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
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!