In this blog post, I want to talk about fueling your workouts to make your workout the best and more efficient workout possible.
In order to fuel our workouts we must look to food as fuel.
When we look to food as fuel, our body will get the energy that it needs to perform and function properly during the workout. It will also help to restore and rebuild any muscle the glycogen levels that have been depleted after your killer workout.
So let’s first talk about pre workout nutrition.
Carbs are your body’s number one preferred energy source. So we need carbs in order to give us the energy that we need. If you don’t have carbs, you are going to essentially “hit the wall” in your workout. Which means you might get really tired, really quickly, and you won’t be able to sustain your energy for as long as you want to.
So especially for my endomorphs (aka those who hold onto fat very easily), because we tend to carry a lot more fat due to our carb intake; we want to use every carb as efficiently as possible. And the best way to do that is immediately having it before and after the workout.
But let’s just talk about before right now. We also need protein before our workout, why?
Protein helps us to restore and rebuild any muscle tissue that is broken down during our workout, and help us rebuild new muscle tissue after the workout is over.
So making sure that you have a higher carbohydrate meal with protein, three to four hours before your workout is key. If it has been longer than three to four hours and you need a quick snack, make sure it is a faster digesting or higher glycemic snack, at least 30 minutes before your tackle your next workout.
There are three things I need you to avoid when it comes to pre workout nutrition.
#1 High Fiber Foods.
It takes a long time for your body to digest, so if consumed immediately before a workout, you will have some digestive issues during the workout and that does not sound pretty.
#2 High fat foods.
It tends to sit in the stomach resulting in lethargy and sluggishness, because converting fats into energy is a much lengthier process than turning carbs into energy.
#3 High sugar foods.
It provides a quick rush of energy, bit it is so quickly processed in the body that the energy disappears long before the workout ends.
Some examples for great pre workout snacks are: Steel cut oats with peanut butter and banana, dried fruit and almonds, hard boiled eggs, brown rice and a wrap with turkey and tomato.
Now let’s talk about post workout nutrition.
So now that you have done a killer workout, you have sweated and you a dripping in sweat and — your body is completely depleted of all its glycogen levels or energy — and we need to think about restoring that backup. We need to get our body to rebuild the muscle tissue that has been broken down. So, we have to look again at carbs and protein.
But this time we need to have a 3:1 ratio of carbs to protein.
You also want to make sure you consume protein and carbs within 30 minutes of your workout. If you wait up to an hour or more after your workout, you risk losing muscle, and you risk losing the effectiveness of your actual workout, if you don’t replenish your glycogen stores as quickly as possible. Which is why post workout nutrition is so vital in order to make sure your workout is doing what you want it to do for your body.
Now where are a few things I don’t want you to have after your workout.
#1 Low Carb
Carbohydrates are a must to replace stores of glycogen that can be used for energy in your future workouts.
#2 Calorie Bombs
You may think because you work out intensely you can eat tons of calories after your workout but just remember your goal at the end of the day. If you end of having a caloric surplus, your workout will do you no good and may make you gain weight.
#3 High Fat
Having a high fat meal may affect the replenishment of glycogen stores. It will slow down digestion and the conversion of carbs into glucose. Which means less glycogen will be available for your next training session.
#4 Lone Veggies
This is the only time where you might hear me to say to skip veggies. Veggies are important for your micro nutrients for overall health, but they lack the macro nutritional necessities for a post workout meal.
Some examples for great post workout snacks are: Protein shake and sweet potato, chicken and brown rice, hard boiled eggs and fruit.
Now just remember pre and post workout nutrition, we need carbs and protein to fuel our workouts most effectively.
I hope this blog post helped! My goal is to help you MASTER your nutrition and workouts so that you can finally get the body, health, and happiness you’ve always wanted!