Nutrition is the key to 70% of the results that you can visibly see when you look into a mirror. You are constantly seeing updates on new super foods while you try your best to make healthy choices at the store. When it comes to putting theory into practice, it can be a bit overwhelming given all of the information out there. Let’s review 4 easy tips for planning the timing of your nutrition around your workouts.
Regardless of whether you’re exercising to lose weight, build muscle, or boost strength, you need to consume protein in the morning. The amino acids in protein help to protect your muscle tissue while promoting recovery and growth. After the 8 to 12 hour fast from the night before, your muscles are looking to be fed. What’s more, if you’re trying to lose weight, protein is the best macronutrient to satisfy appetite, meaning you’ll eat fewer calories throughout the day.
A few hours before your workout is when you should be eating a serving or two of complex carbohydrates. There are two types of carbohydrates: Complex and Simple. Whether a carbohydrate is complex or simple depends on the speed at which it is digested and assimilated into the body. If a carb breaks down quickly and provides an immediate supply of glucose, it’s simple. If, on the other hand, it takes hours to break down, providing a steady stream of glucose, then it’s complex. You’ll want to eat complex carbs 2 to 3 hours before your planned workout. Here are a few great choices:
This one is especially important for weight lifters: If your focus is on building muscle mass, then you need to be taking a serving of fast acting simple carbs halfway through your workout. The immediate supply of glucose provides your muscle tissue with energy. It also helps to curb the release of cortisol, a catabolic hormone. Here are a few great ideas for fast acting carbs that you can bring to the gym:
The most important nutrition tip you should be following is what you do after the workout ends. 30 to 60 minutes post-workout, you must be ingesting a fast acting protein. The ideal way to do this is to drink a whey protein isolate shake. Isolate protein is completely bioavailable and it’s quick to get those amino acids into the muscle tissue. If you’re a vegetarian or vegan, use a plant-based protein powder. You don’t want to eat vegetables as the fiber will slow down digestion, ensuring you miss your window of opportunity for maximum assimilation.
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