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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…

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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.

 

Before

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.

 

During

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

 

 

After

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.

 

 

 

Photos courtesy of localbusiness, caliobyte, awesomejelly, amazon

Check out the full article over at CNN

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Beauty

A Guide to Better Scalp Care

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It is frequently easy to disregard the things that we cannot see. With scalp care, for instance, most people simply adopt the habit of shampooing their hair regularly. Some wash their scalps—and hair—daily while others prefer to do so every other day. Depending on your preference, you might even do the washing only once a week.

Nevertheless, beauty experts assert that it is essential to have a better scalp care routine. The scalp is a literal extension of your face and disregarding its condition can easily lead to several conditions including itching, dryness, and irritation—and dandruff. A dirty, uncared-for scalp can potentially become a breeding ground for unwanted parasites like lice, or even cause unnecessary hair loss.

But what does the scalp do for us and why do we need to take better care of it?

The scalp is not different from the skin in the body. Although it grows thicker and longer hair than all the other parts of the body, it is anatomically the same as all the other areas in the human body. The scalp, however, has more oil glands, 100,000 hair follicles, and five levels—or layers—of tissue.

The scalp’s sebaceous glands produce sebum or oil which, then, helps determine the condition of the hair and the scalp’s skin. The specific production of sebum is different from individual to individual. The scalp does not simply provide us with hair. It also protects our skull from infection and trauma. Regular scalp care, then, is important as this promotes both the healthy hair growth and scalp protection.

When questioned about the best scalp care routine, Michelle Henry, a dermatologist, says that a healthy scalp must not have any problems. “We shouldn’t see redness, we shouldn’t see irritation, and we shouldn’t see a lot of scales or buildup. It should not feel tender and it should not have an odor,” she shares. Henry adds that it is always best to consult a dermatologist if you experience any of these scalp conditions.

Scalp care is similar to the overall skin care regimen. The scalp must always be clean, replete of dirt, debris, and oil. Nonetheless, it is also essential to let it stay hydrated. Like with skin hydration, hydrating your scalp must be dependent on the type of scalp you have. For instance, if you have dry scalp, it is recommended that you avoid over-stripping it with scrubbing.

Shampoos and hair conditioners are dependent on the type of scalp you have. If you have an oily scalp, you can use sulfate-free shampoos. You can even purchase a shampoo that exfoliates your scalp. One with sea salt can work wonders. Those with dry scalps, however, must use a scalp toner which helps moisturize the scalp. A moisturizing shampoo and conditioner can also help.

Scalp care is as important as overall skin care. Longer and thicker hair can be achieved when the scalp is allowed to remain healthy, clean, and moisturized. Depending on the type of scalp you have, however, you should only choose products that are entirely right for you.

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Sedentary Lifestyle Can Abruptly Damage Your Health

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Having a sedentary lifestyle can quickly damage your health as it can lead to serious issues like diabetes, heart disease, and high blood pressure.

Massive and prolonged lockdown protocols in the US have forced many to adopt a sedentary lifestyle. The need to limit COVID-19 transmission led a lot of citizens to spend more time sitting at home and forego daily commutes. According to experts, most Americans are now spending a daily average of six (6) hours sitting as compared to the daily average of four (4) hours prior to the COVID-19 outbreak.

Most citizens, even the typically active ones, are now adhering to a more sedentary lifestyle with physical activity dropping to almost one-third of pre-pandemic times. Those who used to be sedentary became even more sedentary, as well, asserts a recent research published in the Psychiatry journal.

These alarming trends stipulate, then, that the average American has a more sedentary lifestyle at present as compared to any other period in history. “We have definitely seen instances of increased sedentary behavior, especially with more people at home during lockdowns, and more unemployment,” mentions Dr Richard Yoon, orthopedics chief at Jersey City Medical Center. “Not only the physical effects but also the mental challenges posed by the pandemic have taken their toll. And I have seen that some of my patients are less active and visiting the fridge more often because of the loss of their old routines,” Yoon adds.

An increased sedentary lifestyle leads to several health issues including heart disease, weight gain, diabetes, and even death. The prevalent trends of work-from-home (WFH) arrangements and distance learning schemes further exacerbate the problem.

“It definitely takes less time for an unhealthy lifestyle to take hold than an active, healthy one. Once you get into a routine of not doing much, you can start feeling the effects right away,” Yoon points out. “Muscle breakdown can start in as little as 24 hours, and aches and pains start to creep in,” he stresses.

Furthermore, sitting all day can even lead to an increased experience of back pain which, then, encourages people to perpetuate a more sedentary lifestyle. People who do not feel well tend to decrease their physical activities and the tempting idea of staying immobile takes hold.

“Sedentary behavior and lifestyle have a very strong link to the development of back pain,” asserts Dr Medhat Mikhael, a pain management specialist at the Spine Center of the MemorialCare Orange Coast Medical Center. “Weight gain that puts a load on the spine and weakened abdominal and back muscles together with weakened ligaments would lead to further load on the spine,” he continues. “All of these effects and changes would create a vicious circle of back pain and further physiological and mechanical deterioration of the spine.”

The vicious cycle that results from adopting a sedentary lifestyle gets further supported by the gradual appearance of different health issues as more and more Americans follow the lockdown protocols mandated to stop the spread of COVID-19. However, there is a need to exert some effort, even when remaining at home, so that this sedentary lifestyle does not take hold—and encourage the onset of several physical and mental issues.

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Maintaining a Healthy Lifestyle During the Holidays

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It is essential to maintain a healthy lifestyle. This becomes particularly difficult during the Christmas holidays when food becomes overflowing and simultaneous celebrations sway you toward overindulging your palate.

Experts stress that it is important to focus on having a healthy lifestyle during the upcoming holiday season. Harvard’s Medical School fellow, Dr Beth Frates, provides us with several tips on how to maintain a healthy lifestyle during the year-end celebrations.

Dr Frates mentions the necessity of maintaining your workout routine. She points out that people tend to forget their exercise routines during stressful situations. To halt such drastic decisions, however, she recommends integrating a new activity. People get easily stimulated when they are presented with new activities. She adds that it is also helpful to request for exercise-related gifts or even opt for holiday celebrations that allow you active participation.  Playing a simple game with the family, for example, can provide you with the opportunity to physically exert yourself.

It helps to maintain your habits, as well. Dr Frates stresses the need to track your routine. A healthy lifestyle cannot be easily attainable without the conscious effort to control what you do. Hence, recording what you eat and drink during every meal is beneficial. Keeping a record of your daily exercise routine is essential, as well. She says that your logbook permits you to measure your efforts and also allows you to approximate the level of indulgence you can appropriate for yourself during the holidays.

Dr Frates also shares that it is crucial to have a proper mindset. Maintaining a healthy lifestyle cannot be done without changing your point of view. A positive outlook in life is essential. Thus, it is best to throw away all the negative thoughts and pursue only the good vibes that typically accompany the holiday celebrations. Spending time with your family and loved ones can provide you with this, as well.

Food, she says, is an integral part of the upcoming celebrations. However, we should not forget that Christmas and New Year are both centered on new beginnings, as well. Hence, focusing on beneficial modifications and resolutions should be looked into. Banishing undesirable habits, addictions, and even people can greatly help shape—and maintain—a healthy lifestyle. Infusing yourself with good thoughts and plans can further contribute, as well. Allow yourself to discover new things, as well. Find loved ones to do outdoor activities with.

Finally, Dr Frates points out that overindulging yourself during this holiday season can still be a possibility. However, you shouldn’t limit yourself to your maintenance of a healthy lifestyle. Allow yourself to enjoy. The Christmas season is a time of celebration which specifically allows you to relax and be with your loved ones. It is the moment when you get to let your hair down and simply be yourself. She stresses that slipping up on your exercise routine, for instance, shouldn’t be a cause for worry. You can always start again, she adds.

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