Gone Liftin’, along with any established and credible soure, always tries to beat it into your heads the importance of proper nutrition – it trumps everything in a healthy lifestyle! Eating clean throughout the day is just one piece of the puzzle, though – But what about around workout time? Is it a free-for-all of clean eating around workout time, same as it is during the day? Yes and no. We want to discuss the importance of proper pre and post-workout nutrition, so that we can optimize our workout time so that our workout time can optimize our body composition and strength goals.
You can find tons and tons of information on what to consume before the gym and after the gym, but we wanted to talk about this article we found from GeneticWar.com, called What to Eat Pre & Post Workout. We MUST know what to put in our bodies before the gym and after the gym – no if’s and’s or but’s!
But in addition to maintaining energy, it’s also important to provide your body with the right nutrients. Your muscles, for example, require protein in order to recover and grow. On the other hand, cardiovascular exercise depletes your body of important vitamins and nutrients. You can see how these things are all connected!
When it comes to working out, there’s a lot of confusion out there about what you should and should not eat. I’m going to clear up some of the confusion and give you some great options for what to eat before and after a workout. If you can get this right, you’ll see amazing improvements in your weight loss and fitness efforts!
Before you hit the gym, you’re gonna want some sustained energy. Consuming slow-digesting, complex carbs, as well as protein, is what we are after here. You need these nutrients to stay fueled and focused. Something like brown rice, oatmeal, or fruits and veggies will do the trick as far as complex carbs go. For protein, a slow-releasing protein like Casein is what you will want to ingest. Gone Liftin’ has an article titled The Protein Manifesto, which lists the differences amongst the proteins in the world, and you should get familiar with them…
The main focus of your pre-workout meals should be protein and complex carbohydrates. These are the basic nutrients your body needs to stay fueled and energized throughout your workout. Even if you work out relatively early in the morning, you need to eat for adequate nutritional support.
Gettin proper energy for your workouts will greatly increase your performance in the gym. You don’t want to workout depleted and not at 100%
This one is key! What you ingest after the gym is crucial for restoring your glycogen and starting protein synthesis. You have a window of about 40 minutes to an hour after your workout to get the most out of your post-workout nutrition! The first thing on your list should be a fast absorbing protein, such as Whey. Essential Amino Acids, as well as BCAAs, should also be added to provide quicker recovery to your tired muscles.
Your body also needs more carbs at this time to get your energy level back up, and also to aid in the digestion of your protein. Some great post-workout meal options include eggs or egg whites with whole grain whole what toast, fat-free Greek yogurt with berries, or oatmeal topped with a banana and some chopped nuts
Though we agree with the above mentioned carb sources as healthy, the post-workout carb methods should be slightly different, in our opinion. Immediately post-workout, Gone Liftin’ subscribes to the theory that simple sugars should be ingested, in order to produce a high insulin spike to allow the protein to absorb faster into your muscles, beginning protein synthesis and recovery right away. Something like pure Dextrose sugar, or Chocolate Milk, has been shown to be one of the best post-workout carb sources. Some clean, complex carbs may also be consumed about an hour or so after the workout, to replenish the depleted glycogen stores even more.
An important note:
No matter what you eat before and after a workout, it’s important to keep your blood sugar levels as consistent and balanced as possible. This means avoiding processed foods and foods high in sugar and bad fat. Keep it healthy, and keep your body fueled!
Well said, GeneticWar, well said…
This just about covers getting you started with the important concept of pre and post-workout nutrition. Don’t neglect this component, as it is critical to all of our goals!