but only gets a controlled amount of carbs per unit time to dump into muscle. You see? Most dairy products are the same (low GI and high II). So dont avoid yogurt. It’s just not ideal during pw or during fat/protein meals.

The only problem with the sugars in the yogart is that many of them are fructose. You see, fructose is very low on the glycemic index because it is absorbed only by active transport. This means that your body must use energy to absorb it. Doing this takes a considerable abount of time, comparitively. If I remember right, fructose (fruit sugar; sucrose-glucose) is about 25 on the index. Much to low for post-workout, but great for a snack.

Browncy - I couldn’t resist posting here with a little “for what it’s worth” info on yogurt, so take it as you wish. I’m current using the same substances as you all to induce an enormous amount of lean muscle growth (no steriods)on a horse. Myself, as well as others in my circle are giving our horses a product that is actually a derivative of a beneficial strain of an probiotic organism. The active ingredient is prepared from cultures of the same organism found in Kefir. One foal who was having trouble gaining weight was able to improve. Others formed a more fit and defined structure. Those with a tendency to become parasitized despite rigorous wormings were aided by the disappearence of large bloated guts. It appears to be more helpful in it’s actions during deficiency. One filly already gaining and growing on well quality feed had no effect from the supplement. To rap up, there are studies that have shown that this extract limits the activity of intestinal bacteria which break down protein, increasing protein availabilty of the diet. It’s also been proven to result in better glycogen stores in the muscles. So drink some Kefir too. You can purchase it in just about any health food store.