5 Pre & Post Workout Nutrition Strategies
#1 – Pre-Pre Workout Meal
A meal containing Protein, Slow Carbohydrates and Healthy Fats should be consumed 2-4hrs prior to a workout. The size of this meal depends on the person and sport but try to hit all areas. Having a meal will ensure that you are providing your body with the calories and nutrients that your body needs to fuel the coming workout. It is also important that you ensure that you are keeping hydrated at this point too, no sports drinks or anything at this time, water is good enough. Keep sipping on that water as of now!
#2 – Pre-Workout Meal
The goals are similar to #1. We are ensuring that the body has everything it needs to perform at its best. Except this is within 30-60mins pre workout and should be considerably smaller and include foods that are easier to digest. A small handful of Fruit & Nuts would be ideal here to just keep your sugar and energy levels up. Keep sipping that water!
#3 – Intra-Workout Nutrition
This isn’t always needed, it is totally dependant on a number of factors but as a general rule of thumb if your overall nutrition intake is good and your training session is under 60mins then you wont need anything other than water. If your training runs over the 1hr mark or you have multiple training sessions in that same day it probably is a good strategy to start taking on some simple Carbohydrates that is easy on the stomach such as an Isotonic drink and/or gels combined with a BCAA drink. This will give your body something to feed off during the workout and will also help kick start the recovery process early!
#4- Post Workout Shake
Everyone has heard of the “magic window” in where you have a specific time post workout that your body is super absorbent to the nutrients you feed it. Consuming a Recovery drink or easy meal containing Protein & Carbohydrates post workout has been shown to help accelerate recovery and help get you back to your best sooner after a workout. It provides your body with Glucose to help restock your burnt Glycogen levels and Amino Acids to help repair the soft tissue damage caused from training. Some shakes also contain Electrolytes to help replenish salts lost through sweating and also Antioxidants such as Vitamin C to try and combat the Free Radicals and support your Immune System. Try consuming this 0-60 minutes post workout.
#5 – Post-Post Workout Meal
This meal should be similar to #1 also, the goal here is to try and consume Protein & Carbohydrates to follow on from #4. Carbohydrates should be slower digesting such as Wholegrain Rice/Pasta, Sweet Potatoes, some fruit etc. As always make sure to rehydrate! Soon as you feel able to stomach a large meal is when you want to be eating. Usually it is 1-3hrs post workout.
*If you train first thing in the morning and don’t have time for food then a combination of points #2 & #3 should help cover you. Try eating something small and sip on a drink that has some simple carbohydrates and BCAA’s thrown in. Your Post workout meals should also be slightly larger also to make up for the lost meal.