Words: This article is from fitness experts at Dynamx Fitness.
We are all aware that nutrition is just as important as daily movement and quality sleep hygiene. Nourishing your body with the right macronutrients is essential to a healthy mind and body. But what about when you eat? Especially if you’re active?
As an everyday person, who trains regularly, but doesn’t compete in endurance training or bodybuilding, you only need a well-considered meal 1-2 hours prior to your training and another healthy, well balanced meal 1-2 hours after your workout. What does this mean? You don’t need a special nutrition strategy to fulfil your nutrition requirements if you’re a healthy, active individual.
What you consume before your workouts can definitely have an impact on your performance.
In the three hours prior to your training, you’ll want to eat something that will help you:
• sustain energy;
• boost performance;
• preserve muscle mass; and
• aid recovery.
The importance of protein
Eating protein 2-3 hours before your workout, isn’t a bad idea, that is because protein will not only help maintain (or increase) muscle size, it will also flood your bloodstream with amino acids (they help to bind cells together into tissues) just when your body needs them most. This boosts your muscle-building capabilities. So not only are you preventing damage, you’re increasing muscle size.
If you have enough time, aim for any form of protein, but if you find yourself short on time, try a protein bar or roasted chickpeas; which can be found in Treat Trunk’s healthy snack boxes.
What about carbs?
Carbs are a great source of energy. We recommend it if you are planning on joining a high-intensity session or engaging in a long bout of endurance training. This enhances protein synthesis when combined with protein, and prevents protein breakdown. Another reason why a mixed meal is a great idea.
Oatcakes, corn chips, lentil chips, root vegetables are all a great idea to fuel your training session.
During exercise, as an everyday athlete your focus should be mainly on hydration. So drink up that H2O! If you happen to be training on a hot day, you might want to reach for a sports drink, as they contain electrolytes and they are excellent when it comes to hydration and recovery.
Post-workout nutrition can aid:
• build muscle; and
• improve future performance.
Protein is the main nutrient that prevents protein breakdown and stimulates synthesis, leading to increased or maintained muscle tissue. So it’s a great strategy to have some after training for better recovery, adaptation, and performance.
If you’re looking for a quick fix, a protein shake, protein bars, beef jerky or trail mix are a great option.
When it comes to carbs, make sure you choose whole foods with some fruit, and this will restore glycogen equally over a 24-hour time period and aid in performance for the next day.
Ideally, you wouldn’t go more than 2 hours without eating after your workout to still maximize the benefits of workout nutrition.So enjoy your workout. And your meals.