Pre and Post Workout Nutrition – The Facts
What to Eat Before and After Your Workout
Pre and Post workout nutrition is essential to fuel your training, recover and achieve results. The meals you eat right before and after your workout play an important role in the effectiveness of those. What you eat before your workout is essential to sustain energy and maximize your performance. The goals of eating during exercise are similar to those for pre workout nutrition: to provide fuel, hydration and boost performance. What you eat after your workout can help you optimize the recovery process, rehydrate, build muscle and improve future performance.
Pre Workout Meal
A Pre workout meal is the last meal you eat before your workout. The biggest goal with the Pre workout meal is to consume both carbohydrates and protein in some form sometime before your workout to prevent muscle glycogen depletion, reduce muscle protein breakdown and reduce cortisol levels.
The specifics will differ depending on things like your schedule, the time of the day you are working out, the type of training and your own dietary preferences.
Depending on your individual needs, you can simply have a normal meal a couple of hours before your workout or you can have a smaller meal right after your workout. If you are trying to put on mass you may even do both.
Post Workout Meal
The Post workout meal is the first meal you eat after your workout. This meal plays the largest role in supplying the body with everything it will need for repair and recovery. The goal of the Post workout meal is to replenish muscle glycogen that was depleted during your workout, reduce muscle protein breakdown caused by exercise, increase protein synthesis, prevent soreness, enhance recovery and reduce cortisol levels as well.
To make all of the above happen successfully, your body again will need carbohydrates and protein.
It is recommended to consume your post workout meal ideally within the first 30 minutes after your training because this is when your body is absolutely primed and ready to put nutrients to good use.
Pre and Post Workout Nutrition Ideas
Here are some pre and post workout nutrition ideas to get you started:
- 3 oz. Greek yogurt, ½ cup blueberries, 1 tbsp. cacao nibs (12g carbohydrates, 15g protein)
- 60 g oatmeal, ½ cup almond milk, ½ cup raspberries, 1 tsp. bee pollen (47g carbohydrates, 11g protein)
- 1 apple sliced, 2 tbsp. almond butter, 1 tbsp. hemp hearts (45g carbohydrates, 10g protein)
- Fruit and protein smoothie: 1 banana, ½ cup hemp milk, 1 tbsp. almond butter, 1 scoop protein powder (35g protein, 29g carbohydrates)
- 3 oz. Wild Salmon fillet with ½ cup roasted sweet potatoes (17g protein, 30g carbohydrates)
- 3 oz. Grilled chicken breast with ½ cup quinoa salad (25g protein, 40g carbohydrates)
- 3 Egg omelet with ½ cup roasted vegetables (18g protein, 12g carbohydrates)
We are more concerned than ever with maximizing our workouts and getting fastest results. Effective workouts require appropriate pre and post workout nutrition. Focus on quality and choosing the best sources of protein and carbohydrates, but most importantly, choose foods that suit your own preferences. Don’t stress over the specifics and don’t make it complicated! Enjoy your food and happy training!