When and What to Eat for Peak Workout Performance
We all know that what you eat is so important to our overall fitness, but did you know that when you consume calories is important too? I honestly had no idea, but after reading some studies, it makes sense. I’m sure you’ve heard the resident meathead at the gym spout on and on about needing his protein before his workout. Well, he has it wrong. According to Nancy Cohen, professor of nutrition at the University of Massachusetts, we need protein after our workouts to support muscle protein synthesis. It helps to understand one’s body before you attempt to build it stronger.
People spend hours a day at the gym when with a proper diet and eating the right things at the right time, they could cut their gym time in half. I know that if someone told me I could reduce the amount of time I work out and get the same results, I’d listen up.
Here is what nutritionists believe you should eat before, during and after your workouts to achieve your ultimate fitness goals.
Load up on carbohydrates (carbs) before your workout, but not too much, says Cohen. These carbs will help you workout harder for longer, giving you the energy you need to push yourself physically.
Cohen recommends eating around 3 carbohydrates per every 2 pounds of body weight. So to put that simply, eat as many grams of carbs as your weight. So if you weigh 150 pounds, eat around 150 grams of carbs pre workout. These carbohydrates will power your workout and will improve your endurance performance.
To put that into perspective, if you consume 2,000 calories a day, you should be consuming between 220 and 320 grams of carbohydrates daily.
Nutritionists advise eating these carbs between 1-4 hours pre workout, so they can be digested and the energy ready to be used.
Basically if you eat quality carbohydrates pre workout you will be able to work out harder for longer, which means you burn more calories faster. This carbo load is essentially cutting your workout time and increasing your proficiency.
Water is super important to your body’s efficiency. Lubricate your body by drinking a liter of water 2-4 hours pre workout. Our bodies run better well lubricated, so drink up.
Don’t make a habit of working out on an empty stomach, because your body will be in survival mode. When your body is in survival mode, it burns muscle glycogen fast and builds up keto-acid in the blood, which can be harmful to your kidneys. Working out on an empty stomach may burn fat but it’s long term effects are actually negative to your body.
If you workout in the morning, try eating eggs, cereal, milk, toast or fruit to build energy to workout more efficiently.
Drink water during your workout, and lots of it. To increase your body’s endurance performance, keep hydrated. As long as your workout is under 45 minutes, you won’t need to consume anything but water.
If your workout is longer than 45 minutes, eat around 45 carbohydrates to fuel your metabolic workout. Drink juice, sports drinks or eat some fruit. Stay away from too many solid foods, as they will sit like a brick in your stomach
Eat protein after your workout, this will help your muscles synthesize and build new muscle glycogen storage. This glycogen storage is what actually repairs your muscles after they have been traumatically damaged during your exercise. Your body also uses the glycogen as energy if you workout on an empty stomach.
Don’t forget to drink water to replenish what you lost. I try and at least drink 16 oz of water per 30 minutes working out.
A post workout routine should include water replenishment, carbohydrates to refuel and protein to repair the muscles.
Power your body properly and you will be amazed at the results.
Check out the full article over at CNN