THE BASIC FACTS:
- A workout may last an hour or two, however dieting is 24 hours a day.
- Eat 4 or 5 meals per day. A good breakfast, lunch and dinner, with one to two snacks.
- Don’t starve! Not giving your body the nutrients it needs is going to cause your body to start shutting down, and this will cause it to stop burning fat b/c it thinks it is in survival mode.
- Eating before working out: settles the stomach, reduces hunger, gives your muscles the energy needed to exercise
- Eating after exercising and drinking plenty of fluid can help to replace glycogen (energy to workout) that is lost during exercise. Glycogen is comprised of sugars that come from the protein and carbohydrates in your diet.
WHAT IS A CARB? WHAT IS A PROTEIN?
They are macronutrients! Nutrients that your body needs a lot of. This includes carbohydrates, fats, and protein. Micronutrients are vitamins and minerals.
CARBS: USDA recommends that 45% – 65% of our calories should come from carbohydrates. Carbohydrates are the body’s main source of fuel. Carbohydrates are easily used by the body for energy. They are mainly found in starchy foods (like grain and potatoes), fruits, milk, and yogurt.
PROTEIN: USDA recommends that 10% – 35% of our calories should come from protein. Most Americans get plenty of protein, and easily meet this need by consuming a balanced diet. We need protein for growth (especially important for children, teens, and pregnant women), tissue repair, energy when carbohydrate is not available, preserving lean muscle mass. Protein is found in meats, poultry, fish, meat substitutes, cheese, milk, nuts, legumes
PRE WORKOUT MEAL:
- Glucose is the preferred energy source for exercise, so eat something high in carbs and that’s easy to digest.
- In general, the closer you get to your workout start time, the fewer calories you should eat. It’s important to winnow down the protein and fat content of your meal or snack as you get closer to exercise.
- The nutrients that make up those calories should also shift. Because it takes the body: 4-6 hrs to digest fat, 3 hrs to digest protein, and 2 hrs to digest carbohydrates.
- You’re not going to want to eat a plate of french fries two hours before working out, because the blood is going to rush to your stomach to digest that while it’s also trying to rush to your exercising muscles.
Example Pre Workout Foods…
- Bananas and apples. These are good choices for an energizing snack. Bananas are packed with potassium, which aids in maintaining proper nerve and muscle function aka no cramps.
- Oatmeal. Oats are full of fiber and therefore the carbohydrates from them are released into your bloodstream gradually, keeping your energy levels constant during your workout.
- Yogurt & fruit
- Trail mix/unsalted nuts
- Fruit & yogurt smoothie
- Sweet potato, yam
POST WORKOUT MEAL:
- This meal is probably the most important meal you can eat. (And breakfast of course)
- Your post-workout meal serves to give you the energy to recover from your workout and replace what was lost as result of training.
- After you train your natural metabolism is burning red hot and can take much more nutrients at once and still not store it as fat.
- The first nutritional priority after exercise is to replace any fluid lost during exercise.
- Research is clear that eating carbs and protein within 15-60 minutes of your workout will help speed up your recovery time by replenishing glycogen stores and increasing protein synthesis (aka building lean muscle).
Example Post Workout Meal…
Chobani strawberry greek yogurt: 14 g protein, 20 g carbs. Yogurt is also EASILY DIGESTABLE so your body will soak up the nutrients immediately.
WHAT HAPPENS IF YOU DON’T EAT BEFORE AND AFTER YOU WORKOUT?
You’ll burn fat. But be very fatigued.
PRE-MEAL: If you exercise for a long time without eating, you’ll limit your ability to burn calories and maintain intensity. You won’t burn more of anything if you can’t muster the enthusiasm to master your toughest sets.
POST-MEAL: And if you don’t feed your muscles and replenish your energy stores after exercise, you won’t have the necessary building blocks for recovery.