Pre and Post Workout Nutrition
What you eat before and after your workouts is key! As I will discuss below, this weird thing people do not eating after a workout in order to not replace the caloires is a terrible idea!
- You have just done a high intensity workout from this book and in the process used all of your stored glycogen for energy. This means that your body is hungry for fuel and looking to replace those stores, as well as fuel it at that particular moment. You want to get food and glucose into your blood steam as fast as possible.
- High glycemic foods are designed to do just that. They are absorbed quickly and easy and provide an almost immediate form of useable fuel. White breads, bananas, most other fruit, and cereal are all excellent sources of these high GI carbs. Note also that this is a perfect time for an all carb meal. You want to keep the absorption quick. Adding some protein is okay right after the workout but is preferable about a half hour later.
- Ideally you will eat a high GI carb within 10-15 minutes of completing your workout. Then, within 30-45 minutes of your workout you will have a well balanced meal including protein and low GI carbs in order to re-balance energy levels and give your body the building blocks it needs to repair after exercise.
- PLEASE, PLEASE, PLEASE do not fall into one of the worst nutrition traps I know. People attempting to reduce their weight seem to think that eating after working out is a bad thing. The thought is that after burning all those calories you do not want to replace them right away by eating. This is definitely not the case. After exercise your body is hunting for energy. If you do not give that fuel it will begin to break down muscle tissue in order to have fuel and to begin replenishing glycogen storage. Essentially, you are slowing your metabolism further and further every time you do not eat within a half hour of exercise. Over the years this adds up! Don’t do it!
- This will be somewhat different for different people. Ideally, you are going to want to eat some low GI carbs within an hour of exercising. Some people need more time than that and some people can eat within a half hour of working out.
- It is imperative that you have energy in your body while you exercise. Again, if you don’t provide your body with energy to fuel your workouts it will go in search of precious muscle tissue and again will slow your metabolism over time.
- If it has been hours since your last meal (which it shouldn’t even you are sticking to the 3 Hour Rule) you need to ensure you eat something.
How do you lose weight then? If you eat before and after working out when is body going to burn off that stubborn body fat? That becomes a product of overall calorie balance. If you eat less calories then you expend through exercise and base metabolic rate you will begin to lose weight. By keeping your body properly fueled during times of stress (read: exercise) you are letting your body know that you will feed it. Once is gets used to that it will not have as great a need for storing a backup supply of calories and when you have a calorie deficit it will dip into that storage. That is the long term key to maintaining a healthy weight.