Pre and Post Workout Nutrition

There is much confusion on what would be the best food to eat pre and post-workout. Here are some tips on how to maximise the efficiency of your workout session and boost your recovery using your pre and post-workout meals.

When you follow these tips, you can expect to

  • increase fat burn
  • inhibit fat gain
  • decrease inflammation
  • increase the ability to build muscle
  • improve immune function
  • improve bone mass

Pre-Workout Nutrition

If your fitness goal is fat loss, then the best time to exercise is first thing in the morning because you are in an overnight fasted state where you have low blood glucose levels.

If you can’t train at this time, your pre-workout meal should be 2-3 hours before your exercise session and should mostly be composed of protein and fat. A good meal would be grilled chicken breast with an avocado salad seasoned with Himalayan rock salt, fresh lemon, and olive oil.

Consuming caffeine about 30 minutes before your workout was seen to boost your energy and improve your body’s fat burning during exercise. Other food with the same effect is cacao and green tea because they improve your body’s ability to use fat stores for energy and therefore optimises the effectiveness of utilizing fat for energy.

If your fitness goal is performance training and muscle building, your pre-workout meal is different because it should be to prepare your body to maximise the exercise session. A meal that has low GI carbs with a good protein source can be eaten 2 hours before training. Here are some examples of pre-workout meals for this purpose.

Pre-workout meal ideas

The best pre-workout meal is oats with protein powder because it will give you both short and long-term energy that you need for your workout.

Pick a protein of your choice like sweet potato and broccoli. They are the perfect combination of low GI carbohydrates and good protein that will prep your body for an effective workout.

Post-workout nutrition

Consuming the right nutrients after a workout will improve your body composition and recovery.

Post-workout nutrition is necessary to replenish your energy stores, increase your muscle size and quality, and repair any damage that may have been caused by the workout.

Post-workout meal ideas

Post-workout meals should have the necessary protein that will help in protein synthesis. It should also have carbohydrates to replace the lost muscle glycogen. One good idea is to make your own post-workout drink with a pre-formulated drink that has rapidly digesting carbohydrates (maltodextrin, dextrose, glucose) and protein (protein hydrolysates or isolates).

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