How we eat before and after a lift or strenuous workout has a profound effect on the end result. Simply waking up and heading to the gym sans adequate grub could and probably will make your workout basically worthless. Our bodies need to be properly fueled and when and what to eat is an art and a science. Assuming we all know about complex versus simple carbs, proteins, and fats, let's take a moment to make certain that we are taking in the proper foods to prep for a hard lift. First off, I recommend a good complex carbohydrate rich meal the night before any large lift, especially legs. Due to the amount of energy required to digest complex carbs, eating pastas and rices the night before is an awesome way to get that full feeling the next morning and the energy built up to begin that lift. Otherwise, we wake up feeling empty and the time it takes for foods to kick in may be too late for your workout. Eating brown rices, multi grain pasta, wheat bread, and even white rice (just contains more sugar), will prep your body for the morning lift. Then, once the athlete wakes up, some simpler sugars like a piece of fruit and and maybe some light carbs like a bowl of cereal is optimal. I, on occasion, will eat an English muffin with some natural peanut butter. Again, this can get tricky as the key to a good workout is to basically slow the digestive system down so energy can be put toward the workout. Warming up adequately also slows it down considerably. The main point here is that carbing up too much in the morning will not give the body adequate time to utilize what you've just put into your body. So, by eating simpler sugars like fruits, a quicker surge of energy will occur and the duration of your workout will improve.
Created on Friday, 15 July 2011 17:05
Written by Rossano Rea CPT
Now after the workout, protein is the most important thing the body needs within 30 minutes of the workout. By introducing carbs immediately following the lift, the body is using up too much energy to digest them, and thus, takes away from what it really needs right after and that's the refuel of protein. After about 30 minutes, start introducing some veggies and fruits, and some complex carbs, followed by fat in the end. This is obviously the most optimal of methods, however, slamming down some fish and rice after a workout is fine too! There are just certain ways that work better than others but as long as you're fueling your body with the necessary nutrients it needs, you should be fine.
The body also requires plenty of water when working out and pre-hydrating beforehand by drinking a couple glasses of water 30-45 minutes before a workout will improve your workout. Also, remember to sip not gulp during the workout.
Diet is very crucial as it pertains to a solid, effective workout. Understanding how the body works and what it needs plays a paramount role in the efficacy of your lift and the results we reap. I recommend every athlete owning some sort of nutrition almanac so that he/she can gain a better understanding of what they are putting in their bodies.
So Workout and Eat Right!