Tuesday, August 28, 2012

The Importance of pre/post workout fuel!

I'm sure you all know by now how crucial it is to get the proper fuel before a workout, and also refueling afterwards. But some of you still may be asking why it is so important. So here's a breakdown of what you should and shouldn't eat, and why. Pre-workout meals should mainly be composed of "slow-burning" complex carbs: fruits, veggies, whole-grain bread, brown rice, wheat pasta, and oats. Given that they are your body's main source of energy, you want most of your pre-workout meal to be composed of carbs. Complex carbs take longer to convert to glucose. So this will keep your blood sugar level consistent and keep you from crashing in the middle of your workout! The other 15-20% of your pre-workout meal should consist of protein: egg whites, lean meats, fish, greek yogurt, cottage cheese, etc. Fat takes the longest to digest in your body, which will use up more energy in your body. Try to avoid fats before your workouts. If your meal is between 100-300 calories, give yourself about 45-60 minutes to digest the food before you hit the gym. If your meal is bigger, more along the lines of 400-600 calories, it'll take your body longer to digest it (up to 2-3 hours!) Since I wake up really early, i'll have a small bowl of oats and egg whites topped with blueberries, along with my cup of coffee. Now, as far as the post workout meal goes, timing is crucial. You want to get something in fast after your workout, in that "window of opportunity", between 15-45 minutes after you do your last rep.Whenever you lift weights or strength train, what you're doing is breaking down old muscle fibers, in order to build new, bigger, stronger ones. Exercise breaks down our muscle carb stores and protein structures. So what exactly do you need in order to rebuild those hungry muscles? Well, carbs and protein. As far as protein goes, you can't go wrong with a whey protein shake. As I explained in a previous post, whey protein is a fast digesting protein, so it will get to your muscles quickly! It's crucial that you get a source of carbs after your workout along with your protein shake. You need the right amount of carbs that will give you an adequate insulin release. When you consume carbohydrates after your workout, you will promote a large insulin release, increase glycogen storage, and increase protein repair. A good "amount" to refer to is about .8 grams of carbs per kg of body weight. Fruit is a great way to get carbs in fast after your workout. Even blending a banana up with your shake can be delicious! But a big mistake a lot of people make is incorporating fat in with their post workout meals, because as I stated before, it takes the longest to digest. A lot of people like to add peanut butter to their post workout shakes.. Don't! Your muscles only require protein and carbs immediately after. And boy are they hungry for them!I always have my whey shake, 1/2 or 3/4 of a banana, and a rice cake. About an hour after, try to get in a whole meal. It's so important to nourish and feed your body after an intense workout. If you want to see results, don't skip out on the pre/post workout fuel! Be sure to drink plenty of water to re-hydrate as well! 

15 comments:

  1. Hi! I just want to first say that I've been following you for a little while on Instagram and LOVE all your posts and I'm so excited that you now have a blog! Great job on it as well!
    Here's my question for ya- I workout at 6am and again at 9am (long story... the bf and I wanted to workout together and this is only time we have!) So we do a mixture of boxing/kickboxing at 6am, I work from 7-9am and then lift shortly after 9am. I need cardio right now because I'm trying to cut up as well as build muscle, so that explains the 2-a-days lol.
    Soooo here's the question- as far as workout fuel, do I do a round of complex carbs before EACH workout and a round of carbs/proteins after EACH workout? Or is just one round sufficient? I want to maximize my workouts but don't know if I'd be consuming too much protein and what not. Any advice would be greatly appreciated!
    Again, awesome job girl!

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  2. Hey! What I would do if I were you, is do a fasted cardio in the morning (besides my cup of coffee). Some people can't handle that, but I find it to be effective (back when I used to do cardio). Immediately after cardio, I'd have a whey shake and half a banana. Around 8:15 or so, I'd have another small meal consisting of protein and carbs, maybe 1/2 a cup of oats and a handful of blueberries. This will be a good source of fuel for your lifting session. After lifting, have another protein shake and source of carbs (half a banana again if you want). THEN, an hour or so after that, have a full meal. Probably would be an early lunch. Hope this helps! I know it sounds like a lot but your body will thank you.

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  3. And I thank you!

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  4. This apply for fat loss too? I would love to know about fat loss tips Im like stucked :(

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  5. your body still needs a mixture of protein and carbs after a workout,even if you're trying to drop body fat

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  6. I'm SO glad you finally have a blog! I've been stuck in a rut and I think you've finally given me some ways to break my plateau. I've always been under the assumption that working out on an empty stomach in the morning was the best way to maximize an AM workout. What do you say to those claims? Obviously, it must be bogus if I've gained 15lbs (of fat) doing it my way, haha.

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  7. There's a lot of controversy about fasted workouts. Here's a simple way to put it, if you're doing cardio in the AM, it's ok to do it "fasted" IF you and your body can handle it. Some people get light headed and dizzy, and can't do it on an empty stomach. I personally used to do fasted cardio and I liked it. BUT, if you're lifting in the morning, it's best to have something in your body! I will clear this up in this article, i'm sure you're not the only one who's wondering about this!

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  8. i was following you on instagram but now I will here too! Is it okay to have 1/4 cup oats before and after workout?is it enough or should I take 1/2 cup? I always do 1/4 + 1/4 fruits...and is it okay if I have my next meal 2 hours after my post workout meal? I am not hungry only 1 after....
    Thank you so much!

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  9. What branf of whey protein do you use? You have really motivated me! Thankyou! Keep it up!

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  10. I have a quick question... What if you work out at night? I usually eat dinner around 6:30 or 7:00, and then at around 8:30 I hit the gym. However my only problem is that I'm usually never hungry after dinner so I don't like eating snacks. Is there another way to replenish my body after a workout?

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    Replies
    1. try a protein shake and a carb source like a banana! sorry for the late reply.

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  11. I have been training for some time now, competed in my first competition..and after reading this I FINALLY get it...I don't always give the right fuel post workout and that is where I think I lost some of my muscle during training!! THANK YOU!!

    Shana
    www.colorblindblog.com

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