Pre and post workout nutrition are extremely vital to obtaining amazing results from your training.
I get sick when I ask folks what they had before their workout and the answer is “Nothing” or “I grabbed some fast food.”
Fueling your body with nothing or bad fuel will lead to a lame performance in the gym. Bad fuel or no fuel will also not allow you to build the body you want.
I will guarantee you that whether you want to lose belly fat, build bigger arms, or develop an incredible overall physique, that those goals will never be attained without the proper nutrition.
I used to be the guy who would have a cot dang hot dog and a high sugar energy drink pre-workout followed by a number 2 from the local fast food drive-thru post-workout.
This led to lackluster results and stagnant performances. I was going nowhere fast like someone wasting time on a treadmill.
Why Do I Need Fuel Before I Workout?
Knowing how to properly fuel for a workout is a game changer. It is one the main factors that separate those who make progress vs. those who are stuck in neutral and soon to be in reverse.
What you consume before you train is the fuel for your training session.
The best way to protect yourself from using muscle as fuel and to start the recovery process is to have the proper nutrition before and after you workout.
When you train hard you break down muscle. The muscle building process takes place in the days after you train a muscle.
Strength training, sprinting, or any other high-intensity activity uses glycogen as fuel. Glycogen is stored in your body when you eat carbohydrates.
When you do not properly fuel up before you train your performance in the gym will suffer and it will become very hard to make solid progress.
Timing is big when it comes to food consumption especially with carbohydrates. Carbs will either be stored as fat or be used for energy or recovery.
By eating them at the right time you ensure that they are being used for the right reason which is building your dream body.
What Kind Of Carbs Should I Eat Before My Workout?
Before you begin training you will want to consume carbs that will provide you with longer lasting energy.
Complex carbs like brown rice, sweet potatoes, or oats will fit the bill. Having them along with a source of protein is ideal pre-workout.
Simple carbs like jasmine rice or a regular potato could also be used although you may find that your energy does not go as far as it would when consuming the complex carbs. You will need to see what works for you.
The amount of food that you eat will vary based on your goals. A lifter or an athlete looking to maximize their muscle growth will have a different food input than lifters or athletes looking to lose body fat.
When Should I Eat Pre-Workout?
Your metabolic rate will be the determining factor on how far out in advance you will eat.
Based on how fast your food digests, this meal will typically be consumed between 1-3 hours before you train based on the size of the meal.
After training your body needs to recover and rebuild the broken down muscle tissue. This is done through consuming nutrients that are primarily simple carbohydrates and protein.
What Kind Of Carbs Should I Eat After My Workout?
The fastest way to start the recovery process would be to have a protein shake and then adding a simple carbohydrate powder to the shake. The protein and the carbs in this shake will help you recover from the training session that just occurred.
You could also consume faster-digesting carbohydrates such as jasmine rice, pasta, or a regular potato.
Yes, you have heard all the bogus, bad things about simple carbs in the media. The fact of the matter is that while the average American couch potato does not need to eat big amounts of simple carbohydrates, a hard training lifter or athlete can use them to speed up their recovery process by consuming them post-workout.
The goal here is to deliver glycogen to your muscles as fast as possible to start the recovery process.
Simple carbohydrates will accomplish this goal but the amount that you have will be goal dependent.
If you are someone who is looking to lose a lot of body fat and your metabolism is slow, you will have a lower amount of carbs when your workout is over.
I’m not a huge proponent low carb dieting. But I do understand that in short controlled bouts it can be extremely effective for losing body fat.
The leaner you get the more carbs you can consume without gaining body fat. That line made you smile!
The bottom line is that the majority your day’s food should be centered around your workout. Aiming to eat most of your food in the 4-5 hours before you workout and the 4-5 hours after you workout will allow you to maximize your muscle growth, athletic performance, and recovery processes.
By getting your pre and post-workout nutrition down to a science you can truly build your dream body.
Training is important, but it will be not be anywhere near optimal without sound nutrition.
I’ll holla at you next time
The People’s Trainer
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