Training & Eating
Timing is Everything
It’s not only what you eat that matters when it comes to having a fantastic workout; but also when you eat that can have just as much of an effect on the success of your workout. Have you ever noticed how some workouts seem a lot harder to get through and others seem like a breeze? Sometimes poor energy levels can be attributed to a bad sleep the night before or accumulated stress; but more often than not, it comes down to improper meal timing. Put simply, the time between before your workout is critical for properly fueling your body for optimum performance. Furthermore, the time after your workout is just as crucial to properly refuel your body.
Consider this: when you workout, you are putting constant stress upon your body and challenging it to adapt to new techniques, weights, and movements. In order for your body to keep up with these demands it needs proper fuel. Similar to your cell phone, you cannot expect it to last through a night of phone calls and text messages if you have not previously charged it.
So, when do you eat? Well that depends on the individual and the type of exercise about to be performed. Generally, it is recommended to eat approximately one to two hours before you work out. This time is optimal because it allows your body to start digesting the food you consume. It is not advised to eat something heavy right before you work out as it takes time to digest food. Working out on a full stomach can cause cramping or even nausea, which can hinder your performance. Many people benefit from consuming a light to moderate sized meal that is comprised of protein, whole grain carbohydrates, and some form of healthy fat. A good example would be cottage cheese mixed with oats and almond butter.
Afterwards, thank your body and repay all of the fuel it used to accomplish the work you demanded. This is the time when your body is a restoration phase. It is recommended to eat within 30 minutes of a workout to optimize protein synthesis and increase anabolism. A simple meal consisting of protein and a fast-digesting carbohydrate is optimal. The protein is needed to feed your muscles, and the glucose causes an insulin spike that allows for fuel to get where it needs faster and more efficiently. A great example would be a whey protein shake, like Lean Protein Shake with a banana, Glutamine is also important to provide recovery after training as well as enhancing the immune system, which can compromised during intense exercise. Take 1 tsp. of Glutamine immediately after training and another tsp. right before going to bed assist with recovery and rebuilding.
So to sum up, eating healthy is only one part of the puzzle. Timing your meals is the other; and if it is done properly, your fitness goals may be achieved faster and more efficiently than before