Pre and Post Workout Nutrition

Nutrition is about 80% of your success rate when it comes to trying to reach your health and fitness goals.  Your pre and post workout nutrition needs to be dialed in if you want to make any progress

Pre-Workout Nutrition

What you eat before your workout is crucial for fueling your body for an efficient and effective workout.  The purpose of this meal is to:

  • Reduce muscle glycogen depletion.
  • Reduce muscle breakdown.
  • Reduce post workout cortisol levels.

To accomplish this you need protein and carbs.  How much and what you have will depend largely on how close you’re eating before your workout.

If you have 60-90 minutes before your workout opt for a good solid meal of protein such as chicken, fish, egg whites, cottage cheese with some carbs such as brown rice, oatmeal or any other lower glycemic carb.

If you only have 30 minutes or less go for something a bit lighter such as yogurt and berries (low glycemic fruit) or have a good shake with a good amount of carbs and protein such as Shakeology.  You want to make sure that your body can mostly digest it before your workout so going for a liquid is best since your body doesn’t have to break it down as much in order to absorb it.

Post Workout Nutrition

The purpose of your post workout meal is to supply your body with what it needs to:

  • Replenish the muscle glycogen you used up during your workout.
  • Reduce muscle protein breakdown.
  • Repair muscle by increasing muscle protein synthesis.
  • Reduce muscle soreness.
  • Enhance recovery and reduce cortisol levels.

To accomplish this your body needs carbs and protein again.  It’s best to supply your body with these nutrients as soon as possible after your workout.  Right after your workout your body is primed and ready to accept protein and carbs so it can immediately use these nutrients to repair, recover and replenish.  Ideally you want to consume something within 30 minutes of your workout.  I like to use a recovery protein shake and a piece of fruit such as a banana.  Bananas are high glycemic which will cause your body to release insulin.  Insulin is what will bring the nutrients into the muscle cells so they can start repairing themselves.

Then within the next 2 hours sit down to a whole food meal with a good source of protein, carbs and healthy fats.  For example, a mixed green salad with chicken and potatoes dressed with balsamic vinegar and olive oil.

Fuel Your Body Work Your Body

If you’ve decided to work on your health and fitness make sure you match your nutrition to your goals.  It’s easy to go and get your workouts in but if you’re not eating properly you won’t get the results you want.  Give your body the fuel it needs before and after your workouts and get ready for some amazing results!

Heart Health

Did you know that heart disease is the number one killer in North America?  But now for the good news.  Heart disease is nearly 95% preventable!  Let’s look at how you can take care of your heart health.

Taking Care of Your Heart Heatlh

In order to keep your heart healthy, you need to monitor and keep 3 things in check: nutrition, blood sugar level and exercise.

Nutrition

What you eat, or don’t eat, directly impacts your cardiovascular health.

Your blood vessels and your heart have a cell lining called the endothelium.  These endothelial cells produce nitric oxide.  Nitric oxide causes your blood vessels to enlarge, which increases the flow of blood through those vessels and allows it to flow more easily. This prevents the blood cells from becoming sticky and forming plaques which lead to hardening of the arteries, high blood pressure and heart attacks.

In order to keep the endothelial cells healthy you need to eat lots of leafy greens because they contain a rich supply of the amino acid L-arginine.  L-arginine is the building block of nitric oxide.  You may also want to consider supplementing with supplements that support heart health.

Blood Sugar Level

Your blood sugar level is a measure of how much glucose is circulating in your bloodstream.  Things such as sugar and other simple carbohydrates drastically increase your blood sugar.

The higher your average blood sugar is, the thicker the walls of your heart become.  When these walls become thick, your heart is unable to fill with blood properly and this is called diastolic heart failure.

High blood sugar levels also cause plaque to build up inside your arteries which will increase your risk of heart attack. This plaque build-up also causes your arteries to be stiff and unable to dilate properly which means your heart has to work much harder to push blood through.  This is what high blood pressure is.

It’s easy to keep your blood glucose levels in check! 

The good news is it’s not tough to keep your blood sugar in check.  All you have to do is eat a diet that focuses on lean proteins, plenty of vegetables, some fruit, and nuts.  Limit sugar and refined flours, and cut out processed foods.

Of course you’ll need to exercise too!  Be sure to exercise several times a week; intense exercise helps to drive glucose out of your blood and into your muscles where it can be used for energy.

Exercise

Being overweight puts you at high risk for heart disease.  When you’re carrying around excess fat, your heart has to work harder.  It actually enlarges as it works harder, and as it enlarges it becomes less efficient.

I think most people recognize the importance of a well-designed cardiovascular fitness program for heart health, but did you know that strength training is important for heart health too?  When you strength train you increase the muscle mass in your body which helps to burn off extra fat, easing the burden on your heart.

A good workout program will include both cardio and strength.  Our classes at Wholey Fit include both but if you can’t make it to the studio there are many great at home programs that you can do .

Which will you choose?

The health of your heart is largely up to you and the choices that you make in regards to nutrition and exercise.  If you haven’t already, make a decision to take care of your heart now!

Interesting Health Facts!

Are You The One Standing In Your Way Of Success?

It’s easy to blame your current circumstances on pretty much anything but yourself.  Think really hard about this – are you the one standing in your way of success?

5 Signs That You’re Standing in Your Own Way

Have you ever wanted something so bad that it’s all you can think of?  Have you ever been frustrated and blamed outside circumstances for you not getting what you want?  Check out this list and see if you are the one holding yourself back.

Fear of the unknown

Trying something new to get what you want is scary for most people.  If that fear is so huge that you’re letting it stop you from pursuing what you want then the only person to blame is yourself.  It’s okay to experience fear.  In fact fear is a tell-tale sign that you are on the right path.

Fear of failure

This one stops a lot of people.  They decide to not even try to go for what they want because they fear failing at it.  If you let this fear stop you, you’ve failed without even trying.

Self-doubt

We all experience self-doubt now and then.  Turn your thinking around.  Rather than thinking about what your possible short comings are ask yourself what tools you need in order to be successful at what you want.  Once you know what you need you can acquire those tools and start working towards what you want.  When you have the right tools for your goal and the proper leadership from someone who knows how to help you there’s no way you won’t succeed.

Holding on to the past

We’ve all probably experienced something in our past that made us believe we can’t do the things we want to do.  If you hang on to that it will always hold you back and hold you down.  What happened in the past lives in the past and you need to live in the present.  Stop using the past as an excuse.  Maybe you tried to reach your goal once and failed.  That’s great!  Now you know what not to do.  Just because you weren’t able to reach your goal that one time you tried doesn’t mean you’ll never reach it.  It just means that you now know what doesn’t work and now it’s time to try something new that will work.

Lack of self-respect

How does the conversation in your head go?  Is it negative?  Do you put yourself down?  Do you tell yourself that you’re just not good enough?  Or that success was meant for others, not you?  Would you ever say the things you say to yourself to a friend?  If the answer is no, then you need to start respecting yourself and change your self-talk.  Do NOT allow yourself to get away with disrespecting yourself.

Success Is Yours

Every one of us has within us the power to succeed at anything we want.  You need to get crystal clear on what you want and then go out and get it.  Open yourself up to opportunities to get what you want.  Opportunities are all around you.  All you have to do is recognize them and then act on them.

Delicious Ways To Eat Cottage Cheese

I’ve recently decided to compete in my first figure contest!  It’s 5 months away and my coach has sent me my off-season plan.  So far the biggest changes for me is cutting wine down to once a week, cutting down on my cardio (I own an indoor cycling studio) and eat more.  Hmmmm….exercise less and eat more.  My clients would LOVE me if I told them to do that!

One thing I’ve found is it’s a bit hard to increase my protein and stay within my fat allowance so it got me looking for low fat, high protein natural foods.  One perfect one is cottage cheese!  I actually love cottage cheese so this is good news for me.  I know a lot of people don’t like cottage cheese though, so here are some delicious ways to eat cottage cheese!

Delicious Ways To Eat Cottage Cheese

  1. Add it to a salad.

Cottage cheese is awesome in a salad!  It adds a bit of creaminess and makes an ordinary salad into something that’s more like a meal.

  1. Add some fruit.

You can’t go wrong with adding some berries to cottage cheese.  Super refreshing and you get a good dose of fibre with the berries.

  1. Mix with salsa and serve with veggies.

This makes a great dip!  Thick, creamy and spicey!  Dip some veggies in it and you’ve got the perfect high protein, high fibre snack.

  1. Add some protein powder.

Add a little of your favourite protein powder to it and mix it up for a sweet treat that’s good for you.  If you want a more pudding type consistency blend it!

  1. Make protein pancakes.

Combine a quarter cup of cottage cheese with half a cup of dry oats and 2-3 egg whites.  Add in a half scoop of your favourite protein powder if desired, or try adding a tablespoon of natural peanut butter for added flavour and healthy fats.  Pour this batter onto the grill and cook as you would a normal pancake, flipping when you start to see bubbles forming.

Cottage Cheese Rocks!

So there you have it!  Lots of ways to enjoy cottage cheese even if you don’t really enjoy cottage cheese 😊