A Guide to Pairing Nutrition with your Workout
We know that you’re no stranger to hard work (especially this time of year!) But what’s the point of working hard if you’re not doing it efficiently?
Getting to the gym/outside for your workout is only half the battle, the other half is knowing how to properly fuel yourself to maximize muscle growth and recovery, as well as when and how much? It can seem overwhelming, but don’t you fret—we’ve got your easy-to-follow guide right here!
Believe it or not, there are three distinct parts to proper workout nutrition:
- Pre workout
- Post workout
- Post post workout
Pre workout meal:
This meal is best consumed about 60-90 minutes before your workout with the goal of fueling your body to get through your workout. Basically, when it comes to gearing up for exercise, carbs are your new BFF because they provide quick energy. If you typically work out first thing in the morning, it’s better to skip this one or have a small piece of fruit. Otherwise, help yourself to a smoothie or some whole wheat toast with a little peanut butter and some sliced banana and cinnamon. Just remember to have a good balance of complex and simple carbs so your body can release energy in a slow and steady way. And don’t forget the water! It’s best to get your body hydrated before you even get to the gym.
Post Workout Meal
This is the meal you have as soon as possible after your workout- usually in the form of a protein-based smoothie or acai bowl. Remember to hydrate asap and eat as soon as possible. When we exercise, we create small tears in our muscle fibers, protein provides the building blocks of muscle tissue and helps speed along your body’s recovery mechanism (especially after weight training.) To figure out how much you need, take your target body weight and multiply by .25 for your protein intake, and .25 for your carbs.
Post Post Workout Meal
This is usually a meal with a good balance of proteins, fats, and carbohydrates. Try a veggie omelet with avocado and roasted potatoes or a piece of salmon with sweet potato and a side salad. And above all, listen to your body because everyone is different and will have specific needs and preferences. If you typically eat a balanced diet with lots of colors and variety- you’re going to do just fine.