Along with my love for nutrition, I am also a fitness lover, most mornings you will find me at Fit Factory starting my day off with a workout. Throughout my own practice I have had clients come to me struggling to meet their goals, not because they are not working hard, but because they are overlooking the role nutrition plays. If you are serious about seeing results, then you need to know the best things to consume before, during, and especially after your workout to make optimal change.
Below I delve into the details as to why this saying holds truth:
What you need before or after a bootcamp or strength and conditioning workout:
Pre-workout nutrition improves your ability to train a little harder and a little longer, effectively increasing the volume of your training. You should eat your pre-workout meal at least 90 minutes before exercise. Post-workout nutrition is just as important because it helps your body recover faster and generates muscle tone in order to improve your physique.
To make sure your efforts at the gym aren’t going to waste, you must consume a pre and post workout meal containing protein and carbohydrates:
1. Protein: It’s not just for the body-building pros; this nutrient is important for anyone who wants to maintain a healthy body. You need protein for your blood cells, which bring nutrients and oxygen to your muscles and help minimize muscle damage during your workouts. When you exercise, you are effectively tearing and breaking muscle fibres apart, which then need to be repaired by the body through protein intake. Protein also encourages the growth of muscles – the more muscle you gain, the faster your metabolism gets, which results in greater fat loss. One of my favorite protein powders is by Progressive and is by far one of the cleanest whey and vegan protein powders out on the market.
2. Carbs: consuming carbohydrates before a workout helps give us the needed energy to power through our workouts (because fainting in the middle of class is no fun). Carbs are also necessary during the post-workout period in order to replace muscle glycogen (the storage form of carbohydrates) and improve recovery. Like a sponge, we draw in all that glycogen much more easily immediately after a training session.
If you are serious about wanting to get stronger, shed fat, and build muscle, it’s important to consume protein and carbs within 30-45 minutes after your workout. For general health, timing is not as important; however, the longer you wait to eat, the hungrier you get, and the more likely you will overeat or choose unhealthy foods. Smoothies offer a faster method of delivering protein and carbohydrates to the muscle, which betters your chances for muscle building and recovery.
Supplements during your workouts (AKA Intra Workout):
BCAAs – is an acronym for Branched-Chain Amino Acids, which form a class of essential amino acids. Amino acids bond together to make long chains, and that’s what we call a protein! The reason why certain amino acids are called “essential” is because our bodies cannot manufacture them so they must be consumed through our diet.
When we talk about BCAAs, we are referring to three amino acids in particular: Leucine, Isoleucine, and Valine. These key players help prevent muscle breakdown and promote recovery and muscle gains, as well as enhance your endurance. When you consume BCAAs in supplement form, they require no digestion, and are rapidly absorbed into the bloodstream, reducing markers of muscle damage and soreness, as well as accelerating the recovery of muscle function. This is an ideal supplement to take if you are routinely lifting weights and want that hard work to pay off!
I really like Precision BCAA which provides 7 grams of pure pharmaceutical grade branched chain amino acids in every scoop. It contains an ideal 2:1:1 ratio of L-Leucine, L-Isoleucine and L-Valine to help you maximize fat loss and speed up muscle gain.
How to use it? Add one scoop of BCAAs into your workout drink per hour of training. We offer 2 tasty flavours that can be mixed into your water bottle (use at least 20 oz of water for best flavour).
Pre workout supplements for an energy boost:
It comes as no surprise to me that every client I work with is deficient in many nutrients. When you are not consuming a variety of foods, eating non-organic, or not eating enough, odds are you are missing out on important vitamins and minerals needed to help your body function at it’s full potential. You experience symptoms like feeling lethargic, foggy headed, scattered, hormonal issues, blood sugar swings, etc. This is the reason I chose Progressive’s VegeGreens powder because each small scoop provides the nutrient equivalent of 6 to 8 servings of fresh vegetables! This supplement helps to increase energy, renew mental clarity, cleanse the body, strengthen immunity, and support the heart, liver and digestive health.
Progressive’s PhytoBerry supplement is specifically designed to offer the equivalent nutrient content of 6 to 8 servings of fresh fruit! Helping to boost energy levels, balance blood sugar, enhance brain function and improve digestive function.
How to use it? Mix a scoop into a bottle of water (at least 16oz) and sip at least 30 min before your workout for a natural boost of energy. I also recommend these to clients who struggle with meeting their fruit and vegetable intake.
And there you have it! Train hard, eat smart, and watch your body transform.
If you are looking for more customized nutrition and advice, book your complimentary phone call with me to help get you started!
This article previously appeared on www.fitfactoryfitness.com.