(P.S. If you’d rather listen to this advice via podcast, check the bottom of this page for the audio version.)
Let’s talk a little Pre and Post Workout Nutrition
Both time frames are critical for your results. The pre-workout meal is what’s going to be supporting you during that vigorous exercise routine… and the post-workout is going to help get your body back into a state of rebuilding those broken down muscles. With that in mind, let’s talk about setting yourself up for success. If at any time you’d like to see what supplements I use, click here to be taken to my secret supplement stash.
The first question I get on this topic, is what should the time frame be between eating and working out. I have some general guidelines, but everyone’s body is different. It really depends on how quickly your body can digest the foods you give it. Keep that in mind, as you may digest in much less (or more) time and you will have to adjust. Also, the intensity of the workout is important too. If you’re going on a slow walk you won’t have to wait too long after you eat… as opposed to jumping into a P90X plyometrics workout 20 minutes after eating. In the second example, be sure and bring lots of paper towels to clean up.
Here are those guidelines:
3 hours before a workout, eat a well balanced meal of protein, carbohydrates and fat. I wouldn’t exceed more than 500 calories or you will feel sluggish during your workout as your food will take much longer to digest in larger quantities.
2 hours before a workout, feel free to eat 300-350 calories, but make it mostly carbohydrates and a little protein. You can have a minimal amount of fat, but don’t overdo it as fat really slows down the digestion process
1 hour before a workout, go with a liquid diet. Make the fat and fiber content close to zero, and focus mainly on simple carbohydrates. If you just don’t have the time before your workout to plan your meals right, something like Shakeology is a great choice.
Pre-workout enhancers 30 minutes before your workout are also a great way to give yourself a boost of energy and focus. I was heavy into these types of supplements a few years back before I found out that many really affected my blood pressure. That and the fact that I couldn’t pronounce half the ingredients because there included comma signs and numbers in their spelling. I decided to drop those, and try only NSF approved supplements that don’t allow banned substances. Seeing as how I stay away from artificial ANYTHING in my foods, I decided to go with a new supplement that was recently released. It’s called Energize.
After a hard workout, your body is screaming for energy and protein to begin repair. During this time frame (30-60 minutes post workout), your body actually has the ability to use food very efficiently. The best option is to ingest some version of a shake, as it can quickly enter your blood stream, stop the break down of tissue, help with muscle soreness, and get you back on your feet quick.
The post-workout shake “Recover” is the perfect solution to my needs.
Now there are plenty of other post-workout shakes on the market as well, and some people even choose to use chocolate milk. Why I choose Recover is because I know it has everything my body needs, without anything artificial, and I’d hate to waste my hard earned sweat and drink something that wasn’t the best for my body.
Still others decide to drink Shakeology post-workout and add in a little more carbohydrates with fruit to increase the ratio. However, I drink my Shakeology pre-workout because it gives me a nice little energy boost.
About 45-60 minutes after your shake, be sure and eat a well rounded meal.
And there you have it.