Workout Nutrition: What to Eat Before, During, and After a Workout
Nutrition makes up 70% of the results that you see in the mirror. You’ve heard it a thousand times but that doesn’t mean it’s any less true. You may already have a healthy diet and structured meal plan but are you eating the right things around your workout to ensure the best results?
Pre, intra, and post workout nutrition can dramatically impact how quickly you reach your fitness goals. Let’s take a look at the ideal workout nutrition for those who are looking to gain muscle or burn more fat.
Muscle Building Nutrition
- Before you step into the weight room, you need to make sure of two things: your muscles have energy and protection. It’s okay to eat a large meal 2 to 3 hours before your workout but up to an hour before, it’s best to keep it light and essential. Try one scoop of your favorite whey protein powder along with a natural carbohydrate source like an English muffin or cereal. The protein will provide amino acids to spare muscle tissue from breakdown and the carbs fuel your muscle tissue for the workout.
- Intra-workout nutrition should continue to provide your muscles with amino acids and a fast acting carb source for fuel. An amino acid supplement and a serving (¼ cup) of natural raisins is the best way to go. You may also want to consider using an amino acid supplement that contains creatine since it’s converted into ATP, the muscles’ preferred source of fuel.
- This is when your nutritional choices arguably matter most. You need to restore glycogen levels and provide the muscle tissue with plenty of lean muscle building aminos. Drink up one to two scoops of a whey protein isolate. You can combine this with a fast acting carbohydrate source. Maltodextrin supplements are popular but you can also use raisins or a sugar-only candy like Skittles.
Fat Loss Nutrition
- The goal is fat loss, not muscle loss so you’ll definitely want to make sure you have one scoop of your favorite whey protein, preferably one that is fat free. You want the body to focus on fat burning, not carbohydrate burning so eating a very little amount of carbohydrate pre-workout is okay. We would also recommend drinking one or two cups of green tea. You can also use a pre-workout supplement if you already have one. Make sure it has a thermogenic blend on top of the energy boosters.
- Again, you want to push your body towards fat burning so muscle protection is your top priority. Use an amino acid supplement during your workout. Preferably one that contains thermogenic ingredients such as yohimbe, green tea extract, and raspberry ketones.
- Just like with muscle building, you want to get in a high number of amino acids to further muscle development and promote fat burning. Consume one or two serving of a high quality whey protein isolate. A simple carbohydrate to replace glycogen stores is great as well. Again, natural and light like raisins.
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What are some of the workout meals that you eat to reach your goals?
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