Workout Nutrition. The Ultimate Guide
We're more concerned than ever with maximizing our workout efforts and getting the fastest results. Effective workouts demand complete nutritions, and these simple guidelines will help make the right choices to refuel the body.
Recovery time is critical
Recovery should be thought of as a window of opportunity.
Approximately 30 minutes after cardio, the body is optimized to replenish its energy stores - muscle and liver glycogen.
For strength training, the window is expected up to 2 hours post-workout.
Muscle protein synthesis occurs, setting off muscle tissue recovery and repair, replacing fluids, and helping the body adapt to the stresses of the workout.
Strength training cardio
Building lean muscle requires a ready supply of protein for tissue repair. The more intense your efforts, the more protein you'll need.
Carbs give you the energy to power through an intense workout. Carbohydrates should constitute 75% of a pre-workout meal, and protein should constitute 25%. 1-2 hours prior to strength training, consume protein in order to have an adequate reserve for the upcoming workout. The amount of protein required is based on body weight, intensity level, length of workout, gender.
Carbohydrates should constitute 75-100% of a pre-workout meal. carbs are metabolized into glucose (energy) very quickly. Your pre-workout meal should be consumed between 30-60 minutes before hitting the gym. Add protein and fiber to deliver a steadier supply of energy throughout the workout and prevent fatigue resulting from consuming only carbs.
Recent studies suggest taking in around 10-20 grams of high-quality protein within 2 hours after strength training is usually enough to jumpstart recovery and prevent muscle loss.
They are generally optimal to consume 30-60 minutes prior to either a strength training or cardio workout.
Also good to consume post-workout. Examples include whole foods like (whole grains, vegetables, fruits, beans).
High GI carbs release sugar very quickly, providing a quick but brief energy boost.
Best to consume before an intense cardio workout. Examples include (white bread, white rice, packaged snacks).
- Pre-workout choices
Your pre-workout meal should include low Gi carbs to give you the energy you'll need, and protein-rich foods to store in reserve.
Egg white omelette with spinach, whole grain toast, and skim or soy milk.
Smoothie of protein powder, soy or skim milk, high Gl fruits-such as mango, peach, or pineapple - and flax seed.
Greek yogurt with banana, walnuts, apples, and honey.
Eat a small snack to help boost blood sugar levels, especially if your cardio workout is before your first meal or between meals.
Whole, mixed grain hot cereal with raisins and walnuts, skim, milk, and honey.
Scrambled egg whites in a whole grain pita with a sliced apple.
Fruit smoothie made with soy or milk, ice, banana, strawberries, and honey or brown sugar.
Greek yogurt parfait with layers banana, peaches, and granola.
- Post - workout
After a workout, dietary protein is more readily used for muscle building, rather than fat storage.
A protein shake or meal within of a workout will give your body what it needs to build lean muscle.
Although many believe consuming a protein drink during a strength-training workout is best for building muscle, no significant evidence supports this.
After a workout, hydration is the the main goal.
A significant amount of water is lost through perspiration.
Pure water is the best source of hydration for the average exerciser.
Sports drinks like Gatorade and Powerade replenish lost electrolytes, but contain large amounts of sugar and calories.
Only athletes may need the extra electrolytes that make sports drinks worth the sugar and calories.
Generally, the average workout doesn't demand the extra calories and electrolytes in sports drinks.
Coconut water is a great alternative to sports drinks, offering lots of potassium and magnesium, which restores your electrolytes.
Also, after a tough cardio session, your energy resources may need replenishing with a carb-rich snack or meal.
- Post - workout choices
Protein and carbohydrates are needed after a workout to help repair muscles, replenish the body's glycogen stores, and prevent muscle soreness.
Chocolate protein shake with protein powder, skim or soy milk, and a banana.
Half an avocado stuffed with cottage cheese and tomato.
Spinach salad with a sliced chicken breast.
Whole foods are the best choice because they offer complete nutrition.
They provide many micronutrients and essential fiber and help keep you feeling satiated.
Best whole food choices: they contain complete, high quality protein and provide nearly every essential vitamin and mineral (eggs, turkey, chicken breast, cottage cheese, fish, low-fat milk, Greek yogurt).
The key here is to replace both carbohydrates and electrolytes lost during a workout.
Banana sliced lengthwise and spread with peanut or almond butter.
Mango smoothie with mango chunks, vanilla yogurt, ice, and honey.
Sliced apple with a handful of walnuts.
Whole grains, fruits & veggies are the best sources of carbs for a workout.
Again, whole foods are best, but smoothies and shakes are a good quick fix
- Best protein carb combo
Chocolate milk has been found to be one of the best post-workout options. Choose low-fat to avoid excess fat and sugar consumption. Consume 8 oz. to obtain necessary nutrients pot-workout.
It provides an optimal balance of carbs and protein and is recommended for both strength and cardio training.
- What about nutrition circuit training?
Circuit training, combining strength training with periods of cardio work, requires just a few adjustments.
Have your protein 2-3 hours before your workout.
30-60 minutes before your workout, have a carb-rich snack, such as piece of fruit and slice of toast, or a mango smoothie.
- Post-workout + 30-60 minutes
Drink plenty of water and have a post-strength training meal with an extra carb, such as a piece of fruit. After training, replenish with 3:1 ratio of carbohydrates and protein to ensure adequate muscle repair and recovery.
Consume a regular meal 3-4 hours after a workout.
The right workout nutrition is very important, but it doesn't have to be complicated or difficult to fit in. Plan ahead to ensure the body has the right nutrients for fast, adequate recovery.
Sources: http:///www.bodybuilding.com, http:///www.webmd.com, http:///www.realage.com, http:///www.vanderbilt.edu, http:///www.eatright.org, http:///www.military.org, http:///www.mayoclinic.com, http:///www.sciencedaily.com, http:///www.nlm.nih.gov, http:///www.huffingtonpost.com, http:///www.cbsnews.com, http:///www.washingtonpost.com
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