Guide to Pre and Post Workout Eating

pre-post-heading

There is no question that training for a race is physically and mentally demanding – and fueling your body with proper nutrition is critical. Two of the most critical times for taking in proper nutrition are right before your workout session and immediately afterwards.

Why Do I Need these Pre and Post-Workout Meals?

The pre-exercise meal/snack will help provide your muscles with the fuel they need to perform vigorous exercise as well as help offset any muscle breakdown. Plus it will keep you from feeling weak and lightheaded.
The meal after the workout serves to supply your body with new energy that it will use to either refill its muscle glycogen stores or to repair and rebuild the damaged muscle tissues. In addition, a small meal before and after a workout greatly revs up your metabolism. If you skip this important meal you will drastically jeopardize the results you could see from your workout.

 

The Pre-Workout Meal-
bread-jamis to fuel the muscles for the upcoming activity. When you come in fueled, you will get more out of your workout, you will burn body-fat without breaking down muscle. What you choose to consume during this meal is largely dependent upon the time of the day that you work out.
For the morning workout a liquid meal is often the best option as you won’t have a lot of time to digest the food before you hit the gym. Some people may simply have a hard time tolerating solid food first thing in the morning, thus they do better with a meal replacement shake. Another great idea if you don’t like shakes is a piece of fruit or some bread and jam or peanut butter.
If you exercise in the afternoon or evening, you can follow pretty much the same guidelines. However, since you have more time to play with a true meal 60-90 min before the workout is sufficient. Try to take in this snack 15-20 minutes before your workout. Maybe even 30 min or more….see how your body responds and eat snack at the appropriate time for you.
Pre Workout Snack Options:

post-workout-fuel

  • Protein Shake (look for all natural ingredients and 50-75% carbs, 50-25% protein – I recommend IsaLean Shakes as it has all natural pre-metabolized whey protein)
  • Banana with scoop of nut butter
  • An easy ‘Go-to’ are a quality whey protein bar. IsaLean bars are my personal choice, they supply carbohydrates to fuel muscle but also have the highest quality whey protein and SOO convenient at 6am!
  • 1 Scoop of a pre-metabolized protein powder in a water bottle with regular ol water, coconut water or almond milk
  • Yogurt (not the diet or light kind) – this is actually one of my favorites.
  • Banana and whole grain granola bar
  • Piece of ezekial toast or bread with peanut butter or jam
  • Dry whole grain cereal with fruit
*BONUS – for increased all natural energy try adding an E+ energy shot 30 minutes before your workout (increases stamina, focus and energy without the post coffee crash)!

*Note: Pre-Metabolized basically means it is a ready fuel source your body can immediately convert to energy!

 

Post-Workout Meal

post-workout

As I said above, the post-workout meal serves to replenish muscular glycogen stores as well as to help provide the amino acids your muscles need to repair and rebuild themselves after being broken down through strength training activities. Contrary to popular belief, this meal will actually help your body burn more calories as it keeps your metabolism at peak performance. Your body burns more knowing it is not going into starvation mode. It is always best for you to try and consume this meal as soon as possible after your workout as there is a critical window of opportunity when the muscles are more receptive to taking in the nutrients. Many people choose to also consume a shake for this meal as it is easily transported to the gym so you can have it on your way out.


In this meal a higher carbohydrate amount is recommended. This not only replaces the energy you just expended but also provides your body with the energy required to synthesize new muscle tissue. Shorting yourself at this point will be very detrimental to your results so it is of utmost importance that you don’t skimp on carbohydrates during this meal. If you are one of the individuals who tends to fear carbohydrates, thinking they will be stored as body fat, you can rest assured that eating them immediately after a workout is the one time of the day when they will not be stored as body fat.
Post Workout Snack Options
  • WHEY protein is particularly effective at halting muscle breakdown refueling and rebuilding muscle
  • Whole Grain Waggle topped with Plain Greek Yogurt and Fruit
  • Tuna with whole wheat crackers or toast
  • Banana with scoop of nut butter
  • Greek Yogurt and Berries
  • Orange and Nuts (specific, yes, a great combination)
  • Quality Protein Bar (recommend IsaPro Isagenix)
  • Chia Pudding (1-2 tablespoon chia seeds mixed into almond milk and thickened overnight in the fridge)
  • ½ cup oatmeal with apples and cinnamon
  • 2 Hard Boiled eggs with hummus and raw veggies
  • Cottage Cheese and blueberries (on a slice of whole wheat or ezekial toast)

To sum up, you should consume a lean protein source, from meat or from protein powder depending on your needs and preferences and then a simple carbohydrate source.Try incorporating pre and post workout meals into your next workout. It may take some time to get used to it, but I am confident you will reap impressive results in no time. These meals are just about as important as the actual work you do in the gym in terms of the progress you are going to see – the nutritional portion is not something to take lightly.

Have favorites, leave your comments below this article and let me know.
If you want more information, get access to my nutrition blackbook and full Fit Strong and Sexy Diet guide HERE!
Love,
Amanda

Comments

comments