I receive this question once every other week. Funk, what should I eat before and after I workout? In this article I will give you the information that you need to ensure you nourish your body correctly pre and post workout.
Proper nutrition is the key to getting a consistent and effective workout. Now depending on what your goals are will determine some of your food choices. If you are trying to bulk up or add crazy muscle, you will eat a bit different from someone that is trying to lose weight, slim down or get ripped.
A bodybuilder wants to eat more egg whites and tuna whereas someone trying to lose weight would opt for whole wheat pastas and salads. Remember to gain weight you must take in more calories than you burn. To lose weight, you must burn more than you take in.
WHEN YOU NEED TO EAT
When I was training in Thailand my Pre and Post meals were extremely important, especially if I was to get through the 3 hour training sessions. If my training started at 7:00AM, that meant that I was up and eating at 6:00AM.
Before you workout your body needs ample time to digest what you’ve put in it. A good rule of thumb is always to wait 1 hour prior to exercise. You want to make sure that you have enough time to digest the food before you embark on your crazy workout.
Post workout nutrition should be eaten NO LONGER than 1 hour after exercise. If you delay eating longer than an hour after your workout then your body begins to take those muscles you just worked so hard to get and deplete them by using them as energy for the rest of the day or night.
I bolded that line because I know so many people that do not follow the rule of eating no longer than 1 hour after working out. If you are not doing it now, then start today.
WHAT YOU NEED TO EAT
Prior to starting your workout, the best foods are in the form of carbohydrates. Yes I said carbs. Carbs are not bad for you when choosing the right ones. A pre-exercise meal should include foods that are low in carbohydrates and easy to digest. Foods low in carbs will will release glucose gradually into the blood stream, which is what you want prior to your session to help prolong physical endurance.
Don’t forget that it’s just as important to eat smart after your workout has subsided and you’ve come down. After a workout, your body is like a sponge, ready to soak up the nutrients in food to restore energy and replenish your muscles. A mixed meal high in carbohydrates with moderate portion of protein and fat soon after completing the workout is best to help re-fuel carbohydrate stores after exercise.
The right foods alone won’t get you through a workout – you’ll have to get the right hydration with water while you exercise. You should drink at least at least 16 ounces of water two hours before a workout, and about 6 to 12 ounces every 15 to 20 minutes during exercise. (An ounce is about a mouthful.)
WHAT YOU SHOULD EAT LIST
Some food suggestions prior to a workout include:
Vegetables like celery, cucumber, tomatoes
Fresh fruit such as cherries, plum, peach
Oat bran bread
Post workout you can increase the protein to restore those muscles.
Some suggestions are:
Whey protein shake
Bagel with jelly
Stir-fried chicken and vegetables over brown rice
FOODS TO AVOID BEFORE EXERCISE
Any foods with a lot of fat can be very difficult and slow to digest and remain in the stomach a long time. They also will pull blood into the stomach to aid in digestion, which can cause cramping and discomfort. Meats, doughnuts, fries, potato chips, and candy bars should be avoided.
I suggest not have any sugar prior to your workout as some people do not perform well after a blood glucose spike.
If you’re squeezing a workout into a busy schedule, you may be tempted to grab a protein bar on the way out the door, but DON’T DO IT. Most bars are “glorified candy bars, often providing even more calories and are likely to be loaded with sugar.
Caffeine had been thought to boost endurance by stimulating a greater use of fat for energy, and thereby reserving glycogen in the muscles. Research, however, doesn’t seem to support that theory. When caffeine improves endurance, it does so by acting as a stimulant.
Caffeine can have serious side effects for some people. Those who are very sensitive to its effects may experience nausea, muscle tremors, and headaches. Too much caffeine is a diuretic, and can result in dehydration, which decreases performance.
In conclusion, if you’re going to invest the time to put yourself through a productive workout, then it’s imperative to nourish your body correctly pre and post workout.
Your Fitness Coach and Friend
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One of the largest barriers people have when trying to burn fat and lose weight is their Nutrition. It is not necessarily that they are not trying hard, but the lack of knowledge concerning nutrition is what usually prevents the majority of people from starting or sticking with a diet.
A big mistake I see with dieters is that they go into a diet with the intention of being overly strict on what they allow themselves to eat. The problem is that when they slip up and cheat, they see it as absolute failure and quit the entire idea. The result is a retiring back to old, bad habits.
I was no exception to this either. Healthy nutrition was my biggest struggle. I was pretty big and muscular to an extent, but I could not get the six pack abs or real defined muscles.
So after I retired (from volleyball) and changed my training from traditional weight lifting to High Intensity Interval Circuits, the fat started to peel off, but I still couldn’t get the six pack.
I decided to concentrate more on cleaning up my diet, getting rid of all the junk and crap and learning more about proper nutrition. And you know what? It was easier than I thought.
Look I am not a certified nutritionist, but with a few years of research, working on my own nutrition for my pro Muay Thai fight, fitness modeling and becoming a nutrition guru for MMA athletes.
Add working alongside Laura Discepola from Fit to Eat Nutrition for my Spartacus Program and of course engaged to a former bodybuilder and current muay thai fighter, I have been able to somewhat master the art of nutrition for fat loss and I am still learning and evolving.
Now I want to share all my nutrition knowledge and success with you. Over the next couple of months, I will be posting 10 nutrition videos to help you with you weight and fat loss goals.
I used all the nutrition information I am going to share with you to help me with my 8 Week Spartacus Workout and Nutrition Body Transformation, plus it’s a key in my two of my up-coming projects (Spartacus Workout 2.0 Program and Nutrition for Combat Fighters).
The great thing is that it has also worked for hundreds of people. The information that I am going to share with you is not new, I did not create it, and in fact it’s simple to follow.
If you are a male or female with a goal for weight and fat loss, sit back, grab a pen, watch, listen and take down some tips and start to implement clean healthy nutrition into your lifestyle.
Below is a 3 part series on the Nutrition Basics for Weight and Fat Loss. I have also included some notes that accompany the information in the videos, so that you don’t have to remember everything or in case you missed the important points
NUTRITION FOR WEIGHT AND FAT LOSS – PART 1NUTRITION FOR WEIGHT AND FAT LOSS – PART 2 – WHAT TO EAT AND WHAT TO STAY AWAY FROMNUTRITION FOR WEIGHT AND FAT LOSS – PART 3 – ONE DAY FAT LOSS MEAL PLAN
We know how important nutrition is to fat loss.
– 75-80% of fat loss success will come from your nutrition
– You can’t out train a bad diet
– You go on the treadmill or elliptical and burn 300 calories and then you step into the kitchen and eat a muffin or a piece of pizza and within a minute it you put those 300 calories or more back on.
PHYSICALLY ACTIVE PERSON (SPARTACUS, MMA ATHLETE, WORKOUT FANATIC, ATHLETES VS SEDENTARY PERSON
– More calories needed
– Timing of Nutrients
– Increase Carbohydrates
– Increase Protein
– Everything we eat provide nutrients – all foods
– 6 categories of nutrients which all provide different functions
– Eat proper food to get the best and most nutrients for your body
– Nutrients work together
MACRONUTRIENTS AND MICRONUTRIENTSMACRONUTRIENTS
1. Carbohydrates – provides energy for the body
2. Protein – rebuilds and repairs tissue and helps to build muscle and fat loss
3. Healthy Fats – part of all cells and protect internal organs and provide fat soluble vitamins
4. Water – most important nutrient for the body, 60% of the body, without any water we can only last a couple of days before we die, we can last about 30 days without food
– Vitamins and Minerals regulate varies body processes
– They work in different cells
– Vitamins and minerals DO NOT PROVIDE ENERGY – a lot of people will be taking a vitamin supplement and think that their energy is higher – that is physicalogically impossible unless you are deficient in a mineral – in in our society (Western) the levels of very low deficiency is very low
– Carbs 4 Kcal/g
– Protein 4 Kcal/g
– Fats 9 kcal/g – that is why they must monitor fat intake
– Alcohol – 7kcal/g
– Water 0kcal/g
WHAT TYPE OF FOODS TO EAT OVERVIEW
– Whole Foods, Clean Foods, Real Foods
– Lean Proteins, Real meats like chicken, fish, turkey, lean ground beef – unless your are Vegan
– COMPLEX Carbs – veggies and fruits
– Real fruits like strawberries, apples, oranges, bananas, etc
– Real vegetables like broccoli, spinach, carrots, etc
– Healthy Fats – Olive oil, omega fish oil
– Real drinks like water, green tea and non-sweetened iced tea
THINGS TO STAY AWAY FROM
DO NOT pollute your body with
• processed foods,
• packaged foods,
• deep fried foods
• take out like McDonald’s,
• junk food,
• frozen microwave meals
Real foods don’t have as many calories, and they don’t have near the amount of terrible side effects
Stick to the real foods and you’ll be sure to hit your weight loss goal.
BASIC ONE DAY PLAN RULES
– Eat 5-6 small meals
– Eat about 3 hours apart
– EAT PROTEINS WITH EACH MEAL and mix up your protein sources as well
– EAT YOUR CARBS IN THE AM WHEN YOU BODY CAN TOLERANT THE GLUCLOSE AND AFTER A WORKOUT
– EAT VEGETABLES with each meal