PRE-WORKOUT & POST-WORKOUT RULES
The last thing you want to do is not eat at all before your workout because you risk breaking down your muscle. Therefore, carbs are the best beforehand. You want every gram of Carb you consume to be utilized as an immediate fuel source for energy. Avoid eating Fats immediately before your workout because they take longer to digest which may take away from the energy needed to build your muscles. And don’t forget to hydrate with at least 5-10 ounces of water!
- 3-4 hours Pre-workout: Eat a complex carb, lean meat, and veggies. This may be chicken, salmon, turkey, sweet potato, quinoa, brown rice, oatmeal, eggs, broccoli, or mixed veggies.
- ½ hour Pre-workout: Eat a snack of carbs & protein. This may be a granola or protein bar, greek yogurt, almonds, or even beef jerky.
There is a window of time (about 30 minutes) after you exercise in which your muscles will accept the nutrients you consume and utilize them for recovery and energy storage. The main source that is crucial for tissue growth and repair is Protein. How much you need depends on your body size and activity level. You can calculate it by following these steps here. In addition, research has indicated that a combination of Whey and Casein protein are best because Whey is a fast digesting protein & Casein is a slow digesting protein. So make sure to get your protein shake within 30 minutes after leaving the gym! In addition, you want to get some Carbs afterwards. Don’t be afraid to add some simple carbohydrates (like a handful of gummy bears, dextrose, multidextrose) directly after your workout to help restore glycogen levels and transport nutrients into the muscle cells for continued muscle growth. Keep in mind that fruit sources are not a good source for post-workout carbs because they have a low glycemic index.
- Within 30 minutes Post-workout: Drink a protein shake and eat a simple carb (so it can digest quickly and promote faster recovery).
- 2 hours Post-workout: Eat a complex carb, lean protein, and veggie.