Pre and Post Workout Foods
Both pre and post workout nutrition is an essential part of a training regime. Before a session, we need to get sufficient nutrients into our bodies so we have enough energy to work hard. Likewise, after hitting the gym, we need to refuel our bodies and so food intake in this time frame is very important.
Before training we want to give the body the necessary fuel it needs to get energy levels up and pumping. A great way to do this is to consume food about 60 minutes before your workout. We want to get in some good carbs for energy and protein to start protein synthesis for when our muscles begin to tire and break down
Here are some examples of foods you can try:
1. A slice of wholemeal toast with peanut butter and banana
2. A bowl of yoghurt and berries
3. A smoothie - add in yoghurt, fruit, protein powder, peanut butter, oats - whatever you want!
4. Oats, nuts and berries
5. Apple/banana slices with a nut butter eg. peanut/almond/cashew
6. A glass of milk
7. Half of a protein shake
After training, nutrition is more than important. When exercising, you break down the muscle fibres in your body and during recovery, the aim is to repair and strengthen the tears. This can only happen if you are fuelling your body with sufficient protein.
Here are some ideas of meals to have after a workout:
2. Chicken and avocado on whole meal bread
3. Eggs and smoked salmon - (omellette, poached egg, fried egg etc)
4. Fish and sweet potato/quinoa (Tuna, white fish, mackerel etc)
5. Turkey rolls with peanut butter
6. Protein Smoothie - (Protein powder, yoghurt, peanut butter, ice etc)
7. Protein Shake
A lot of girls don't like the idea of bulking up on protein as in theory it will increase muscle mass and we don't want to get 'big and hench'. However, girls don't have the testosterone levels to build muscle in the same was as men and so the protein will just go towards making you lean. This is because the higher the percentage of muscle mass in your body, the more fat you break down. Therefore, protein intake is just as important in girls as it is in guys so don't be put off by it. There are lean protein shakes you can buy, which have next to no carbs or fat and are just pure protein. They are much quicker and easier to consume after a session in the gym than preparing a full on cooked meal.
These are my two favourite No Carb shakes:
1. QNT Zero Carb Metapure
2. Optimum Nutrition Gold standard 100% Whey
Adding protein to your pre workout and post workout meal is an excellent training tip. Taking protein before means that the body starts taking up amino acids to build muscle while you are training. This can only help with your workout as muscle is being re synthesised at the same time as being broken down. If you then include protein into your post workout meal, you can reap double benefits. After ingesting protein, the body can continue protein-synthesis for up to 3 hours. So once our pre workout protein is coming to the end of it's effects, post workout protein kicks in. Therefore you will be building protein over a longer period of time- just what your muscles need for recovery and growth. Also, if you add in BCAAS to both pre and post workout, you will reduce muscle breakdown during and after the session as well.
I hope that has given you an idea of things to eat before and after a workout. When trying to bulk, pre and post workout meals are very important as this is where your body will gain the fuel to grow. When looking for weight loss, there is a temptation to train on an empty stomach and not eat afterwards, but this is not a good idea. You will not be able to work as hard in the gym as you won't have enough energy and your body won't recover properly afterwards. You need to consume sufficient nutrients, especially protein, in order to see results and build muscle to get lean and burn fat!
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