The mythos that is the pre and post workout meal. There are theories galore out there on top of countless studies depicting the most perfect balance of proteins to carbs to fats. To those that simply state slam back a couple of donuts (most likely just my theory). Nutrition as a whole is a daunting subject because as the saying goes “Abs are made in the kitchen.” So for many of us starting out, figuring out pre and post workout nutrition can be quite stressful. Because after all, we don’t want to have a shitty workout and we most certainly don’t want to miss any opportunities to make gains.
Pre Workout Nutrition
You ever have a massive meal and then try to hit the gym shortly after? Even maybe an hour after your meal? You get into the gym all hyped up to workout and mentally you cannot wait to turn that meal into tackling fuel for the assault you’re about to lay on your muscles. But then the workout becomes a dud. Well more than likely, that meal wasn’t even remotely close to being digested and you just had a full stomach with food sloshing around that never gave you a chance in the gym.
When it comes to pre-workout nutrition, it is not just about what you eat but also when you eat it. Solid food can can take anywhere from 2 – 8 hours to be fully digested and readily available to fuel that workout of yours. Whereas shakes can be digested as quickly as 30 minutes. I’m not going to get into “timing is everything” but I’m also not going to recommend going out for a burger & fries and then immediately hit the gym.
- Carbs – They are delicious, we know! But your body sees glucose when we ingest carbs, the fuel for our muscles. Our glycogen stores are limited, so depending on how well fed we are will determine when we start to fatigue. The types of carbs you ingest will be determined by the type of workout you intend on doing. Endurance workouts might call for some complex carbs like a nice, delicious bowl of oatmeal to ensure a steady stream of energy. Higher intensity workouts like hitting that squat rack will call for more easily digestible carbs/simple carbs like white rice, sweet potatoes or Donuts
- Proteins – Protein is an incredible asset in preworkout nutrition. Studies have shown that protein synthesis is increase by the ingestion of protein before a workout. We recommend shooting for roughly 20g.
- Fats – From our research and knowledge, Fats don’t really move the needle much in favor or against athletic increases in performance. They do however help in slowing down digestion a bit, helping maintain steady levels of glucose and insulin. Potentially allowing you to workout a little longer and little harder. Don’t go taking down spoonfuls of peanut butter before a workout but 1 spoonful could go a long way
Some pre-workout meals we like
- Donuts …. ok, ok … Donuts with a protein shake (happy?)
- Protein smoothie with whey protein, banana and a little peanut butter mixed with almond milk
- Oatmeal with cinnamon and blueberries
- Sweet potato and chicken (old faithful)
- Kettlebell Kitchen Honey Mustard Glazed Chicken
Post Workout Nutrition
- Better be sure to check in next week to find out more 😉