What To Eat Before And After A Workout

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When it comes to working out -- particularly for those into bodybuilding -- nutrition is very essential. How you fuel your body can greatly affect your performance during workouts, as well as the ability of your muscles to recover and replenish energy afterward. While many typically put much importance on post-workout nutrition, what you eat before an intense physical activity is also crucial to your athletic performance. Here are some of the things you need to know when it comes to investing in your pre and post workout nutrition.

Pre-Workout Nutrition

Knowing what to eat before you workout is as important as the actual workout. Knowing how to eat to fight fat loss on a daily basis is necessary for permanent weight loss. Food gives us a great source of vitamins, proteins, fats, carobs, and energy to nourish our bodies. Everything you eat and drink impacts your body in a positive or negative way. Follow these tips before each workout and you will be maximizing your fat burning with every workout.

Pre-workout nutrition what should you eat before you workout includes:

Water

Drink a full 8oz glass of water before your workout. If you're working out to your maximum you're going to sweat. So hydrate your body before your workout to help your body release fats and oils through your skin.

Carbohydrates

It is ok to eat some carbohydrates that will give you a burst of energy to push you through your workout.

Fat

Fat is OK too but make sure your eating good fats like eggs and nuts. You don't want to eat heavy fats with no nutritional value like pop tarts, bagels, donuts, and muffins.

Protein

Of course, you want to add protein, very important. Protein gives you the stamina to get the most out of your workout.

For maximum fat loss, you should eat a healthy balanced meal that will digest quickly and provide you with energy before your workout. Make your life easier by planning your pre-workout nutrition meals ahead of time. Planning ahead will save time and stop you from making unhealthy choices.

Post-Workout Nutrition

Are you struggling to lose weight or gain muscle, despite hours spent in the gym? Your post-workout nutrition could be the problem. After an intense workout, your body enters a catabolic state. In this catabolic state, your muscle glycogen is depleted and increased cortical levels begin to break down muscle tissue.

In order to counteract this and promote an anabolic state, you need to fuel your body with the proper nutrients. An after workout meal high in quickly digestible protein and carbohydrates provides the amino acids needed for muscle repair and spike your insulin level, which helps transport nutrients to your muscles.

Protein is Essential

A high-quality whey protein is a vital part of your post workout nutrition. Make sure to include 20-25 grams of whey protein in your post-workout meal. As mentioned above, whey protein will provide the amino acids needed to repair the damage done to your muscle during your workouts.

After your initial dose of protein, eat 20g of protein every 3 hours or so to maximize muscle repair. Research has shown that exercise stimulates muscle building for up to 48 hours after exercise. Why should you care about building muscle if your goal is weight loss? The reason is simple, the more muscle you have, the more calories you will burn each day. Increased muscle increases your resting metabolic rate.

Another tip, eat 20g of protein before going to bed. Without the protein, your body will enter a catabolic state overnight. In that catabolic state, your body basically cannibalizes your muscle, undoing the work you put in earlier in the day!

Essential Amino Acids

Make sure you get at least 10g of essential amino acids in your protein doses. You can check the label of the whey product you use to learn the amount of EAA's that it contains. Of that 10g, at least 4g should be the specific EAA, Lucien. Lucien opens the pathway in the body where protein synthesis occurs. By helping this pathway, Lucien helps with better overall muscle development.

Carbohydrates

Do you want to lose weight or build muscle? The answer to that question will determine whether or not you need carbohydrates with your protein.

If you are trying to lose weight, then limit or eliminate carbohydrates from your post workout meal. Many people will tell you that you need the carbohydrates with the protein to spike insulin, which helps transport the nutrients to your muscles. But whey protein has proven to elicit a high insulin response on its own, making carbohydrates an optional part of a post-workout meal. Keep in mind, other types of protein, like casein and soy; do not elicit the same insulin response.

If your goal is to build muscle, then you may want to add some quickly digestible carbohydrates to your post-workout meal. You may find this funny, but a quality carbohydrate option could be gummy bears!

This product is high in carbohydrate dextrose, which is a quickly digesting carbohydrate that will increase insulin response. It will help restore the muscle glycogen that is depleted during exercise.

If you are an endurance athlete or you have just completed a large volume of intense training, then it is advisable to add some level of quickly digestible carbohydrates to your post-workout nutrition no matter what your workout goal is.

Avoid Caffeine

Caffeine has been proven to raise your cortical levels.

Why do you care about cortical levels?

Cortical is nicknamed the stress hormone because cortical levels are elevated when you are in a stressed state. Cortical inhibits your recovery and can actually stimulate fat storage in your body! You need to clear cortical from your system as soon as possible. An effective way to do that is to take 2g to 10g of vitamin C post workout.

What are you putting into your body before or after a workout? Proper nutrition can vastly improve your results from resistance and/or cardiovascular training.

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