Fuel Your Workouts!
Hello March! Spring is almost here and March is Nutrition Month! What perfect timing to discuss what you should be eating pre and post workout!
In order to help maintain a healthy relationship with food, it's important to view food as fuel for your body! Food is energy. Energy is what fuels your workouts. In my daily practice, I often have people ask me "What do I eat?" or "When do I eat?" It seems that this is a perplexing issue for many of us who want to lose weight, build lean muscle mass and get the most out of our workouts. Nutrient timing is important, however, it depends on your goals. As I tell all of my clients, there is no one-size-fits-all approach and what works for one person doesn't work for everyone. Bio-individuality is what makes us all unique and although it certainly makes life more interesting, it leads to an awful lot of confusion. In an effort to clear up some of the misleading and complicated information out there, I've compiled some tips to help you sort out the bewildering world of nutrient timing!
What is nutrient timing? Although the quality of nutrients is always important, nutrient timing is being mindful of what to eat and when to eat it to support optimal performance and recovery.
Science Made Simple
Simply put, aerobic exercise derives energy from glucose in the bloodstream or stored in the liver, where as resistance or strength training pulls energy predominantly from glycogen stored in the working muscles. Carbohydrates are converted to glucose during digestion and are easily accessed for energy usage either from the blood (about 100 calories) or from the liver (300-400 calories) during aerobic activity. Strength training however, relies upon glycogen stored in the muscle, which is also most easily converted from carbohydrates. Since both types of exercise should be included in your routine for optimal wellness, it's important to properly fuel the body for each of these types of activity in a different and specific manor.
Here are some of my pre-workout favorites!
1. Cardio - One slice of toast with a teaspoon of almond butter and ½ a banana, OR an apple with 10 almonds.
2. Strength training - Blueberries with ½ cup of Greek yogurt OR two eggs on one slice of whole grain bread.
What you eat following a workout can be just as important as your pre-workout meal and can determine recovery time, soreness and muscle development. The more intense the exercise session was, the more important the need for the ingestion of complete proteins. It is also important to replace the depleted glucose levels. A 4:1 ration of protein to carbs is suggested.
Here are my post-workout go-to snacks!
1. Cardo - 1 cup of chocolate milk or a banana
2. Strength Training- grilled chicken over a salad or hard boiled egg and blueberries
As always please make sure you're drinking plenty of fluids. (WATER!!!) These guidelines are intended as such - they are not set in stone for every body. Play with your nutrient timing and find out what works best for your individual goals and needs. Remember, I always recommend quality, organic, whole, non-processed foods for best results! If you want to know more about what your body specifically needs, the SimplyFit test can tell you what your macronutrient ratios should be based on your specific genetics. Contact me today to find out more!